Taking the IB Math Test: Quick Facts You Should Know

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Taking an IB Math test can be a nightmare for any student as the sheer amount of figures can be daunting and intimidating. But don’t let unpreparedness get a hold of the situation. Students should know these facts and tips when taking an IB Math test.

Preparing for the IB Math Test

It takes immeasurable amounts of effort that students need to exert to pass the most difficult subject in an IB degree. To this day, Math subject tests remain one of IB’s notorious means of screening exceptional students. Luckily, diligence can easily outweigh this overwhelming entry barrier. 

Cover all Prescribed Math Topics

The purpose of IB test assessments is to exact the student’s learning progress within the degree course. Thus, the students must be able to cover all core math topics in the 240 hours of Math sessions for HL. 

A standard HL assessment of the IB Math test consists of six topics. The easiest ones revolve around subjects like Algebra, Functions, and Equations. Meanwhile, the areas of difficulty are Trigonometry, Vectors, Statistics, and Calculus. All of these scopes of Math are core topics that students must familiarize for them to pass with flying colors. 

Invest in IB Math Resources

Studying for IB exams can be daunting when the student bears no available learning resources. The lack of materials undermines the learners’ potential as they lack insightful references that can supplement their studies. 

Fortunately, it is easy to invest in school materials in today’s age. Like passing the IB entrance tests, many available online resources offer learning resources for students. Among the resources present online comes from Revision Village. Their online materials include supplementary materials like question banks, mock exams, key concepts, and even past IB papers. Revision village and similar sites offer perfect math review programs that will help condition the student’s mind into the exam.

HL versus SL? Which is Better?

Within the conduct of the International Baccalaureate program, students are certain to come across acronyms like HL and SL. But what do these terms mean? 

SL—Standard Level—indicates that a student can only take the bare minimum standard of academic robustness on a subject. HL—High Level, on the other hand, signifies that a student takes immense academic rigor on a subject. Schools that offer IB programs will teach subjects on HL on a 240-hour basis. Subjects on SL will be available in 160 hours of teaching sessions. While no level is inherently better than its counterpart, students have the freedom to choose the learning level only on subjects that are not strictly HL. As such, students can choose the standard level for the Math subject if they find the curriculum excessive. It is also proper that students should gauge their schedules and their stress tolerance before deciding on their preferred level.

Test Proper

Preparation for the test does not stop in the “before moments” of the exam; students must properly prepare the most during the test. 

“Preparing,” in this context, means trying to know the technicalities of the exam, as well as conditioning the mind. So how does one prepare for the test properly?

Knowing the Exam Time Frame

Students will take three sets of papers for the whole IB Math exams. In the standard and available format of the assessments, examinees will have two hours allocated on the first two papers of the exam. On the third paper, however, the test proper will only dedicate an hour for the students to finish it. 

There are benefits to knowing the time frame of the exam. For one, it helps the examinees strategize on their time management skills. Knowing the exam time frame can also help the student stick to the schedule and allow one to arrive at the exam venue at the right time. 

Setting a Goal

All students bear the desire to pass the exams. The bigger question here is setting a measurable goal that students can gauge. In practice, the average IB student can score a solid 5 or 6 on the combined assessments of internal and external ones. Thus, it is advantageous for the student to achieve an above-average of 7.

Setting a goal also means beating self-assigned deadlines concerning the time frame. This helps the student realign its sheer focus on answering the exam. The time-related plan also simplifies and chops up the student’s bigger goal, which is to pass on time.

Test Items Scoring System

External assessment of the IB Math test presents the students with questions that need different responses. Some questions would require the students to only short answers. Some of these items will have follow-up questions of two or three. These questions are the most numerous in the assessment, usually rendering ten problems. 

However, questions that require an extended response are extensive and would usually demand students five to six follow-up questions. These questions can give the students two to three points for each additional question. 

Overall, there will be 300 marks for the external assessment. The first two papers will have 120 marks, whereas the third paper will only have 60 spots. 

Weighted Average Score

Not all assessments bear the same weight when computing the final score. Per the guidelines written for score computation, an external evaluation will receive 80% of the IB score weighting. Internal assessments will only garner around 20%. Furthering the weighted computing system, all test papers will also share the 80% weighing means. Tests one and two each have 30% of the weighted score, whereas the third test will only garner around 20%. 

With the weighted scoring system built, students should focus on the internal assessments more than the external ones. Strategically, many question items offset the incorrect marks in external assessments, making the marks in internal reviews valuable.