IB Biology (IB Bio) is the study of living organisms and diverse forms of life on Earth - from microscopic bacteria to complex multicellular organisms like humans. The depth of knowledge required in IB Biology extends beyond a typical high school biology course, as students are required to have a comprehensive understanding of content and to explore the connections between different areas of biology. Furthermore, students develop critical thinking and analysis skills throughout the course.
Course Structure and Content
IB Biology can be studied at the Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL). At the Standard Level, the syllabus content covers 150 teaching hours and an additional 40 hours for the experimental portion of the programme. The Higher Level course includes 240 teaching hours, with 60 hours devoted to the experimental programme.
All students explore topics of the Core material, which includes Cells, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Evolution & Biodiversity, and Human Physiology. Students studying at the Higher Level examine additional content in DNA (Replication, Protein Synthesis), Metabolism, Cell Respiration, Photosynthesis, Plants, Genetics, Evolution, and Animal Physiology.
The course is typically completed over a two year period, and culminates in a rigorous external exam. Examination question types include multiple choice, short answer, data interpretation, and extended response. In addition to the aforementioned topics, all students study content from one of four Options: Neurobiology and Behaviour, Biotechnology and Informatics, Ecology and Conservation, or further studies in Human Physiology. The breadth of content and depth of material covered is greater in HL Biology than in SL Biology.
In addition to the prescribed hours of content, additional hours of study allow students to practice laboratory techniques, experimental design, data logging, data analysis and interpretation, using simulations, models, and databases. Students are also assessed internally, building on their knowledge to develop and execute an individual practical investigation. This individual investigation is a required component of the internal assessment.
Tips for Success
- Make sure to study and review vocabulary throughout the course! To earn high marks, using key biological terms in your responses is required.
- Focus on time management, as success in IB Biology requires organized planning and execution of revision. Study a little each day, reviewing content covered in class and preparing for the next class.
- One of the best ways to improve scores is through repeated practice with exam-style questions. With hundreds of practice questions available on the RV website, there are varied ways to practice - the Revision Village Questionbank, Revision Ladder, and Popular Quizzes will all help you on your path to success.
RV Biology is designed to maximise your academic results in IB Bio through repeated practice, with multiple choice questions, short and long answer questions, and data based questions. RV offers a comprehensive coverage of syllabus topics, with real time feedback on your performance through use of practice questions, topic quizzes, revision ladders, mock exams, and prediction exams. Question format includes use of unique diagrams, graphs, and images, as well as exam-style questions which prepare students for similar style questions on exams administered by the International Baccalaureate. Revision with RV allows for flexible study at your own pace and access to the platform from various devices allows for easy accessibility.
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More IB Biology Resources
All the questions you could need! Sorted by topic and arranged by difficulty, with mark schemes and video solutions for every question.
Choose your revision tool! Contains topic quizzes for focused study, Revision Village mock exams covering the whole syllabus, and the revision ladder to precisely target your learning.
Helpful refreshers summarizing exactly what you need to know about the most important concepts covered in the course.