Personal Project Guide

Thank you to Paul Petit, a world class Personal Project teacher for everything you taught us!


The grader is searching for certain things in your report, and will tick them off as they go awarding points. So, make sure everything in the checklist is included in your report. An easy way to do this is to structure your report in a way that makes it obvious you have included them.  

The project will start with a title page and tabel contents then should adress the 4 bands of criteria, before ending with your appendices. 

The structure:


Criterion A: Investigating

Reccomended length: 700-900 words

IB Descriptors: 


This is a very short paragraph on why you chose your project. If your project has an element of service, make sure to show how much you care about others, and how it will help people. IB examiners love this kind of thing. You could also talk about your projects connection to your later life. 

Global context

Explain how your personal interests led to your chosen global context. Next state how you narrowed down the global context to your specific personal project. State the global context in a well defined way.


State your goal, that you chose at the start of the project. Also state 2 reasons why this goal is challenging.

Examples for why your goal is challenging:


In this you need to show that you were able to transfer skills gained in your subject-specific classes to your personal project.

For example if you learnt soldering in Design class and you used it in your project that is prior-knowledge. Another example could be how you learnt some research skills in humanities. 

Include examples of prior-knowledge from 2 different subjects. They must be relevant, and should be referenced in the appendices. 

Research Process

This is the most important part of Criterion A. 

I reccomend you structure it like below:

Criterion B: Planning

Reccomended length: 500-700 words

IB Descriptors: 

Criteria for outcome

Create 4 specifications, that you would've wanted at the start of your project for your project to meet. Detail exactly what the best possible outcome for each specification is. If you have too many specifications, it will be difficult for you.

I reccommend that you create a table containing each specification as a column and grade bands as the rows. Then in each cell you write specific criteria that you need to meet to obtain the grade band. I'll provide a template criteria chart. To save words put this table in your appendices and in the actual report inlcude a quick summary and why you chose them. 


Specification 1

Specification 2

Specification 3

Specification 4










To show you did lots of planning write out the timeline you originally created for your project. Again, keep it short in the report and put a more detailed version in the appendices. It could also be a good idea to put in this section, a timeline of how things actually went, to show what aprts of your plan you changed.

Self management skills

Detail how you feel you showed good self management skills. Include examples from you project. 

Specific skills to look at could be:

Criterion C: Taking Action 

Reccomended length: 700-1000 words

IB Descriptors: 

Demonstration of product

This mark will come mostly from your presentation of your product, so in the report keep it brief. State exactly what you presented in the presentation

Demonstrate thinking skills

This can be done by showing the ways you overcame problems, while working on your project. 

Talk in depth about when you used thinking skills during the project.  I reccomend talking about three challenges you encountered how you used thinking skills to overcome them. Reference your personal project entries always. 

Types of thinking skills:

Demonstrate communication and social skills.

Explain how being social allowed your project to progress. This could be as simple as asking some for help with your project, or being given acess to previously inaccessible information or resources because of how you interacted socially. 

Explain how you communicated with people to gain advice and help with your project. 

Examples of people you may have communicated with:

Criterion D: Reflection

Reccomended length: 800-1100 words

IB Descriptors:

Evaluate product against criteria

Go through all the different specifications you outlined at the start and simply grade your self based on the criteria you set. Make sure to explain why you chose this criteria and reflect on what you could've improved. Do not give yourself full marks for everything this will ironically not get you top marks. Make sure you lack in one or two sections so you can do some quality reflection on improvment. 

What knowledge and skills you gained

Reflect in detail on how the project extended your knowledge and skills in certain areas. What matters is not whether you succeeded and met your goal but whether you learnt something, which can help you life. 

Talk about how you knew so little before starting the project but now you are an expert in your topic. 

How project changed understanding of global context

This one is difficult to understand. They basically want you to look at the global context and explain how you have realized the global contexts importance and seen examples of it.

For example if your global context was:  Scientific and technical innovation the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment. You could give examples of how you technology having a positive/ negative imapact on the environment and how important this is. 

Development as IB learners

Inorder to improve yourself as an IB learner you need to improve your Approach to Learning (ATL) skills and your IB learner Profiles.

During the report you will have mentioned many of the ATL's so you are basically summarizing all of them in one paragraph. 

Then write a paragraph explaining how you improved upon at least three IB learner profiles. These must be relevant and have examples. 


Give a final reflection and write something powerful to end your essay leaving the examiner in awe of your project. 


The appendices are where you will put your personal proejct entries, evidence of your project and other things which you want the examiner to see but don't want to take up space in your report.

Rules for appendices:






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