IB Business IA Guide - $1000 To Your PayPal If You Score Less Than A 7! 💰

The IB Business IA Guide Will Cover - Business IA Rubric, Process' Key Pointer. The Structure of Your Business IA & 10 Interesting Math IA Topics, These Will Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!

Adya Sharma
17 DEC 2021
ib business ia

Hey there, biz wizards!


Need help with your IB Business IA?


Well, aren't you in the right place!


IB Business sure can be a tough nut to crack given how dynamic it is, but tackling the IB Business Internal Assessment is a whole other job. And as though that weren't enough, surfing the net only to find bits of information and tips scattered all over makes it all the more troublesome.


We understand that you need to crack your IB Business Internal Assessment with a comprehensive assortment of tips, strategies, and ideas.


Presenting the one-stop guide that will help you nail your IB Business IA. With step-by-step guidance, sample IAs to kickstart the process, and tips/techniques to nail your IA, this guide is your key to unlocking a level 7.


Before we begin, you might want to check out our premium IB Business course curated by subject experts and top-performing alumni!


This guide includes


IB Business Management In A Nutshell 🥜 


The IB Business Management course aims at developing students' ability to analyze, discuss and evaluate business activities on different levels by understanding various business management theories and a range of tools and techniques. Not only does it give students a taste of the dynamic business environment via real-world examples and case studies, but it also ensures that subject-specific skills (e.g., Financial Analysis) and generic ones (e.g., Critical Thinking) are learned and developed.


To read more on the IB Business Management Curriculum, there's no better resource than the IB itself. Go through this article to understand first-hand what the course's objectives are. Now that we are well acquainted with the subject objectives, let's get down to business.


What is the IB Business IA, and how does it benefit students?


IB Business IA - A Deep Dive 🌊


The Internal Assessment is where students get the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills to use to pursue their interests. Although the IA is compulsory for both SL and HL students, there's a difference.


While the SL students must prepare a Written Commentary, the HL students need to produce a Research Project. This means that the HL students must base their project on primary research (gathered from the investigated organization). SL students' written commentary needs to be based on secondary research.


As listed by the IB, examples of Primary and Secondary data sources include

  • Primary Sources
    • When it comes to primary data collection, HL IA students should outline the process of approaching a local enterprise/organization and include every detail that went into conducting the research. This entails but isn’t limited to
      • Responses to questionnaires (students should include a blank copy of the questionnaire and a tally/ summary of results)
      • Results of surveys
      • Interview Transcripts (inquiring about both qualitative and quantitative reports specific to the business, for example, the cash flow statements, profit & loss account data, etc)
      • Discussions with Business Stakeholders

The research findings should be summarised and relevant documents (interview transcript, evaluations) should be added in the appendix.

  • Secondary Sources
    • Secondary Research doesn’t require reaching out to a local firm for data collection, rather looking for relevant data on the Internet, magazines, and other reliable channels. These include
      • Articles from the local, national or international press
      • Business accounts
      • Business plans Extracts from company websites
      • Transcripts of a relevant audio-visual file
      • Financial reports
      • Government and other statistics
      • Journal publications
      • Market research surveys
      • Mission statements
      • Web-based surveys


Pros Of Doing A IB Business IA


Learners tend to grasp information relatively faster in the IB business Internal Assessments since maximum study content is relevant to everyday life, helping learners create comparisons.

The emphasis in IB Business IA is on

  • how well do you carry out your research
  • the conciseness of arguments put up
  • and the real-time case analysis of the chosen company/organization.

Students pursuing IB business develop critical reasoning, practical, cognitive, and judgment abilities.


The IB Business IA examines an organization from any industry, along with the social-economic and political environments in which it functions.


The IA works with issues that arise inside businesses, where students gain a reasonable understanding via case studies. With a fresh and objective point of view on enterprises and overall variety, they have a more excellent grasp of the industry surrounding them, both worldwide and regionally.


Students working on their IB Business IA will study a business' fundamental ideas and processes while also learning about ethics and corporate social responsibility. With the help of this, learners begin to evaluate, debate and develop brief data on local, national, and worldwide business activity.


Below is a coherent breakdown of SL and HL IA requirements, criteria, etc. Understanding the highlights will help you accomplish half the task of completing your IA!


