20 IB Chemistry IA Topics

An Introduction To IB Chemistry IA’s

IB Chemistry IA’s (Internal Assessments) are essays that students in the International Baccalaureate program must write in order to be successful in the program. Each essay examines a different concept in chemistry, and requires comprehensive research and investigation into the subject. While completing the essays is often daunting, they are an invaluable asset to those seeking to excel in the program, as each essay carries a weight of 25% of their overall grade.

The topics for IB Chemistry IA’s vary greatly, ranging from analyzing stoichiometric processes, to studying the effects of light on photosynthesis. Furthermore, each essay must meet the criteria set forth by the International Baccalaureate program, and must follow a specific structure and style. In the following guide, we will present 20 IB Chemistry IA topics, and provide insight and guidance for each one.

The 20 IB Chemistry IA topics we will explore in this guide are:

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Chemistry IA Topics

The 20 IB Chemistry IA topics we will explore in this guide are:

  • Thermochemistry
  • Redox Reactions
  • Kinetics
  • Equilibrium
  • Acid-Base Chemistry
  • Periodic Trends
  • Atomic Structure
  • Molecular Structure
  • Energy and Bonding
  • Nuclear Chemistry
  • Chemical Equations
  • Voltaic Cells
  • Descriptive Chemistry
  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry

We hope that this guide will provide an informative and comprehensive look into the topics of IB Chemistry IA’s. With our help, students can gain a greater understanding of the topics and make their essays stand out amongst the rest.

What is an IB Chemistry IA?

IB Chemistry IA’s, also known as Internal Assessments, are a critical part of the International Baccalaureate Chemistry course. It is a project that requires you to undertake a practical experiment and write up your work. This will account for 20-40% of your overall grade.

The experiment is designed to be student-led and it allows you to demonstrate all the key skills you have learnt throughout the year. These include your knowledge of the subject matter, data-gathering, lab safety and technical reporting.

The aim of the assessment is to show the examiner that you can ask a scientific question, plan the apparatus and method, carry out the experiment with precision, analyze and interpret the data, and write up your conclusions.

The report form needs to be completed correctly, so it is important that you familiarize yourself with its structure. This includes a title, hypothesis, materials and methods, results, discussion/conclusion, references and bibliography.

You will be marked on a variety of criteria such as accuracy of data, depth of discussion and style of writing. If you follow the assessment criteria and take the time to plan and write your report carefully, you are sure to do well.

General Tips for Achieving Success With IB Chemistry IA Reports

IB Chemistry IA reports are challenging, with a variety of topics and objectives to consider. As such, it’s important to understand some key tips for success in this type of assignment. In this article, you will find advice on how to approach the task with confidence and clarity.

Essay Structure and Style

When writing an IB Chemistry IA report, it is essential to keep your essay structure in mind and organize your thoughts. Start off with a strong introduction that states the objectives of your research. Make sure to include evidence to back up your argument in the body of your report, as well as a conclusion that summarizes your work. To ensure that your report is successful, make sure your facts are accurate and your writing style is clear and concise.

Carry Out Your Own Research

Using the Internet can be a great tool when looking for ideas and resources to complete your IB Chemistry IA report. However, be sure to carry out your own research to provide an original perspective. Additionally, try to utilize different types of data in your report, such as interviews, experiments, videos, and more. This will give your paper depth and insight.

Edit and Proofread Your Work

Once you have written your IB Chemistry IA report, take the time to review and proofread your work. Look for any typos, grammar mistakes, incorrect facts, and other errors that could affect your grade. It’s also important to check the formatting of your report and make sure that all references are correctly cited.

Seek Feedback From Others

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask a mentor or someone with knowledge of the subject matter to review your IB Chemistry IA report. Ask them to offer commentary and suggestions on how you can improve or refine your work. Their feedback could be invaluable and could help you achieve a better grade. By following these tips, you should be well on your way to completing a successful IB Chemistry IA report. If you need additional assistance, be sure to visit the Chemistry faculty page of your school’s website. With enough hard work and dedication, you can create a great paper that will impress your teachers and stand out from the rest. Good luck!

Topic 1: Preparation of Salts

The preparation of salts is a key part of IB Chemistry IAs. Salts are compounds that are made up of cations and anions, which are oppositely charged particles. When these two particles form a bond, a salt is created. In this topic, you’ll learn about the different types of salts, how to create them in your own lab, and how to approach the topic in your IA.

