The aims of all mathematics courses in Diploma Programme are to enable students to develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics while communicating clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts. The courses aim to enable students to enjoy mathematics, and develop an appreciation of the elegance and power of it as well as develop logical, critical and creative thinking, and patience and persistence in problem-solving. Students will employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization while applying and transferring skills to alternative situations.

Course requirements

All IB subjects require an internally assessed component during their senior year. In the Higher and Standard Level courses students will complete an Internal Assessment known as an Exploration. The Mathematical Studies students produce a Project. Ideally both the Explorations and the Project should connect with the students’ interests. These internal assessments count for 20% of the overall IB score. The internally assessed work is externally moderated by the IB organization.

Students require a graphing calculator for all the courses. As a school we recommend that students use a TI 84 plus C calculator, which are available from the school store. There is an IT criterion for each of the internal assessment tasks.

Assessment for all courses

Students are regularly provided with formative assessment possibilities during the class time. The feedback provided allows students to improve their learning and understanding of the topics covered. Summative assessment is based on IB exam style questions as well as rich tasks that allow students to demonstrate their understanding in both real-life situations and abstract calculations. A score out of 7 will be given for all summative assessment tasks. Semester and end-of-year grades are based on these summative assessment grades and are awarded in line with the IB levels of achievement.

In addition to the Internal Assessments described above, the final IB examinations in each of the subjects take place in May of Grade 12, with two papers for both Mathematical Studies and Standard Level, and three papers for Higher Level. The first paper in both SL and HL is a non-calculator paper.

Grades 11 and 12

Three courses are offered in grades 11 and 12, each follows the prescribed syllabi provided by the International Baccalaureate.

The Higher Level (HL) course provides a rigorous programme aimed at those students with strong competency in mathematics. Students who enroll in this course must have demonstrated a high level of mathematical attainment and have a natural aptitude and enjoyment of the subject. This course prepares students for courses at college or university that have a high reliance on mathematics, e.g. Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science, Physics.

The Standard Level (SL) course is also a challenging technical course, and delves in depth into some rigorous mathematical topics. Students who take this course must have demonstrated strong mathematical accomplishment in their previous schooling. This course prepares students for courses at college or university that use a significant level of mathematics, e.g. Economics, Business Management, Biology, Architecture, Psychology, Geography.

The Mathematical Studies (MS) course is designed for students who do not anticipate taking any mathematics courses beyond the IB diploma. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in the course, however students should be ready to review some previously covered topics, as well as look at some interesting mathematical topics not so frequently covered in high school mathematics. This course is designed for students who do not anticipate using mathematics in any significant way in college or university, e.g. English Literature, Music, Journalism, History, Fine Arts, Law.

The Standard Level and Mathematical Studies courses both count as Standard level courses for the IB Diploma. It is important that students sign-up for a course that is challenging and achievable, yet something that also provides appropriate foundations for future studies.

Here is an outline of the topics covered in each of the courses in the school year 2017-18:

Mathematical Studies

Standard Level

Higher Level

Number and Algebra

Mathematical Models

Geometry and Trigonometry

Descriptive Statistics

Statistical applications

Functions and Equations


Circular Functions and Trigonometry

Differential Calculus


Functions and Equations


Circular Functions and Trigonometry

Complex Numbers

Differential Calculus

Integral Calculus


Sets, Logic and Probability

Introduction to Calculus

Review of course

Calculus applications

Probability distributions



Review of course


Probability and Statistics


Calculus Option

Review of course

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