Breaking Down IB Business SL IA 🔨


If you've opted for IB Business SL, your IA will be a Written Commentary, and your work will center around secondary research. This commentary will make up for 25% of your total grade. All the points you need to take care of are listed below

  • A real business issue about a real organization should be selected.
  • Primary Research may be used for support.
  • The title for your commentary should be framed as a research question.
  • Adhere to the word limit of 1500 for the commentary.
  • The commentary should comprise analysis, evaluation, and discussion of the findings. The conclusion should necessarily give a solution/answer to the commentary question.
  • 3-5 fully referenced supporting documents and additional sources in the bibliography.
  • The content of the commentary should be structured and well presented. Starting with the introduction, which states the business issue at hand and gives background information about the organization, the next part is the body of your work. The body should present the findings from the supporting documents and, most importantly, analyze with the help of business theories and business tools and techniques. This must be done in the context of the question, and a clear link must be established. Finally, the conclusion should answer the question being explored and discuss aspects not fully answered.


To work in the right direction, it is essential to understand the marking/grading standards set by the IB. The criteria against which your Business SL IA will be assessed are as follows

  • Criterion A
    • Supporting documents (Levels - 0,1,2,3,4)
  • Criterion B
    • Choice and application of business tools, techniques, and theories (Levels - 0,1,2,3,4,5)
  • Criterion C
    • Choice and analysis of data and integration of ideas (Levels - 0,1,2,3,4,5)
  • Criterion D
    • Conclusions (Levels - 0,1,2,3)
  • Criterion E
    • Evaluation (Levels - 0,1,2,3,4)
  • Criterion F
    • Structure (Levels - 0,1,2)
  • Criterion G
    • Presentation (Levels - 0,1,2)


Now that you know the deets, here's an annotated level 7 worthy IB DP Business SL IA published by the IB. Please give it a good read to better understand how to go about your exploration.


Understanding IB Business HL IA 📚


For you'll Business HL students, your IA, too, weighs 25% of your total grade. Your IA will be a Research Project based on primary research obtained/collected from the organization under investigation. Everything that you need to take care of is listed below

  • Take up a real issue/business decision in the context of a real organization or a range of organizations.
  • Secondary research may be used for support.
  • The title of your project needs to be framed as a question. Your project is divided into the Research Proposal and the Written Report. The word limit shouldn't exceed 500 and 2000 words for the two sections.
  • The Research Proposal is the primary planning document of your research project, which defines the workflow/direction of the project. The components of the Research Proposal as given by the IB are
    • Research Question
    • Proposed Methodology includes the rationale for the study, areas of the syllabus to be covered, possible sources of information, organizations and individuals to be approached, methods to be used to collect and analyze data, and the reason for choosing them, the order of activities and timescale of the project.
    • Anticipated difficulties, such as limited or biased sources
    • Action plan
  • The next part of the project includes the Written Report, which documents the research findings. All the topics that should be included in this section are the - 
    • Title Page
    • Acknowledgments
    • Contents Page
    • Abstract (max word limit-200 (not included in the word count of the Written Report))
    • Introduction
    • Research Question
    • Methodology, Findings, and Results
    • Analysis
    • Conclusion and Recommendations
    • References and Bibliography and Appendices.

The HL IA criteria are nine in total. While criterion A is used to assess the Research Proposal, criteria B-I are used to evaluate the Written Report.

  • Criterion A - Research Proposal (Levels - 0,1,2,3)
  • Criterion B - Sources and data (Levels - 0,1,2,3)
  • Criterion C - Use of tools, techniques and theories (Levels - 0,1,2,3)
  • Criterion D - Analysis and Evaluation (Levels - 0,1,2,3,4,5,6)
  • Criterion E - Conclusion (Levels - 0,1,2)
  • Criterion F - Recommendations(Levels - 0,1,2)
  • Criterion G - Structure (Levels - 0,1,2)
  • Criterion H - Presentation (Levels - 0,1,2)
  • Criterion I - Reflective Thinking (Levels - 0,1,2)


To better understand the descriptors of the assessment criteria levels, you might want to refer to this document.


And here's an annotated high-scoring Business HL IA as published by the IB. The more you refer, the better your clarity.


Secret Business IA Tips That No One Will Tell Yeh 💯 


Obtaining a 7 in just about any IB Business IA topic will always be among the most challenging tasks an IB student may face, especially those attempting to get admission to elite institutions or universities. This is also true for IB Business IA. Nail IB discovered that the most challenging obstacle students face in achieving high scores in the Business IA involves utilizing analytical tools. To put it in simple terms, students frequently make the error of conducting a ton of research but fail in relating it to the given research topic.

