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How to get high marks on IA?

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... follow the mark schemes? Honestly, that's all you can do. Follow them to the letter and put in as much detail as possible. Nobody really knows what they want, so you should just put in absolutely everything you can think of. Oh and obviously if your teachers continually get their IA marks brought down, don't listen to them ;P

I personally think the IB marks science IAs kinda randomly. I've seen tonnes and tonnes of people whose grades have plummeted after moderation even after following the mark scheme. Hence why I think the only real method for getting it right is just going extremely over board in every single thing you put. It'll take you ages, but it's a small price to pay for not dropping grades like they're going out of fashion! I had one of my sciences barely moderated and the other science I actually lost 3 grades, but to my knowledge I'd put equal effort/scientific method/following the mark scheme etc. into both of them, so whooooo knows <_<

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So my teacher tells me that the lab reports they've sent in each year were always marked down. So how do I ensure really high marks on a lab report?

If you want the really bad news then read on...

Firstly it probably doesn't depend on what you hand in personally. The moderation procedure assesses how your teacher has graded the practical work that is handed in for moderation. This is only a sample of the students work (not all students, not all work).

The sample is chosen from the predicted grades according to a very simple algorith. If you have a group of 10 students, then five students are chosen. The second from the best, the second from the worst, the one nearest the median and the two that are half way between the top chosen and the median and the bottom chosen and the median.

If you are the best (or the worst) in your group you won't be chosen, unless it is a very small group.

If the moderator feels that your teacher has applied the IA criteria incorrectly he/she will change the grades of ALL of your class (not just the moderated work).

The grade change seems to be applied proportionally. If, for example, the top mark awarded by your teacher is 44/48 and the moderator decides that it should only be 32/48, then he is downgrading by a percentage of 12/48 x 100 = 25%. This downgrade will then be applied proportionally over the whole class, so that a student who was awarded 12/48 will only receive 9/48.

The system is unfair, unjust and unethical. You personally could fulfill all of the criteria 100% and present the best series of practicals in the history of the IB and still get downgraded. It's that stupid!

To ensure that your teachers sample is not downgraded (although impossible) you must encourage the whole class to fulfill the criteria to the best of their ability and the teacher to be extremely harsh with the assessment and application of the criteria, students under no circumstances should attempt to persuade the teacher to be 'kind' with the marking.

The appropriate nature of all experimental work is essential. There must be no sign of collaboration between students in write-ups or any other aspect of the experiment. Work presented for moderation MUST be entirely individual, there must be no prescribed presentation (tables, graphs etc). If possible the work should be word processed and any background referenced. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point.

There is a section about moderation on the www.ibchem.com website for more info (although I have covered the bulk of it here)

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If you want the really bad news then read on...

charco has explained the system very well. IA assessment is the main area of concern for many chemistry teachers. There are no standard experiments to perform that might have a mark scheme, instead teachers are encouraged to choose a variety of practicals and for pupils to perform independent design. This is all very well but makes it very difficult to assess. Some of the criteria for marking are rather vague and subjective. In addition, teachers room for maneouvre is limited by the narrow range of marks that can be given.

The teachers' marks are then moderated as charco explains. However, a teacher might not have the same moderator every year. As a result, a teacher who has had everything passed one year can be marked down the next year despite using the same experiment and assessment. It has also been said (though I have seen no confirmation from official IB sources) that the moderators are themselves moderated and that if they are marked down then not only that school but all the schools has been moderating can be marked down as well!

Mr G.

Chemistry Teacher (UK)

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wow I must say, this is quite worrisome! Chemistry and Biology are my highers... and I reallllyyy need high grades for both....if my IAs let me down it's my teachers fault!!!! unfair!!! I actually have a really bad feeling about this, because we are the first IB batch of the school... which means that my teachers have never marked IAs before... and so far we've been geting good IA marks but from what I read, I have a feeling our marks will be reduced! AH!

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wow I must say, this is quite worrisome! Chemistry and Biology are my highers... and I reallllyyy need high grades for both....if my IAs let me down it's my teachers fault!!!! unfair!!! I actually have a really bad feeling about this, because we are the first IB batch of the school... which means that my teachers have never marked IAs before... and so far we've been geting good IA marks but from what I read, I have a feeling our marks will be reduced! AH!

same - except our teacher hasn't marked any of ours yet

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So my teacher tells me that the lab reports they've sent in each year were always marked down. So how do I ensure really high marks on a lab report?