Types of Salts

There are many different types of salts, some of which include aluminum, ammonium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium salts. Each salt is unique in its own way and requires different amounts of ions to form them. Understanding the different types of salts will help you accurately depict the preparation of salts in your lab.

Creating Salts in the Lab

In order to successfully create salts, you must first have the cations and anions, acid, and base. To combine all these elements and create a salt, you must use the neutralization reaction. This reaction occurs when an acid reacts with a base and creates water and the salt. To achieve this in the lab, you must measure out the correct amounts of acid and base and mix them together. Once they are mixed, the salt will form and can then be collected.

Approaching the Topic in Your IA

When writing your IA on the topic of salts, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be sure to include the background and methods used throughout the experiment. You must also be sure to discuss any findings or observations you may have noticed during the experiment. Finally, any conclusion from the experiment must be discussed, as well as any sources of error or uncertainties. Writing the IA following these steps will ensure that your IA is successful.

Topic 2

The second topic is all about acid-base titrations. Titration is a method that is used to determine the concentration of an unknown acid or base solution by adding small amounts of a known standard solution until the reaction is complete. This process is often done using a burette and indicator solution.

When studying titrations in IB Chemistry, you need to make sure you understand the concept of equivalence point. This is the point at which the amount of base added to the acid is exactly equal to the amount of acid originally present. Once you understand this, you can learn to calculate the concentrations of solutions before and after the reaction. It’s also important to understand the concept of end point. This is the point at which the acid-base reaction is complete and no further addition of either solution is required to reach the equivalence point.

In order to approach this topic successfully, it’s important to brush up on your basic knowledge about acids, bases, and pH. It’s also essential to understand different types of indicators and how they are used to determine the end point of the titration. Additionally, it is important to be able to compare titrations to other experiments such as oxidation-reduction titrations. Finally, practice calculating concentrations and finding the amount of solutions needed for an accurate titration.

Topic 3: Kinetics

Kinetics is the study of the rate of chemical reactions. It is a very important topic in IB Chemistry IA’s as it requires students to understand how different variables such as temperature, pressure, reactants and catalysts, affect the speed at which a reaction occurs.

When writing your IA report on kinetics, there are certain things you should focus on. Firstly, it is important to understand the general equation for the rate of a reaction, which is: Rate of reaction = k [reactants]^n. From this equation, you can infer that the rate of the reaction is dependent on the reactant concentrations and catalysts involved.

It is also important to pay close attention to the order of the reaction. The order determines how the rate of the reaction changes depending on the concentration of the reactants. For example, if the order of the reaction is 0, then the rate of the reaction will not be affected by the concentration of reactants; however, if the order is 1, then the rate will increase as the concentration of reactants increases.

Finally, when writing an IA on kinetics, make sure to include a discussion of catalyst mechanisms and their effect on the rate of the reaction. You may also want to include experiments that demonstrate the effects of temperature and other variables on the rate of the reaction. Make sure that you explain all of your results clearly and thoroughly.

Topic 4: Investigating the Entropy Change of a Substance

The entropy change of a substance is a measure of the disorder or randomness of molecules in the reaction. Entropy can be calculated by measuring the heat exchange when the reaction occurs and calculating the pressure, volume, temperature, and total number of molecules.

When investigating this topic, it is important to pay attention to the conditions that the substances are in before and after the reaction. This will help determine the entropy change of the reaction. A change in entropy can tell us whether the reaction is an exothermic or endothermic reaction, as well as other useful information.

To approach this topic, begin by researching the basics of entropy and familiarizing yourself with the equation that must be used, S = k lnW.
Then, decide what experiment you would like to do, and how you are going to measure entropy. It is also important to choose a suitable reaction to calculate the entropy change for. Consider the effects of the different compounds in the reaction on the entropy.

Once you have chosen your experiment and set it up, begin to collect data. Depending on the experiment, this can involve measuring the temperature, pressure, and volume, amongst other parameters. Record all of your data meticulously in order to understand the exact changes taking place in the reaction.

Finally, calculate the entropy change of the reaction using the equation S=klnW. This will tell you the entropy change of the reaction, as well as giving you information about whether the reaction is endothermic or exothermic.

Topic 5: Electrochemistry

Electrochemistry is a branch of chemistry which studies the chemical changes caused by electric current, or the interchange of chemical and electrical energy. It includes topics such as galvanic cells, electrolysis, redox reactions and acid-base titrations.

