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IB Physics IA: 3 important tips for a good grade

Physics IA is one of the demanding subjects which requires utmost concentration. The students should follow these three tips for scoring good grades.

1. Selection of a topic for Physics IA

It is one of the most crucial tasks. To score well in their Physics IA, the students are advised to choose a topic that allows them to collect a lot of primary data and have a scope for finding secondary data to prove or disprove their proposition. Collecting primary-level data can be best attained by setting up an experiment. There are distinct topics in Physics for which the students can effortlessly design and execute experiments.

Some topics like Quantum and Nuclear Physics would require them to use simulation software. However, to achieve better results conducting tangible experiments is recommended.

2. Explore beyond the regular

The simulation-based experiments are very safe with less scope for error and better data collection. The students must remember that their IA has an exclusive section for “Errors and Uncertainties”. The main idea is to make them incorporate the concepts they have learned. The students must treat their IA as the documentation of their scientific exploration. Hence, they must select a topic that is not fully unexplored and allows some possibilities to make mistakes.

Listed below are a few IA ideas that the students can use to design their experiments.

a. Analysing the rate of change of vaporisation of water depending on the surface area

  • Arranging the setup for this experiment will be an easy task. The students need to get some water, find a source to heat it, and then jot down the time for its vaporisation.
  • This experiment requires the students to apply the concepts of Thermal Physics.

b. Examining the harmonic series based on different string instruments.

  • This experiment involves theoretical concepts of waves.
  • This IA is inspired by real-world scenarios and contends earthquakes to be its foremost inspiration.

It attempts to suggest an advanced architecture for tall structures and buildings to minimize the wreck caused by such natural calamities.

3. Having the right inspiration

IB aspires to make its students aware and empathetic toward global issues. Hence, having a pertinent world problem as an inspiration as an IA for the students increases their chance of getting a higher grade. However, it isn’t always simple to find an issue and set up an experiment around it. To overcome this challenge, the students must learn to reverse engineer the entire thing. They should pick a topic that interests them the most and uncover related world issues. For example, if they want to write their IA about thermal physics, they could evaluate the concept of Specific Heat Capacity. In this, if a student is trying to highlight the issue of global warming that is responsible for the melting of glaciers, then by spraying a specific type of chemical on them, their heat capacity would increase, preventing them from melting.

The students will have a fundamental understanding of how to approach their IA from it. Additionally, they must follow a format for creating their IA report, including an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

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