If you want the really bad news then read on...

Firstly it probably doesn't depend on what you hand in personally. The moderation procedure assesses how your teacher has graded the practical work that is handed in for moderation. This is only a sample of the students work (not all students, not all work).

The sample is chosen from the predicted grades according to a very simple algorith. If you have a group of 10 students, then five students are chosen. The second from the best, the second from the worst, the one nearest the median and the two that are half way between the top chosen and the median and the bottom chosen and the median.

If you are the best (or the worst) in your group you won't be chosen, unless it is a very small group.

If the moderator feels that your teacher has applied the IA criteria incorrectly he/she will change the grades of ALL of your class (not just the moderated work).

The grade change seems to be applied proportionally. If, for example, the top mark awarded by your teacher is 44/48 and the moderator decides that it should only be 32/48, then he is downgrading by a percentage of 12/48 x 100 = 25%. This downgrade will then be applied proportionally over the whole class, so that a student who was awarded 12/48 will only receive 9/48.

The system is unfair, unjust and unethical. You personally could fulfill all of the criteria 100% and present the best series of practicals in the history of the IB and still get downgraded. It's that stupid!

To ensure that your teachers sample is not downgraded (although impossible) you must encourage the whole class to fulfill the criteria to the best of their ability and the teacher to be extremely harsh with the assessment and application of the criteria, students under no circumstances should attempt to persuade the teacher to be 'kind' with the marking.

The appropriate nature of all experimental work is essential. There must be no sign of collaboration between students in write-ups or any other aspect of the experiment. Work presented for moderation MUST be entirely individual, there must be no prescribed presentation (tables, graphs etc). If possible the work should be word processed and any background referenced. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point.

There is a section about moderation on the www.ibchem.com website for more info (although I have covered the bulk of it here)

wow I must say, this is quite worrisome! Chemistry and Biology are my highers... and I reallllyyy need high grades for both....if my IAs let me down it's my teachers fault!!!! unfair!!! I actually have a really bad feeling about this, because we are the first IB batch of the school... which means that my teachers have never marked IAs before... and so far we've been geting good IA marks but from what I read, I have a feeling our marks will be reduced! AH!

charco- you said that there should be no sign of collaboration, does this include the experiment results? It's probably too late for me now as I have to give in all my IAs tomorrow but for biology, both the lab reports we did, the experiment was done in pairs and the class's results collaborated (for different concentrations/temperatures). Is this permitted?

Also, princess, I am also in the same position as you! However, our school said they are not allowed to give us any of our results so I have no idea how I've done in my other subjects either :coffee: (but this system is also corrupted because some students who are very close to the teachers - family friends- have been told their marks :))

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I'm the only person in my biology class to get full marks on any lab report so far, and the easiest way I've found to get high marks is to be extremely pedantic and over the top on every little piece of information. Try and write down errors/improvements as you come across them in your experiment. Analyse every piece of equipment and what would be an alternative, and offer mutiple alternatives if you can. If you're feeling really worried talk about the implications of cost and location in your report, my teacher seems to love that.

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For chemistry, make sure that you include uncertainties in your calculations! Also, as many people have already suggested, be very thorough in every section of your lab writeup -- don't leave anything out, and if in doubt, put it in!

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Be as careful as you can. I've lost marks because I calculated the molar mass of ethanoic acid, which is a very stupid mistake to make. Start to write it the same day as you do the lab, so you remember what you did. It is also a good idea to write up problems when you encounter them, while doing the lab. This ensures that you have stuff to write about in the evaluation.

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my chemistry teacher said that yes they will always mark down the IA like 2-4 marks

but in the final exam, you could get higher than you expected

why?

some examiners dont follow the marking scheme

some examiners are too lenient

some examiners just accepts any kind of answer

there are some who really follow the mark scheme though,

but if you are lucky enough and get the lenient one, you'll be safe :)

just write as much as you can on the paper.

but for IAs, just make sure that you do your best

and follow the assessment checklist. should have some ideas from there.

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What's wrong with calculating the molar mass of ethanoic acid? I assume you mean formula weight.

I calculated it wrongly, that's what's wrong. That's what I meant, sorry if it wasn't clear :D

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