  • Your analysis has three aspects - You must acquire an appropriate response to the research question, do extensive analysis, and give quick solutions to the highlighted arguments. A majority of students make mistakes when it comes to linking these points. Thus, here are three aspects you ought to keep in mind.
    • Make sure you form a relevant link between your analytical approach and the chosen IA report topic. When starting the report, do not forget to mention why this particular argument is selected and the strategy that will be applied. You must conduct a detailed analysis that adds value to your topic.
    • Conduct the analysis appropriately and thoroughly, demonstrating that you understand its aim. There are numerous business IA sample pdfs you can look at here for a better understanding of how to go about the entire report and the right way to put across relevant arguments.
    • After you've finished each approach, provide a note about what you learned about your proposed solution. After each analysis is completed, do a quick review. State the key results that are relevant to your answer. The goal here will be that by the time your teacher reaches the overall conclusion, they will already know your level of understanding.
  • Ask, ask and ask again - No amount of google searches can answer your queries the way your teacher can. Understand that your teacher is always there to help you improve your chances of getting a band 7. It is critical, particularly in IB, to seek the teacher's limitless wisdom, and trust us, it is worth it. When asking questions, you're not just clearing your doubts but also giving your brain new information and a fresh viewpoint, both of which are extremely useful to you as well as your IB business IA score. Look for clarifications. Develop an interest in what you're studying. Consider how most of the notions throughout the course may be used in the actual world. This is an excellent technique to get your teacher to share information! 
  • Get your research documents rights - The number of supporting research papers mentioned in the IB business IA criteria is 3-5. These supporting papers are pertinent to the question under consideration. These papers should be recent and should be written within the previous two years, not preceding that. Accounting records, media articles, web publications, and other credible information are also encouraged. These papers must include a broad spectrum of views and standpoints. The bodily parts that were identified and utilized must be emphasized accordingly.
  • The right way to utilize analytical tools - Yes, this is the most important thing to discuss and guide through. To address the given research query, analytics tools should be utilized to examine source content from supporting papers. We've highlighted the main pointers that can assist you in optimum utilization of your analytical tools:
    • Calling into question the data you used throughout your analysis should be part of the evaluation process. Remember to have at least two quantitative and two qualitative analytical tools to give credibility to your arguments.
    • All assessments regarding the significance of propositions must be supported by evidence.
    • The structure of supporting papers should be evaluated, and so should the grounds for the given research query's existence.
    • In your conclusion, remember that your commentary has to lead to a decision.
    • Conclusions have to be a natural extension of the conducted analysis and its explanations. They should stand relevant, backed up by evidence from the accompanying sources, and address the chosen question directly.
  • Format your commentary the right way
    • For the IB Business SL IA, the word limit is 1500, with the number of words noted on the first page. When it comes to IB Business HL IA, the Research Proposal shouldn't exceed 500 words, while the word limit for the Written Report is 2000 words. Remember, do not beat around the bush. A single paragraph of irrelevant or extra data will completely digress the report. Thus, the comments should always support or focus on the highlighted situation or question. All through the discussion, subject-oriented vocabulary must be utilized. This showcases that your discussion addresses the given question throughout.
    • For Business SL, all corroborating papers of your primary research and any references utilized must be accompanied by a bibliography. Secondary data may be used for support for Business HL. Your primary research details should be mentioned in the appendix. The supporting documents are a very important piece of your puzzle, so examine them thoroughly.
  • Choose a topic keeping your strengths in mind - Make a mental map of the themes in your curriculum that you'd like to learn more about, along with companies that you're willing to take part in or deal with frequently. Selecting a company whose statistics are widely or easily obtainable for you to utilize in your investigation is an intelligent choice. Cross-reference those themes and companies, then come up with several research problems. Ensure that you clarify how you're going to conduct analyses, what this implies for a competitive or profitable firm, as well as its marketplace in case your topic includes broad phrases like competitive, dynamic or successful.
  • Include relevant factors in your evaluation - Your research has to be the center of your evaluation. The assessment should be logical and relevant to business and its principles. In addition to that, your analysis and interpretation should be backed up by sufficient evidence, and the findings must be based on your evaluation. The conclusion should provide an answer to your core evaluation. Suggestions for the topic's future activities and suggestions for further research should always be offered (It is essential to give suggestions wherever necessary). Analytical and critical reflection must also be present in the evaluation section.
  • Understand the aim of your rationale - The rationale is not to prove or justify why you seem to be interested in the topic. Instead, cover why the company you've chosen is the right fit for your topic. Let's take, for instance, the firm is now focusing on enhancing the quality of goods and services, and your Business IA is connected to boosting the performance. Here, you are supposed to have a reference to showcase the same. This demonstrates to the teacher that your effort is worthwhile and noteworthy.


