IA checklist

IA checklist

A Communication

  • Is there an introduction?
  • Is the line ‘the aim of this exploration is …’ included in the introduction?
  • Is there a rationale included in the introduction?
  • Is there a plan included in the introduction?
  • Is there a conclusion?
  • Does the conclusion refer back to the aim?
  • Is the exploration well organized?
  • Are tables and graphs where they are supposed to be?
  • Does it look professional?
  • Are maths equations in the centre of the page?
  • Is it easy to follow?
  • Could an SL student easily read it and understand what you are trying to do?
  • Are mathematical explanations clear?
  • Do you fully understand the maths? If not, it is difficult to communicate it.
  • Is it concise?
  • Is every page important?
  • If you are using big tables of data, are they in the right place or appendices?
  • Have you used references and citations where appropriate?

B Mathematical presentation

  • Are all key terms and variables defined? (don’t use x if you haven’t defined what it is)
  • Is all mathematical language correct? (notations, symbols and terminology)
  • Have you used equation editor? (2x+1=5 does not look good and will immediately cost a mark)
  • Have you included diagrams, tables, charts, graphs and models where appropriate and do they look good? (looks matter a lot in a maths IA)
  • Does every diagram, table, chart, graph and model have a title?
  • Are all axes labelled?
  • Have you used appropriate degrees of accuracy and explained why? (e.g. My highest jump was 1.35446336653334 metres does not look good and will immediately cost a mark. ‘High jump records are measured to the nearest cm; therefore, I will be rounding all my answers to the nearest cm or 2 decimal places. My highest jump was 1.35 metres.’ This looks much better)

C Personal engagement

  • Do you care about your exploration?
  • Do you care about your results?
  • Is the exploration personal? (finding the probability of me making the track team is personal. Investigating Pythagoras’ theorem is not)
  • Have you done significant research or collected data?
  • Have you done an experiment?
  • Have you included photos if appropriate?
  • Have you learnt new skills?
  • Have you given your opinion?
  • Have you looked at real world situations?
  • Have you considered different perspectives? (historical, global or local).
  • Have you used unfamiliar mathematics? (you don’t have to)
  • Have you shown independent thinking?
  • Is your IA original?
  • If the answer to above questions is ‘yes’, is it clear to the reader?
  • Is passion and interest abundant in the overall read of the paper?

D reflection

  • Are there at least four points in the IA where you stop and reflect? (a sub heading ‘reflection 1’, ‘reflection 2’ etc. might help here).
  • Have you commented on all of your results?
  • Have you discussed what your results mean in context? (‘R=0.8 means there is strong positive correlation’ is not good enough. ‘R=0.8 indicates strong positive correlation which suggests that the hotter it gets, the more ice-cream I will sell’ is discussing in context)
  • Have you critically evaluated your results? (R=0.8 suggests that hotter means I sell more ice-cream but where does it end? If it is 48 degrees, will anyone even come to my ice-cream stand?)
  • Are there limitations and have you discussed them? (R=0.8 but I only collected data over 15 days. Is this enough? Discuss.
  • Have you discussed any issues you had during the whole process? (e.g. I wanted to collect data over a full year but only had 7 months to do my IA)
  • Have you discussed what you found difficult?
  • What did you discover?
  • Was anything interesting?
  • What did you learn?
  • Have you compared different mathematical approaches?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses?
  • Have you discussed what you could have or should have done differently?
  • What extension could you do if you had more time?

E Use of mathematics

  • Have you used SL maths and not just prior learning?
  • Do you fully understand the maths?
  • Have you fully explained every step of your working?
  • Is the maths correct?
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