How to Write Your Computer Science IA?

How to Write Computer Science IA?

Let’s Understand the Assessment Criteria 

This IB Computer Science IA Blog will address all your questions about your Internal Assessment. Let’s talk about IB Computer Science IA.

When we think about Computer Science IA, the first thing that comes into our mind is the words “complex” and “confusing”. Whether choosing the right client or structuring our IA correctly, taking care of the minutest of details can throw one off the edge. Despite the fact that all of those things are true, nothing can’t be resolved with clear and unambiguous instructions. You are an IBDP Computer Science student, and I know you are already a problem solver.

This thorough step-by-step guide will help you nail your IB Computer Science IA. Take this as a kickstart for your Computer Science IA process and nail it!

From Scratch Understand IBDP Computer Science 

IB DP Computer Science is a rigorous problem-solving course. Offered in two-course levels: Standard and Higher. Computer Science helps you learn programming skills, develop computational and algorithmic thinking and investigate real-life problems. 

Core Topics: 

  1. System Fundamentals 
  2. Computer Organization 
  3. Networks 
  4. Computational Thinking, Problem-Solving and Programming 

HL Topics: 

  1. Abstract Data Structures 
  2. Resource Management 
  3. Control 

HL Options: 

  • Databases 
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Web Since 
  • Object-Oriented Programming 

Everything you need to know about IB Computer Science IA

In this Internal Assessment you are expected to demonstrate all the practical applications of skills you have inculcated during the course. This is accomplished by creating a solution and preparing the documentation. Your IA receives a score out of 34. The IB has assigned SL IA a weightage of 30% and HL IA a weightage of 20%. The word limit of the IA is 2000 words, excluding the Bibliography, Footnotes and Appendices. 

Components of your CS IA are:

  • Cover Page 
  • Functional Product 
  • Documentation which includes 7 minutes video 

Overall, five criteria are assessed and each one of them focuses on a different area of your inquiry. 

  1. Planning
  2. Solution Overview 
  3. Development 
  4. Functionality of the Product
  5. Evaluation 

IA Key Points 

Your Computer Science  IA should be open-problem solving which gives you the freedom to choose a programming language of your choice. However, make sure you justify the programming language in your context of solution.

The main aim of the IA is to develop a solution for a specific client for their problem. Make sure you select a challenging topic you are interested in. Make sure the solution you propose and provide documents demonstrates your algorithmic and organisational skills. Include more graphical representational tools which will enhance your IA. Visual content like tables, screenshots, diagrams and charts will make your work credible. 

Some Important Terms 

  • Solution – All-encompassing work you submit as the IA
  • Product – The software developed which is a part of the solution 
  • Developer – You are the develop who proposes and executes the solution 
  • Client – For whom you are developing the product 
  • Advisor – A mentor who will guide you through 

Let’s examine IB Computer Science IA more in-depth, shall we? 

Finding the right Client 

It is the most vital aspect of your IA process. It is recommended for you to approach your parents, friends, or relatives as the first option. As they will be your primary source and give you first-hand information. Firstly, make sure you understand your client’s needs and think how you can solve their problem by developing a solution. Also, more importantly obtain consent for the use of personal data. After approaching the client, conduct an interview with your client.

The interview questions should answer the need of the product and success criteria you come up with. You must attach the transcripts of the interview in the appendix and use them in the main text. 

Hunting a Topic For You

Your Computer Science IA  topic should have complexity and should explicitly demonstrate your algorithmic and organisational thinking. Your work is your Computational thinking. It’s fine if your topic is included in your syllabus, you absolutely have full freedom to choose a programming language. Your solution can be in the form of database, simulation, web-based application. Moreover, adding functionality to an existing solution can be like connecting web pages to a database or developing a stand-alone application. 

Breaking down the Solution 

  1. Product –  It is a fully functional product which will be assessed by the moderator. You also have to make a video explaining the functionality of the product. 
  2. Documentation – This acts as a supporting document for your solution. 2000 words is the limit and its inclusive of record of tasks and any form of extended writing for designing and development. 

Let’s Understand the Assessment Criteria 

Criterion Format and Presentation Recommended Word Count
Criterion A- Planning (6 Marks)
Scenario – 

Defining the problem statement. Justifying why that client was chosen and needed for the product. 

Extended Writing 175 – 250 
Rationale – 

Justification for the proposed product. State why the proposed solution will be effective. 

Extended Writing 175 – 250 
Success Criteria – 

These are the specific criteria against which your final product is evaluated

Bulleted List  n/a
Criterion B – Solution Overview (6 Marks)
Record of Tasks – Chronological order of the critical events in the planning, designing, developing, testing and implementing of solution.  Table Form 

  1. Task Number
  2. Planned Action
  3. Planned Outcome 
  4. Time Estimated 
  5. Target Completion Date
  6. Criterion 
Design Overview – 

Design methodologies appropriate to the type of product being designed 

It should have different levels of draft designs. 

Diagrams, Flowcharts, Screenshots, Coding Scanned sketches, lists, tables for assets and techniques for test plan.  n/a
Criterion C – Development (12 Marks)
Developing the product – Justification of techniques used, annotated screenshots and sources. List the techniques opted by you like algorithmic thinking, data structure, software tools and user interface.  Extended Writing  500 – 1000 
Criterion D – Functionality and Extensibility of Product (4 Marks)
Evidence of Functionality- 

Document including screenshots showing the product functioning should be included in the documentation folder with information on how to access it on the cover page. While demonstrating the functionality of the product explain its features and success criteria. 

Video of Product 

(6 mins recommended) 

MP4 Format 




Extensibility – Assessed through design overview and where appropriate code listing from the development of the product  n/a
Criterion E – Evaluation (6 Marks)
Evaluation of the Product – Evaluation of the product against the success criteria listed should be done both on the client and developer’s end.   Extended Writing  175 – 250 
Recommendations for Further Development – Discuss possible improvements for the product and their corresponding benefits.  Extended Writing  175 – 250 
Total  1,200 – 2,000 
Appendices – 

Additional information such as evidence of consultation, interview transcript and feedback from client and advisor. 



Below we have listed some IB Computer Science IA topics to get the ball rolling!

  1. An Application to help a client organise and manage a regular event
  2. A simple and efficient inventory management system
  3. An Interactive game application
  4. A web-based program to schedule/manage personal fitness goals.
  5. An educational game using Pygame that makes learning fun
  6. A functional database to keep track of one’s investment portfolio (stock market investments)
  7. A program to keep track of books in a public library, whether borrowed, available, or missing.
  8. A programmed simulation to model various physics experiments
  9. A functional database for a real estate agent to keep a record of client information
  10. An easy-to-use homework management application

Final Submission

  • Cover Page in HTML Format 
  • Product Folder – Containing the final product 
  • Documentation Folder – Containing the associated documentation (in PDF format) 
  • Video – Demonstrating the functionality of the product (in MP4 format) 
  • Hyperlinked documents on your zip file should be presented on your solution HTML cover page (Website template). 

That’s all for now! I hope this IB Computer Science IA blog will help you understand IB’s expectations from your IA and help you quickly score that 7!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope that you found it informative, thought-provoking, and engaging. Our goal was to provide you with valuable insights and perspectives on the topic at hand, and I hope that I have succeeded in doing so.

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