To write a successful IB Chemistry IA regarding electrochemistry, it can be helpful to focus on the different variables that affect the rate of a reaction. These variables generally include the concentration of the solution, temperature, surface area of the reactants, pressure, and the presence of a catalyst. By studying how these variables impact the electrochemical reaction you can gain insight into the rate of the reaction, the amount of product formed, and the energy produced.

It can also be beneficial to discuss the structure of different electrochemical cells, such as galvanic, electrolytic, and fuel cells. Additionally, an IB Chemistry IA on electrochemistry should also explore topics within electroanalytical chemistry such as voltammetry, potentiometry, and amperometry.

When approaching this topic, it is important to research all the necessary information and become familiar with the different processes involved in electrochemistry. It will also be useful to create diagrams and sketches to help explain the different concepts covered in your IA.

Topic 6: Investigating the Effect of Temperature on the Rate of Reaction

In this topic, you will be investigating how temperature affects the rate of a chemical reaction. It is important to understand that when a reaction takes place, it takes some energy for it to occur and the reactants must overcome an energy barrier called an “activation energy” before they can form products.

The higher the activation energy, the slower the reaction; therefore, the rate at which products are formed is determined by the amount of energy the reactants have available. Temperature has a direct impact on the rate at which a reaction can take place. As temperature increases, so too does the amount of energy available to the reactants, thus allowing them to overcome the activation energy and speed up the rate at which the reaction takes place.

When conducting your investigation, it is important to ensure you have a safe environment for the experiment to take place in and that you understand the necessary precautions required. You should also calculate the theoretical rate of reaction at different temperatures, which can provide useful background information for comparison against actual results.

When analyzing the data obtained from the experiment, it is important to consider factors such as validity (whether the results were influenced by any outside factors) and accuracy (how close the results were to predictions made prior to the experiment). Additionally, it can be beneficial to create a graph in order to visualize any trends or patterns observed in your data.

Overall, this is an engaging and interesting topic that allows one to explore the relationship between temperature and reaction rate. With the correct planning and analysis of results, this can be a practical and informative experience.

Topic 7

We have made it to the seventh topic of this guide—Topic 7! This topic is all about titration, which is a fancy word for measuring how much of a substance you have in a solution.

When you are doing titration, you need to start by making a solution of a known concentration (this is called a standard solution). Then you will use that solution to find out the concentration of the unknown solution. This is done by adding the standard solution to the unknown one, drop by drop, until an endpoint is reached—this is when a color change happens and shows how much of the unknown solution has been added.

To succeed at titration, you will need to know how to make a standard solution, measure accurately, and identify when the endpoint has been reached. All of these skills take practice and experience, so be sure to get lots of practice before tackling this section of the IA.

Here are some tips for approaching titration:

  • Always use an accurate measuring device (preferably a burette) when adding the standard solution to the unknown solution.
  • Make sure you pay attention to the color change that indicates the endpoint has been reached.
  • Be sure to calculate and record your results, as they are the main part of the IA.

Titration can be tricky, but with practice and patience, you can do it! So take the time to practice, and you will soon become an expert in titration.

Topic 8

The eighth topic of your IB Chemistry IA might be about acids and bases. The goal of this topic is for you to understand how acids and bases react in different environments. You’ll need to be able to recognize indicators such as pH paper or universal indicator, as well as other measurements used to assess the acidity or basicity of a solution.

You’ll also explore the different types of salts and the effect they have on the acidic or basic nature of a solution. It’s important to conduct various tests to determine the concentration of anions and cations in a solution and to understand their properties.

When approaching this topic, it’s important to keep track of the observed data and the process that led to the observation. Good record-keeping will aid in replicating experiments and effectively demonstrating the concept or principles being studied in the lab. It’s also important to consider what factors could be contributing to any anomalies seen in the data.

Finally, it’s essential to think critically about the results and implications of your experiments. This will help to further develop your research questions and objectives and guide subsequent experiments.


You have now learned about the 20 IB Chemistry IA topics in detail. These topics can range from exploring the properties of different types of molecules, to researching biological processes or chemical reactions.

We have also looked at some tips for successfully completing your IB Chemistry IA report. This includes taking into account essay structure, style, and research techniques.

By now you should have a good idea about what is expected from an IB Chemistry IA. Remember, it’s important to stay focused, and keep track of what you have accomplished so far. Doing this will help you stay organized, and ensure that your report meets all assessment requirements.

Good luck! And don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the process, as this is an opportunity to apply your knowledge in a meaningful way.

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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