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How to Write a Good Math IA for IBDP

Updated: Sep 27, 2023



A For You Education student writing his/her Math IA.

The Math IA is a compulsory part of the IBDP, taking up 20% of your final grade in Maths. In this article, we will guide you through the process of writing a good Math IA that meets the criteria and impresses your examiners.


1. Selecting an Topic:

Choose a topic that genuinely interests you and aligns with your mathematical strengths. It is crucial to ensure that your chosen topic has sufficient mathematical depth and complexity to demonstrate your understanding and analytical skills effectively, but avoid choosing topics that are overly complicated and require a level of maths far beyond your syllabus.

2. Establish an Objective:

Define a clear and focused objective for your Math IA. This objective should outline the specific research question or problem you are aiming to investigate or solve. A well-defined objective will help you maintain focus throughout your IA and enable you to structure your analysis effectively.

3. Conduct Research:

Before diving into the analysis, conduct comprehensive background research on your chosen topic. Acquire a solid understanding of the mathematical concepts and theories relevant to your investigation. Consult a variety of credible sources, such as textbooks, academic journals, and reputable websites, to gather the necessary information and build a strong foundation for your IA.

4. Develop a Methodology:

Design a methodology that outlines the steps you will take to investigate your research question. Clearly explain the mathematical techniques, models, or algorithms you intend to employ. Ensure that your methodology is logical, coherent, and appropriate for your chosen topic.


5. Reflect on Limitations and Possible Extensions:

Acknowledge the limitations of your investigation and discuss potential areas for improvement or extension. Reflect on any constraints you encountered during your research and consider how these limitations may have influenced your results. Additionally, propose ideas for further research or avenues that could be explored to expand upon your findings.


6. Structure and Presentation:

Organize your Math IA in a logical and coherent manner. Follow a clear structure, including an introduction, methodology, analysis, conclusions, and references. Use appropriate mathematical notation and terminology throughout your IA. Include relevant and well-labelled diagrams, graphs, and equations to enhance clarity and understanding. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and formatting to ensure a polished final product.


7. Demonstrate Personal Engagement and Reflection:

Showcase your personal engagement and reflective thinking. Discuss the challenges you faced during your investigation and the strategies you used to overcome them. Reflect on the significance of your findings and the broader implications of your research. Highlight any connections you made to real-world applications or other areas of mathematics.


8. Familiarize yourself with the criteria:

Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you get a good grade for the Math IA is to understand how it is graded. Simply read the syllabus guide made public by the IBDP and follow the descriptors laid out under each criterion.


Writing a strong Math IA for IBDP requires careful planning, thorough research, and effective communication of mathematical concepts. By selecting an appropriate topic, establishing a clear objective, conducting rigorous analysis, and reflecting on your findings, you can create a compelling IA that demonstrates your mathematical prowess and earns you the recognition you deserve. Remember to adhere to the IBDP guidelines, seek feedback, and invest time in revising and editing your work. With dedication and a systematic approach, you can excel in your Math IA and impress your examiners.

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