Meeting The Economics IA Rubric Requirements

On this, the third of three posts to make sure you score full marks on your Economics Internal Assessments, I want to give you a detailed checklist you can use to check your own work.

I have included what the IB says they expect for full marks, and translated that into actionable steps.

If you do everything on the checklist your teacher will have to give you full marks.

A: Diagrams (3 marks)

IB Explanation: This criterion assesses the extent to which the student is able to construct and use diagrams.

IB Expectations: Relevant, accurate and correctly labelled diagrams are included, with a full explanation.

Checklist (to get full marks):

Drawing the diagram:

– You have fully labelled your x and y-axis (See the method here)
– You’ve chosen the most appropriate diagram (the one that best explains the theory that relates most to your case).
-You’ve used a full title (such as, “The Market for Apples in Singapore”)
-You’ve labelled all of your lines (D1, D2, S1, S2)
-You have marked all of your intersections with letters (i.e. E1, E2)
-You have shaded in and fully label the areas of the shapes on your diagram (i.e. excess demand)
-You have indicated the exact prices and quantities (or percentage changes in price or quantity if they are included in the article. (If no prices or percentage changes are mentioned,  label them Q1, Q2, P1, P2, etc.)

Explaining the diagram

-You have made sense of the diagram for the (unschooled) reader
-You have explained WHY the curves shift (etc), not just THAT they do.
-You have taken a step-by-step approach (See the method here)

B: Terminology (2 marks)

IB Explanation: This criterion assesses the extent to which the student uses appropriate economic terminology.

IB Expectations: Terminology relevant to the article is used appropriately throughout the commentary.

Checklist (to get full marks):

– You have defined the 4-5 words most important words related to the concepts involved
– You have connected these definitions to the case
– You have used economics words whenever possible

C: Application (2 marks)

IB Explanation: This criterion assesses the extent to which the student recognizes, understands and applies economic information in the context of the article. 

IB Expectations: Relevant economic concepts and/or theories are applied to the article appropriately throughout the commentary.

Checklist (to get full marks):

– You have stayed focused on the theory that’s related
– You have developed these theories
– You’ve chosen the most appropriate diagram

D: Analysis (3 marks)

IB Explanation: This criterion assesses the extent to which the student can explain and develop appropriate economic theories and/or concepts in the context of the article.

IB Expectations: There is effective economic analysis relating to the article.

Checklist (to get full marks):

– You have fully explained the diagram
– You have referred to areas that you’ve shaded in (i.e. consumer surplus), shifts in curves, (D1-D2), percentage increases in price, etc. Anything that can help you to fully explain the theory.
– You have explained clearly all of the effects the change (i.e. the drought) has had (i.e. supply, demand, price, quantity)
– You have explained related theory
– You have pointed out the extent to which what has actually happened (in real life) is not what theory would say would happen (i.e. perhaps price increased, but there was no increase in supply).

E: Evaluation (4 marks)

IB Explanation: This criterion assess the extent to which the student synthesizes his or her analysis in order to make judgments that are supported by reasoned arguments.

IB Expectations: Judgments are made that are supported by effective and balanced reasoning.

Checklist (to get full marks):

– You have evaluated using at least 3 different areas of CLASPP
– You have developed your evaluative insights
– You leave the reader feeling that they understand that this is a complicated situation, that you’ve laid out (for example) the pros and cons, stakeholder effects and the assumptions that the theory is based on fairly.
– You have drawn together (synthesised) the different CLASPP insights to draw conclusions for the policy (i.e. whether, as a whole, the policy is appropriate or not).
– You have made it easy for the reader to understand the full picture and believe (‘to be convinced by’) your final conclusion.

And that’s it.



-Students must complete a summary portfolio sheet with details of the sources, syllabus sections, the date commentaries were written and word counts (from the IB).
-Students should not avoid choose excerpts from books, tutorial guides, government reports or personal blogs (from the IB).
-When you attach your article it should be the original print out from the internet, not a cut and pasted version. This will reassure your teacher that you didn’t cut any bits of it out.

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15 Responses to Meeting The Economics IA Rubric Requirements

  1. Shreya Thummar says:

    Hi. There’s a problem with my article. The article is excellent for a commentary but the site won’t let me copy/print it. I have currently used screenshots, will that be okay for the final?

  2. Tim Woods says:

    You can, but you aren’t required to. Generally it’s best to not use any, except to double check your definitions.

  3. Tim Woods says:

    Recent articles are great. That’s the idea really. The whole idea of the IA in Econ is to expose students to more recent issues. The exams are written about 2 years before they’re used, so they can’t be about recent events. The IA’s are meant to fill that gap.

  4. Tim Woods says:

    Sorry,I can’t help with that kind of thing. You need to find your own article. It’s not easy, but that’s the task. Good luck.

  5. TheonefromBangkok says:

    Thank you so much for all of this voluntary support. I’m taking an online economics HL course and it becomes quite difficult at times to find assistance. You’re a life saver!

    • Tim Woods says:

      Happy to help. Thanks for the message. Good luck with it. It’s a pretty great course once you figure out what they’re looking for in the assessments.

  6. Pingback: Resources - Tim Woods

  7. ibstudent says:

    Hi, thanks for this article. Its great!
    I have one question: can you suggest which software(s) would be most useful to draw the diagrams for the econ IA??

    • Tim Woods says:

      I didn’t know, so I asked one of my students who always does great diagrams. He wrote, “I use Microsoft Power Point (Apple version) to draw my diagrams. I draw lines and shapes and arrange them in the shapes of the diagrams I need. You can create almost all types of diagrams with this.”

  8. Tim Woods says:

    Thanks. I’m glad it helped. You’re welcome to send me a message via my Contact page (under the About tab).

  9. Tim Woods says:

    Cheers. No worries.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi there!

    Your site is really helpful. I come here for everything I need to know about Economics 🙂

    I have a question: for our diagram in our Economics IA, does it have to be computer generated or can it be hand drawn?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    • Tim Woods says:

      Thanks. Hand drawn is fine. In fact, some examiners prefer it because it shows that you definitely made it yourself. Thanks for the question.

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