What Students Should Know About IB Math Changes
High school students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate ’s Diploma Programme are required to study mathematics as one of six subject groups and must take at least one math course.
However, as of August of this year, the math options available have changed. If you participate in the DP, be aware of the following changes in three areas:
The IB currently offers four math courses, all of which will be phased out: Mathematical Studies Standard Level, Mathematics Standard Level, Mathematics Higher Level and Further Mathematics Higher Level.
Those first three courses will have their final assessments in November 2020, while the fourth will be in May 2020.
IB students who are currently enrolled in these four math classes are the last cohort to take them. In the coming academic years, four new math courses will be offered, instead.
As of August of this year, the IB began offering Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches SL, Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches HL, Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation SL and Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation HL.
Students should note that “SL” means standard level and “HL” denotes higher level.
The first assessments for these four math classes will take place in May of 2021.
Every seven years, the IB reviews its courses to look for ways to improve and modernize them for a diverse student body. The IB is making these changes to its math offerings to better prepare students for the evolving and increasingly rigorous demands of higher education and the professional world. Both college and the workplace require students to have the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that appropriate math education cultivates.
Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation SL and Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation HL are designed for students who plan to pursue a college degree in fields like business and design. The classes allow students to expand their math knowledge base in a practical way.
Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches SL and Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches HL are intended for students who plan to pursue a college degree in subjects like engineering , physical sciences and math. These courses include an emphasis on mathematical thinking.
SL courses cover the same core areas as HL courses. The difference is that students in HL courses explore these areas in greater depth. SL and HL students alike acquire knowledge in numbers and algebra, functions, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability, and calculus.
The IB has also made numerous other noteworthy changes to its math curriculum. Several previously studied content areas have been omitted from the new IB math curriculum, such as currency conversion. Many new math topics have also been added, such as sigma notation. Students are encouraged to review specific course syllabi for more information.
The reimagined IB math courses were designed with students’ best interests in mind and to help them better prepare for college . Learning more about these program changes can help students choose the best math courses for their needs.