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Learn How To Score A 7 For IB Maths SL/HL

Scoring a level 7 in IB Math is no easy feat. Many try but fail as it is one of the most difficult things to do.

However, to all the ambitious and passionate students out there it is not impossible.

It is all about putting in the effort, time, and consistency as only this will result in a 7 score. Don't shy away from hard work and show other people that it is not impossible at all. Be the example other people follow.

Now, IB Math has two levels of math. One is SL that is Standard Level. The other is HL that is a Higher Level.

Let's explore the IB exam format and syllabus of both to deepen your understanding.

IB Math SL Paper 1

Duration: 1.5 Hours

Weighting:  40%

This is a paper where a calculator will not be allowed. The paper has two sections. Section A and B. Section A will comprise of compulsory short-response questions that can be from the entire syllabus.

Section B will comprise of compulsory extended response questions that can be from the entire syllabus.

IB Math SL Paper 2

Duration: 1.5 Hours

Weighting:  40%

This is a graphical display paper and a calculator will be required for this. The paper will have two sections. Section A and B. Section A will have compulsory short-response questions.

Section B will have compulsory extended response questions.

IB Maths HL Paper 1

Duration: 2 Hours

Weighting: 30%

This is also a paper where a calculator won't be allowed. It will comprise of two sections. Section A and B. Section A will have compulsory short-response questions. Section B will have compulsory extended response questions.

IB Maths HL Paper 2

Duration: 2 Hours

Weighting: 30%

This is a graphical display paper and a calculator will be required for this. The paper will have two sections. Section A and B. Section A will have compulsory short-response questions.

Section B will have compulsory extended response questions.

IB Maths HL Paper 3

Duration: 1 Hour

Weighting: 20%

This is a graphical display paper and a calculator will be required for this. It will have compulsory extended response questions based on the optional syllabus.

IB Math SL Topics

  • Algebra
  • Functions and equations
  • Circular functions and trigonometry
  • Vectors
  • Statistics and probability
  • Calculus

IB Math HL Topics

  • Algebra
  • Functions and equations
  • Circular functions and trigonometry
  • Vectors
  • Statistics and probability
  • Calculus

These topics will be for paper 1 and paper 2. For paper 3, you will have to study one of the following topics from the optional syllabus that includes:

  • Statistics and probability
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Sets, relations, and groups
  • Calculus

How To Score A Level 7 In IB Math SL/HL

This is in no way an easy task. Start studying for your exam from way before so you can fully grasp what the paper is going to be out. Be ready to put in a lot of time and effort because getting a grade 7 is no easy feat.

Of course, there are some tips and tricks to help you get there. So here are our top tips for scoring a grade 7 in IB Math:

#1. Perfect Your Concepts

Mathematics is all about the application of concepts. It is a practical subject and that is the lens you have to use to approach this subject.

This is why understanding and then perfecting your concepts is key to getting the best grades.

Don't just learn and memorize the concept. Explore the reason as to why that is. This will help you dive deep into a concept and this way you will be able to apply it without fail. For example, instead of just accepting the fact that cos (x) is an even function, you should try to understand why it is that way. 

Understanding concepts in this way will help you in applying it in any question as you will not just have rote learned it. This is because the IB math paper will give you many questions you have never done before. If you get stuck on a question, try consulting one of your good friends who is good in maths or engage a private IB math tutor to help you.

It may even look completely different from what you have learned in your course. This is why when you understand the concept in-depth you will be able to answer any type of question, even the ones you are not familiar with.

#2. Practice Past Papers

Now that you have taken the time to understand all the concepts in-depth, it is time to apply those concepts in different contexts. This is where past year IB Math exampapers come in.

Practicing them will help you answer questions you already understand in a much better way and it will also help you answer questions you have never seen before.

This way you will learn to apply every concept in all sorts of contexts. It will prepare you for the exam you are about to give as you can use the past papers to master different techniques.

A rule of thumb here is to keep practicing. Even if you have done all past papers once, do them again and again to get the hang of it. Practice is the best method when it comes to a subject like Math. The only way you will get a grade 7 is if you keep on practicing.

#3. Determine Your Strengths And Weaknesses

No one is good at everything. There may be some areas of math where you are strong and some areas where you lack. This is why you must analyze your mathematical skills and determine your strong and weak areas.

Once you have figured it out, it is time to work on those areas. For the topics in which you are strong and you have a full understanding, you should keep revising and practicing questions.

However, the important thing is to carve out time for topics where you lack. Find different resources and learn from each of them to understand the concepts deeply.

After that, apply your weak concepts to different questions and contexts. Open your past papers and do questions from the topics where you are weak to keep practicing.

You can also utilize your course books to practice questions and weak concepts. However, first, do questions from the book and then move onto past papers. If you do past papers first you will find it much harder to apply concepts.

Start easy and start small and open your books first.

#4. Memorize All Essential Formulas

This is a no-brainer. As a math student, you are expected to learn all the important formulas so you can apply them to the questions given to you. The reason you should memorize these formulas is that firstly it will help you answer many questions and secondly it will help you manage your time.

Time management is an important aspect of any exam that should not be ignored. If you don’t manage your time then you will feel even more pressure during your exam.

Your aim should be to take the least time, get the most marks, and solve all problems. Only with this aim you should attempt the paper and plan your practice. You need to be able to do all of this by the time you are giving your exam.

#5. Train Yourself To Concentrate

These exams last for longer durations and it is not possible to be concentrated fully the entire time. However, you do need to concentrate if you want to score a grade 7.

Work on your focus and divide your concentration between papers and questions. For example, during the 3 papers in HL math, your concentration should be such that it increases in the six to eight mark questions.

It should increase enough to peak when you are solving questions that hold more marks. That will be your ten to twenty-five marks questions. Once all of these are solved then your concentration should decrease enough to just review your answers and check your paper.

This same concept should be applied to all three papers. Dividing your concentration in such a way will help you in staying more focused and alert and you will be able to answer all questions in a much better way.

Having this kind of concentration curve is essential to getting a 7 score. So, don’t even think that you will get a 7 score unless you cultivate this concentration practice.

A good way to develop this concentration curve is to practice this focus when you are solving past papers. This will help you get into the flow of this concentration and you will ace your paper in no time. You will also realize that when you are concentrated in this way, your mind works much better.

Final Words

Don't even get your hopes up high unless you plan on practicing all these tips. IB Math is a serious subject and should be taken as such too. If you approach it with a non-serious attitude you will not get far.

Getting a grade 7 is not easy and requires a lot of determination, focus, and hard work. So be ready to put in all of this while practicing our tips and you will be on your way to achieving 7 points.

Need more informative guides? Here are some interesting ones:
Ultimate Guide to International schools in Singapore
Ultimate Guide to IB Tuition in Singapore

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.


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