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Completing Your Practical Assessment for Environmental Systems

and Societies

Objectives of Internal Assessment

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relevant:
facts and concepts
methodologies and techniques
values and attitudes.

2. Apply this knowledge and understanding in the analysis of:

explanations, concepts and theories
data and models
case studies in unfamiliar contexts
arguments and value systems.

3. Evaluate, justify and synthesize, as appropriate:

explanations, theories and models
arguments and proposed solutions
methods of fieldwork and investigation
cultural viewpoints and value systems.

4. Engage with investigations of environmental and societal issues at the

local and global level through:
evaluating the political, economic and social contexts of issues
selecting and applying the appropriate research and practical
skills necessary
to carry out investigations
suggesting collaborative and innovative solutions that
demonstrate awareness and respect for the cultural differences and
value systems of others.

Be familiar with the command terms and apply them in your work and
Try to make it obvious that you have used the IB learner profile in planning
and carrying out your practical work
It should be obvious that you have spent at least 10 hours working on your
internal assessment

Ethical Considerations

No experiments involving other people will be undertaken without

their written consent and their understanding of the nature of the

No experiment will be undertaken that inflicts pain on, or causes

distress to, humans or live animals.

No experiment or fieldwork will be undertaken that damages the


Make sure you have addressed these points in your written work so the
external examiner knows you have considered and avoided them

Mathematical concepts
You should be able to use simple statistical techniques including averages
and standard deviations (and t-test if appropriate).
You need to be able to plot graphs correctly and use correct labelling and
units on the axes.
Plot your independent variable on the x axis and your dependent variable
on the y axis.
Produce a line graph where your independent variable is continuous.
Produce a bar graph where your independent variable is discontinuous.
Wherever possible carry out repeats (at least 3) to enable you to average
the results at each sampling point. This enables you to identify anomalous
results and calculate averages.
On your graph points or bars (mean values) include error bars to show
standard deviations either side of the mean.
Try to give a level of uncertainty for any measurement ( half of the
smallest unit of measurement available). Also include this on the axes
labels of your graphs ,together with the correct units.
It is not necessary to include more complex statistical analysis (such as
Students T Test). However if you do it will help you to come to a more
reliable conclusion and will also aid you with your discussion. Dont carry
out a T test without understanding fully how to do it and the meaning of
the results (look at the video on the blog to help you with this)

Acknowledging the work and ideas of another person (Academic

It is important to show that you have researched the topic of your practical
work in the context of work produced by other people. This is especially
important in the Introduction, Discussion, Conclusion and Evaluation
sections of your report. Therefore you must use some form of referencing.
Try to use a range of sources. Dont depend only on internet sources.
Please use books, journals etc. and make use of the library. Dont rely on
only a few sources. Make use of a reasonable number of references (10 or
The work of others includes photos, illustrations, data, graphs or
discussions that are not your own. You may use direct quotations or you
may paraphrase work that you have read. In each case, reference
The IB takes plagiarism very seriously. If the internal or external examiner
thinks you have plagiarised any work (i.e. suggested that the work, ideas
or writing of another person are your own) you may jeopardise your whole
diploma. Use a recognised style of referencing and be consistent
throughout your report. I suggest that you use the Harvard referencing
system (there is a guide to using this in the blog). Include a full references
section at the end of your report.
Paper and electronic copies to be given to your teacher for authentication.
Your teacher can give you advice for improvement on your first draft, but
not written corrections. All of your work must be verified by so
there can be no suggestion of plagiarism or collusion on your part.

The teacher is allowed to set two deadlines. One is to receive a draft copy
of your work, the other is to receive your final report. The teacher can give
you limited feedback on the first draft, but is not allowed to receive further
drafts before the final deadline. It is therefore very important to keep to
the deadlines.
The class teacher gives you a further grade (out of 6) as an assessment of
your effort in your practical work and dedication to your report writing.
Together with your final report, the teacher needs to provide written
evidence that you have completed at least 40 hours of practical work over
the two-year course.
The practical component (largely based on one major report) is worth 25%
of your final IB mark for Environmental Systems and Societies, which is the
same as paper 1. It is potentially worth close to 2 IB points so you should
put a big effort into this work.
Before you start your report, make sure you are familiar with the grading
criteria that will be used to mark it (they are included in this document).

Grading Criteria for Environmental Systems and Societies