How to get a 7 on your IB Chemistry IA, EE or actually of any subject!

This article is my answer to the numerous questions I get online:

Firstly, Is ‘xyz’ ia good topic choice?

Secondly, Can you check my IA? (…no)

The more important question is: Did you read this before you started?! 

This is essential reading for all students BEFORE they begin their IA or EE. It applies for subjects outside of IB Chemistry too… It also applies across other science syllabi, science fairs etc.

1. Is this a good IA topic or IA research question?

Even if you are doing group work, your teacher has given you a pretty bland experiment, you weren’t given an intial experiment, or your you have even gone ahead with some crazy experiment, you need to do research.

However limited a situation you have been put in, you need to research as best you can what has been done in the past and justify from that what you are going to do because of that.

This is the scientific method, this is how people do their Masters, PhDs, become researchers. You don’t come up with something out of thin air. You are standing on the shoulders of giants.

This is why you don’t need to ask if it is a good question. You know it is because this is where the scientific community is, or where you can advance scientific knowledge…

IA topic hints

If you are really stuck, find any random thing and work out how to save the world with it by making it more enviromentally friendly.

See Green Chemistry ideas – here is a link but I’m sure you can Google some better ones 🙂

2. Can you check my IA - I want a 7.

If you don’t start off right with research, you limit your possibilities of getting a 7. Why did you choose this question? Where did you get the method from? What was the published result?

So many problems are solved if you just base it off research, and it makes it so easy to give a 7 when you do.

I only check IAs for my students and if I was free to check others (which at times I have been) I only want to get involved if they have the right foundations – research!


3. Give back to your poor teacher

Good IAs are very enjoyable reads and actually make your teachers really happy. I even learn a lot – you have done a recent literature review and given a balanced judgement – it’s better than 99% of what most news agencies are putting out! It’s what we went into this profession for – to enjoy seeing you learn and be successful. Do your research!


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