The International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program is offered by more than 5,000 schools globally. The IB program is gaining increasing popularity because it provides students with a well-rounded educational approach motivating them to excel in math and other subjects.
The IB program is rigorous; to graduate with an IB diploma, students must take six subjects and specialize in three or four. To graduate with an IB diploma, students must take at least three higher-level subjects and three standard level subjects. IB math courses include higher-level math, similar to first-year college courses.
As a student, you will need to choose between standard or higher-level math. The IB program begins in the middle years; the study material intensifies in the last two years of high school, culminating in the final exam. Let us now explore the various levels of IB math and how to prepare for the final IB exam.
Middle Years Mathematics Program
The middle years IB program is for students ages 11-16; it consists of all the subjects offered by the IB, including math. The Middle years’ math program promotes inquiry and application, helping students develop problem-solving techniques. Students learn about mathematics usefulness and relevance and how to apply math skills in their life and new situations.
In the middle years program, two math levels are offered. Standard math and extended math. The middle years standard math program provides students with basic knowledge of math principles. Extended math gives students a framework with additional topics and skills with in-depth knowledge tailored to students who want to choose higher-level math for their IB diploma.
Standard Level IB Math
Standard level IB math aims to introduce concepts by developing math techniques. Students are taught and encouraged to apply math knowledge to solve realistic problems in an appropriate setting. The course outline includes Algebra, Functions and equations, Circular functions and trigonometry, Vectors, Statics and probability, and Calculus. Students also have to complete a mathematics exploration assessment, a piece of written work investigating an area of math.
The IB standard level math final assessment model consists of two papers. Paper one is non-calculator based. Section A includes compulsory short-response questions based on the whole syllabus. Section B includes compulsory extended response questions on the entire syllabus.
Paper two requires a graphical display calculator and has two sections. Both sections are similar to paper one, with compulsory short-response and extended response questions based on the syllabus.
Higher Level IB Math
Higher-level IB math is similar to the standard level in terms of structure; nevertheless, the topics are more challenging. The course outline includes math topics like Algebra, Functions and equations, Circular functions and trigonometry, Vectors, Statics and probability, and Calculus.
Students must also study one of the following syllabus topic options i.e., Statistics and probability, sets relations and groups, Calculus, or Discrete Mathematics. Students are required to complete a piece of written work investigating an area of mathematics as part of the mathematical exploration assessment.
The IB higher-level math final assessment consists of three papers. Paper One Section A (Non- Calculator) comprises short-response questions based on the core syllabus. Section B (Graphical calculator required) includes extended response questions based on the core syllabus.
Paper two (Graphical calculator required) section A has compulsory short-response questions. Section B has extended mandatory response questions based on the syllabus. Finally, paper three, which also allows graphical calculators, includes extended response math questions.
How to Prepare for An IB Math Exam
Preparing for an IB math exam is a rigorous process that requires years of preparation and culminates in your final exam. As you begin studying for the IB exam, you can use the wide range of study guides and online learning resources.
You can study and research a specific topic like Algebra, for example, and split your study session into categories. You can take notes and solve examples of the math topics and subjects you covered in class. It helps to make shorter specific summaries of certain topics and study them individually.
Whatever approach you choose to take, remember not to fall behind. Too many students sometimes make common study errors by ignoring material they do not understand. When that happens, you quickly lose track. Use a study guide, form a peer study group, or supplement your study session with an online mathematics tutor.
Another pitfall is studying right before the exam; as mentioned earlier, the IB program has too many topics for you to master in a few weeks. It would help if you learned the topics well while each course in the syllabus is covered in class. Collaborating with your teacher plays an integral part in your success strategy and one-on-one weekly discussions.
Understanding IB Assessment
The IB program relies on the final assessment because examinations have a high level of objectivity and reliability. However, that does not negate external coursework, which forms part of the assessment for several IB subjects, including math.
Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) are two mandatory papers that must be submitted to complete the diploma. The extended essay is mostly in English literature and humanities. Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an independently studied subject exploring how we know what we know.
In the IB program, students receive grades ranging from 1 to 7, with seven being the highest. The final diploma result score is made out of combined scores for each subject. Students must gain at least 24 points to qualify for an IB diploma, aside from completing Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay.
Both TOK and Extended Essay are awarded individual grades and contribute up to 3 additional points toward the overall diploma score. Creativity, activity, and service, also known as CAS, does not contribute to points but is a requirement for the diploma.
IB Math Resources To Help You Succeed
There are several International Baccalaureate study math resources; these can be great tools to prepare you for the final diploma. Online IB math resources have exciting features like worksheets, exam past papers, and study guides.
When used effectively, these features can enrich your study experience. No matter which IB math course you choose to take, whether it is Higher level or Standard level math, you don’t have to do it all on your own; the Online Math Center tutors are there for you. Contact us now to schedule an appointment; we would be happy to assist you!