Jul 03 2019

How to Choose a Chemistry IA Topic for IB Standard Level?

Adela Belin photo Adela Belin Content strategist and writer
Study Effectively

One of the most challenging subjects in IB is Chemistry, without a doubt. Unless you are a genius in that subject, you are bound to be met with hurdles along the way.

If giving a Chemistry exam wasn’t enough, there is the Internal Assessment (IA) to worry about. Expected to be 6 to 12 pages long, your Chemistry IA is as good as your own little experiment or research project which accounts for 20% of your final grade.

In order to secure high scores, your write-up needs to be meticulously planned, well-researched and articulately presented. You will be graded according to the following criteria – personal engagement, exploration, analysis, evaluation and communication.

Consider these Essential Questions before Selecting a Topic for your Chemistry IA

A successful Chemistry IA paper begins with choosing an appropriate topic.

Are you having trouble picking a Chemistry IA topic? Let us help you get started; here are the 6 important questions you must ask yourself before narrowing down on one.

Are You Interested in the Topic and Do You have Enough Subject Knowledge?

Does studying the different nitrogen levels in fertilizers interest you? Are you curious to investigate the amount of caffeine content in different teas? If these topics induce a yawn, you should tick them off the list right away.

It is very important to choose a topic that you take genuine interest in because like it or not, your report will ultimately reflect your level of enthusiasm and interest. Hence, rather than doing a copy-paste job of a topic, start with making a list of Chemistry concepts that intrigue you and then get down to choosing one that you can conduct in-depth research on.

Is Your Independent Variable Measurable?

Your research question will consist of independent and dependent variables. Independent variables refer to the variables that will be changed to measure the impact on the dependent variable and dependent variable is what you will be measuring.

Can You Provide Enough Background Research and Scientific Context?

You need to begin your report by providing background information to give context of the research. Hence, make sure you choose a topic accordingly.

Remember to include only relevant details and not emphasize too much on the theoretical information. If there is already some research done on it, offer alternative methods you will be using to carry out the research.

Does it Require Original Research?

Originality is a vital element while writing the Chemistry IA report. You will be graded on your independent thinking and creativity skills which is why the research you do needs to be challenging and needs to push you to go beyond the experiments you have done throughout the course of your curriculum. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a topic that already has enough and more research done on it.

Are there any Ethical or Safety Considerations?

The ‘exploration’ criterion assesses the awareness of safety, environmental and ethical considerations. Hence, regardless of how strong a topic is, you need to ensure your research is feasible enough. For example, if your experiment involves the emission of toxic gases, you should not consider it.

Do You have Enough Time to Complete the Experiment and Documentation?

Doing research and writing a Chemistry IA report demands a lot of time and precision. Before you decide to attempt it yourself, assess how much time you have left.

If you have a busy schedule and are not sure you can give this crucial assignment your best shot, why not outsource it to writing experts such as Writers Per Hour.

Our team of writers have an excellent track record when it comes to delivering well-written, original IA papers as per your deadlines. So, get help with your Chemistry IA paper and be sure to get the grades you hope for.

20 Topic Ideas to Get You Started on your Chemistry Internal Assessment

1. Redox reaction: removal of tarnish from objects

2. Investigating contents of EDTA in shower contents.

3. Proteins thermal denaturation using UV light.

4. Titration: Sweetener Dulcin synthesis from Analgesic Tylenol.

5. The impact of temperature on vitamin C in fruit juice.

6. The effect of roasting on coffee’ caffeine content.

7. Determining the change of iron content in ripe avocados.

8. Comparing the energy contents of different foods with packaged printed values.

9. Investigating the impact of temperature on the pH levels of vitamin C solutions.

10. Determining how carbon dioxide affects the acidification of saltwater.

11. Determining nitrogen levels in fertilizers.

12. Investigating purification methods of water on dissolved ions.

13. Investigating the transition of metal ions.

14. Fluorescence investigation using minerals, and turmeric.

15. Investigating solidification material and techniques.

16. Investigating kinetics and thermodynamics of “Heater Meals”.

17. Determining the amount of copper in brass.

18. Investigating the production of artificial seawater by use of spreadsheets for calculations.

19. Investigating the impact of different isotopes on vibrational spectra and comparing them to experimental results.

20. Determining the endpoint range, Ka values, stability and sources of natural indicators.


Choosing a topic for your Chemistry IA needs to be well-thought of. Give it the time it deserves, evaluate the existing research, assess gaps and go over the above factors before you decide to conduct your research on a particular topic. Yes, it is a challenging assignment but an extremely immersive one that widens your knowledge on the subject.

last edit at Sep 25 2022