Internal Assessment

This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.

  • Syllabus content: any topic from the syllabus
  • Written report based on fieldwork.
  • Maximum 2,500 words.
  • Out of 30 marks

20 hours of teaching time for both HL and SL students.
HL = 20% weighting
SL = 25% weighting

Many of the geographical skills will be covered in the Internal Assessment. The complete skills list is below.

Locate and differentiate elements of the Earth’s surface, using direction, latitude and longitude, grid and area references, scale, political units


Interpret, analyse, and when appropriate, construct tables, graphs, diagrams, cartographic material and images
Ÿ All kinds of maps, including:
isoline and isopleth maps
choropleth maps
topological maps
dot maps
flow maps
thematic maps (inc mental maps)
topographic maps
Ÿ proportional symbols
Ÿ aerial photographs
Ÿ ground-level photographs
Ÿ satellite images
Ÿ graphs, including scatter, line, bar, compound, triangular, logarithmic, bi-polar graphs
Ÿ pie charts
Ÿ flow diagrams/charts
Ÿ population pyramids
Ÿ Lorenz curves
Ÿ cross-profiles (sections)
Ÿ rose diagrams
Ÿ development diamonds
Undertake statistical calculations to show patterns and summarize information
Ÿ totals
Ÿ averages (means, medians, modes)
Ÿ frequencies
Ÿ ranges of data (differences between maximum and minimum)
Ÿ densities
Ÿ percentages
Ÿ ratios

Research, process and interpret data and information
Types of data and information
Ÿ measures of correlation (including Spearman rank and Chi-square)
Ÿ measures of concentration and dispersion (including nearest neighbour and location quotients)
Ÿ measures of spatial interactions
Ÿ measures of diversity
Ÿ indices and ratios (including Gini coefficient, ecological footprint, HDI, dependency ratio)
Ÿ textual information
Ÿ observations
Ÿ opinions, values and perceptions
Processing and interpreting
Ÿ classify data and information
Ÿ analyse data and information
Ÿ describe patterns, trends and relationships
Ÿ make generalizations and identify anomalies
Ÿ make inferences and predictions
Ÿ make and justify decisions
Ÿ draw conclusions
Ÿ evaluate methodology
Collect and select relevant geographic information
Ÿ make observations
Ÿ conduct interviews
· make images
· take measurements
Evaluate sources of geographic information in terms of reliability, bias, relevance and accuracy
Produce written material (including essays, reports and investigations)

Ÿ synthesize information
Ÿ present material in a clear and well-structured way
Ÿ respond appropriately to command terms

We strongly recommend teachers to register for one of IB's Online workshops for IA. It lasts about 6 weeks and requires approximately 4 hours work each week. More information can be found on the IB's OCC website.

Below is a list of textbooks that are recommended for field work.
Hay, Iain
Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography
Oxford University Press (2005)
Holmes D, Farbrother D
A–Z Advancing Geography: Fieldwork
The Geographical Association (2000)
Job D
New Directions in Geographical Fieldwork
Cambridge University Press (1999)
Lenon B, Cleves P
Fieldwork Techniques and Projects in Geography
Collins (2001)
May S, Richardson P
Managing Safe and Successful Fieldwork
The Geographical Association (2008)
Miller G
Fieldwork Ideas in Action
Hodder Arnold H&S (2000)
Nagle G, Spencer K
Geographical Enquiries: Skills and Techniques for Geography
Nelson Thornes (2000)
Richardson P
Fieldwork File: for the secondary years
The Geographical Association (2008)
St John P, Richardson D
Methods of Presenting Fieldwork Data
The Geographical Association (1997)
St John P, Richardson D
Methods of Statistical Analysis of Fieldwork Data
The Geographical Association (1996)
Skinner, Redfern, Farmer G
Complete A-Z Geography Handbook
Hodder & Stoughton (2003)
Warn S, Holmes D
Fieldwork Investigations: A Self Study Guide
This book has a section on qualitative field work
Hodder Arnold H&S (2003)