Types of IB Assignments: The Complete List Explained

May 8, 2023

types of ib assignments

In this post, we give you the complete list of the types of IB assignments that you’ll do in high school if you wish to take part in the program.

Whether you want to study IB to earn college credit or you want to enroll in the program to prepare yourself for the more challenging programs at the university, you should familiarize yourself with all the assignments.

Key Takeaways

  • IB is a globally recognized education framework focused on empowering high school students to become knowledgeable and responsible citizens.
  • The IB diploma program is for students aged 16 to 19, and it’s rigorous and appropriate for preparing students for university and life after school.
  • All IB students must complete Internal Assessments, Extended Essays, ToK Exhibition, CAS projects, and ToK Essays.

The goal of the program is to help students to meet all the criteria stated in the IB learner profile. In other words, students will develop into knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, and reflective persons in the society.

4 Types of IB Assignments You’ll Have to Complete in High School

The following are the five types of IB assignments that you must complete to earn the diploma:

1. Extended Essay

An extended essay is an independent research project that allows students to explore a topic of their choosing with guidance and support from a supervisor.

The extended essay is an opportunity to develop and demonstrate your research, writing, and critical thinking skills.

It requires you to undertake research into a focused area of inquiry, often involving primary and secondary sources.

When writing, you’ll need to engage in a critical analysis of their research, drawing connections between different pieces of evidence and formulating their own argument.

You are expected to follow a rigorous academic format, including referencing your sources and adhering to citation guidelines. Plus, your work should not be more than 4,000 words long. 

The process of writing an extended essay can be broken down into several stages, including topic selection, research and data collection, outlining and planning, drafting and revising, and finalizing the essay.

You are encouraged to work closely with your   supervisor throughout the process, as receiving feedback and guidance can help you to refine your research question and argument.

Related Reading: How to Write an Extended Essay

2. Internal Assessments

IB Internal Assessment is a coursework completed by students in each of their six subject areas, and it counts towards their final IB grade.

The purpose of the IA is to provide students with an opportunity to engage in independent, inquiry-based learning.

It allows students to demonstrate their understanding of a particular subject area by undertaking a research project or completing a task designed to test their knowledge and skills.

The IA can take many different forms depending on the subject area, but it typically involves a research project, practical work, or a written assignment.

For example, in science subjects, students design and conduct an experiment and analyze the results, while in language subjects, students may have to complete a written assignment that explores a particular aspect of the language.

The IA is completed over an extended period, typically several weeks or months, and students are expected to work independently with guidance and support from their teacher.

The process of completing the IA involves several stages, including topic selection, research and data collection, planning and drafting, and finalizing the project.

Related Reading: IB Internal Assessment Writing Service

3. Theory of Knowledge Essay

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay is an independent research-based essay that requires students to critically analyze and evaluate the nature of knowledge across various subject areas.

The TOK essay prompts students to engage in a critical reflection on the nature of knowledge, its sources, and its limitations. Students should explore different ways of knowing and consider how these ways of knowing influence our understanding of the world.

The TOK essay typically requires students to choose one of several prescribed essay titles and to develop an argument in response to that title.

The essay should be well structured, coherent, and logical, and it should demonstrate the student's ability to engage in critical thinking and reflection.

One of the key objectives of the TOK essay is to encourage students to consider the interconnections between different areas of knowledge, and to explore how knowledge is constructed, shared, and evaluated.

The essay should demonstrate the student's ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of various subject areas to real-world situations, and to evaluate different perspectives on complex issues.

Related Reading: How to Write a TOK Essay

4. CAS Project

IB CAS stands for Creativity, Activity, Service, and it is a component designed to promote personal growth, develop life skills, and encourage students to become responsible and engaged global citizens.

  • Creativity: It refers to the development of creative and artistic skills, such as music, theater, art, or writing. You are encouraged to explore and develop their own creative abilities and to think outside the box.
  • Activity: It involves physical exercise and developing skills related to sports, games, or other physical activities. It can include individual or team sports, such as basketball, soccer, or swimming, or outdoor activities like hiking, camping, or kayaking.
  • Service: It involves community service and volunteer work, with the goal of making a positive impact on others. This can include tutoring, mentoring, working in a soup kitchen, or volunteering at a local hospital.

CAS is not just about completing a certain number of hours in each category.

It is about reflecting on the experiences and learning from them. You should keep a record of your activities and you should reflect on what they have learned from each experience.

Through CAS, you can develop a sense of social responsibility and become aware of the needs of your communities.

You also gain a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses and develop important life skills, such as communication, leadership, and problem solving.

Related Reading: IB CAS Project Ideas

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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