The Perfect Workplan for a Level 7 worthy Business IA 🏫


The IB business IA report is demanding, no doubt about that. However, losing hope or lowering your expectations will get you nowhere. Thus, aim for scoring a 7! There seems to be no silver bullet for scoring a seven since it always boils back to actual effort and perseverance.

  • Keep records, practice questions, and review related material handy. It would help if you felt like a company leader to succeed in IB business IA. You must provide answers to every problem or question that arises in the corporate world. Use journal articles and case studies to put this strategy into practice. Put yourself in the shoes of a director or an advisor.
  • Do not lag! As your study will depend heavily on individuals and factors from outside the school setting, you should indeed begin your internal review on schedule. The last thing you need is conducting late research, cramping up your nights, and not thoroughly planning the entire report. Make an action plan, divide each stage of the report (like research, analysis, writing, references, etc.) by weeks and give undivided attention to the task at hand. Thus, it is imperative to get started on your coursework as soon as possible.
  • Make sure you're familiar with the course material. This will aid in developing your plan; you may either begin by working on themes or by focusing on the basic principles. Keep yourself up with the latest business news from the day your curriculum starts. This will help you save time when it comes to picking a company for your IA since you will already be aware of companies and their recent updates. Every company has its approach to running its operations. Reading the most recent business news will help you comprehend the various techniques that each organization uses, thus helping you pick the best out of all.
  • Don't Charge-in Aimlessly. It's incredibly beneficial to invest serious effort into understanding just what to compose and how your IB business IA topic would develop in terms of writing. You ought to have a general notion of what you want to accomplish before you start. You should be alright as long as you have a general idea of what you want in your IA. Making a one-page outline with primary headings and subheadings and writing down some thoughts will help you channel your ideas.


Sexy Suggestions From Our Desk 💁


  • Mention some of your research's shortcomings. There should be at most one if not two. Demonstrate that you've thought deeply about your internal assessment. You might talk about any inconsistencies in your research and why they exist.
  • Since the entire HL Internal Assessment revolves majorly around primary research, it's a good idea for learners to look at relatively small, local firms. There's a better possibility you'll be able to schedule conversations and obtain specific information, such as cash flow figures.
  • As an IB student completing the IA, you'll have to emphasize constructing comments and picking which argument on an organization might effectively back your claims, as well as looking for any potentially contradictory information. This combination of contradictions supported with your solutions/suggestions is advantageous to your evaluation.
  • Before conducting primary research on your specific firm, it is suggested to look for secondary sources or inquire about where you would obtain additional information about them. Some instances could be in print publications that are covered, or the mainstream press has profiled them.
  • Create a statement/argument at least 250 words long for every source you mention. This number may vary based on the supplementary or main resources available. Still, the objective would be that the IA ought to be a single and well-supported argument.
  • Whatever you discover in the analysis and how you apply it will determine the quality of your work. Remember that your work should flow smoothly and not appear like a poorly articulated argument accompanied by sources cited as evidence rather than facts for the argument.
  • Your teacher will critique your IA original proposal. Don't be too concerned. After all, it's the first version, and no one ever wrote a flawless first copy. Accept the teacher's criticism carefully, evaluate whatever they said and wrote, and above all, pay attention to the suggestions they make for your progress. This is exactly what will get you a couple of grades higher.
  • As per the IB business IA format, you will have to figure out where you'll place all of your sources and which referrals go where and for what purpose. Ensure you're correctly referencing and utilizing the materials you've learned about to avoid plagiarism. This is why it's crucial to plan.
  • You must do an analysis that tackles a problem that an organization is experiencing or examine a choice that an organization is about to make. In addition, you must write a study proposal that may be utilized as a critical project plan and can be displayed as an implementation strategy.


It does not end here. Business IA HL and SL prep is a never-ending process, but that shouldn't stop you from exploring. Remember to have fun in this journey of becoming a business genius. You can show why the given choices were made or what techniques using concepts and substance may be used. Also, continue to examine firms critically daily.


To wrap things up, here's a complete IB DP Business Management Guide published by the IB. It will come in handy throughout your Business Course journey.


That's all for now! We hope this comprehensive guide answers your queries about all things IB Business IA! Whenever stuck, Nail IB will be there to your rescue. You can explore our plan or get in touch with IB professionals here.


Happy learning!

Quality IB Videos & Resources
996+ Videos, 1180+ PDF Files, 5858+ Sample questions. Access them all!
IB EE Guide


This FREE guide reveals the most powerful information for boosting your extended essay score and opening the floodgates to that sweet 45! Get for free what others have paid $100’s in tuition classes to learn/preach!