IB Mathematics

Head of Department: Mrs H Fraser BSc PGCE (East Anglia)

Course Outline

The IB Diploma Programme Mathematics Higher Level course is for students with a strong background in mathematics and competence in a range of analytical and technical skills. Students will be likely to include mathematics as a major component of university studies; either in its own right or within courses such as physics, engineering or technology. The course focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensive, coherent and rigorous way through a balanced approach. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems set in a variety of meaningful contexts and to justify and prove results. Students develop insights into mathematical form and structure and become intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between concepts in different topic areas.

They will also be urged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.
In addition, the course will enable students to:

  • appreciate the multicultural and historical perspectives of all group 5 courses
  • enjoy the courses and develop an appreciation of the elegance, power and usefulness of the subjects
  • develop logical, critical and creative thinking;
  • develop an understanding of the principles and nature of the subject
  • employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalisation
  • develop patience and persistence in problem solving
  • appreciate the consequences arising from technological developments
  • transfer skills to alternative situations and to future developments
  • communicate clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts
  • appreciate the multiplicity of cultural and historical perspectives of mathematics, including the international dimension of mathematics.
Course Description
  • Algebra
  • Functions and equations
  • Circular functions and trigonometry
  • Matrices
  • Vectors
  • Statistics and probability
  • Calculus

40 hours in one of the following topics:

  • Statistics and probability
  • Sets, relations and groups
  • Series and differential equations
  • Discrete mathematics

Two individual pieces of work based on mathematical investigation and mathematical modelling.


Examination weighting of final grade 80%
Paper 1: (2 hours) 30%
Short and extended response questions (no calculator allowed).
Paper 2: (2 hours) 30%
Short and extended response questions (with graphic display calculator required).
Paper 3: (1 hours) 20%
Extended-response questions based on syllabus options (with graphic display calculator required).
Coursework weighting of final grade 20%
Portfolio: Two pieces of work on different areas of the syllabus representing mathematical investigation and mathematical modelling.