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How to mark Business IAs

 It’s that time of year again and I’m guessing a lot of you are getting the final versions of your IAs. And after many years of receiving them, I know it can be equally overwhelming to start marking them. You want to get it right so that students have the best chance of getting the mark they deserve and you might be scared that an examiner will moderate your sample either up or down. We have all been there and you are not alone!


So, I thought it would be good to talk about how I mark my IAs. There is not only one right way to do it, but I find this way works best for me. You might do it differently and that’s ok!


First, I go through the sources and I write a comment about each source in my comments sheet (Criterion B). This is important because I become familiar with their sources and the data they will be using in the analysis. If they don’t have good sources and data, it will be hard to achieve top marks in Criterion D (Analysis and Evaluation). My comments might look something like this.


Criterion B Buisness IA


After I have looked through the source documents, I start reading the IA. After reading the introduction, I start making comments about each tool I read through in both Criterion C and D. I write about whether the tool makes sense and how well the analysis is done. Each tool gets a comment and I try to include words from the rubric to show the examiner I am using it for marking. This is what a Criterion C comment might look like. Criterion D would be very similar.


Criterion C Buisness IA


Once the analysis section is finished, I read the conclusion. I check to see if their ideas are supported with the evidence that was in the analysis and if they were able to bring it all together to answer their research question. You would be surprised how many students don’t actually answer their research question!


Once that is finished, I go back through the essay to see how well they integrated their key concept. I usually do a search to see how many times it was used and where it was used. I have noticed that students like to put it in at the end of paragraphs/tools as an after thought or only mention it in the introduction or conclusion. A comment might look something like this.


Criterion A Buisness IA


That leaves the final two categories which I think are the easiest and students normally get top marks here. For structure (Criterion F) the idea is to see if their ideas flow together and it is easy to read. If I had to go back to understand ideas, they can't get full marks here. Does the order of the tools make sense? Are there good transition between ideas? This is how to decide if the essay is organized and should get 1 or 2 marks.


Finally, I go through the checklist for presentation (Criterion G). The list is on the rubric that includes things like title page, table of contents, pages numbers and more. As long as they have those elements, I give them 2 out of 2 marks.


Is this how you approach IA marking? Do you have any tips or tricks that help you mark them? Let me know in the comments below.   

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