IB Biology SL - 2025

Biology is the study of living things, from a molecular to a systems level. IB Biology allows students to explore and study about this living world, as well as investigate the nature of science, practice experimental design, develop lab skills, and communicate ideas.

Course Structure and Content

SL Biology is a rigorous course presented in four titled themes: Unity and Diversity; Form and Function; Interaction and Interdependence; and Continuity and Change. Students develop an understanding of biology through course content from increasing levels of organisation: molecules, cells, organisms, and ecosystems. Topics of study in this course include biomolecules, cells, classification and diversity of organisms, evolution and speciation, ecology, enzymes, respiration, photosynthesis, DNA and protein synthesis, homeostasis, body systems, and more.

SL Biology is most often studied over a two year period and the course culminates in an external exam consisting of two Papers. The SL programme hours include 110 hours of content study and an additional 40 hours allocated to the experimental programme. The external exam is administered at the end of the two year program, and the exam questions include multiple choice, short answer, data-based and extended response questions. SL Biology also includes a practical component, including use of databases, experimental techniques, data analysis, diagram interpretation, and these practical components are also covered in the exam.

The breadth of content and depth of material covered at Standard Level is less than HL Biology. For successful completion of the course, students must complete an internal laboratory practical, which is completed and assessed in school and is included as part of the practical programme.

Tips for Success

  1. Biology terminology is extensive, so make sure to study key terms as you learn new concepts, and consistently review vocabulary during your study sessions.
  2. Multiple choice exam questions often check your understanding of key terms, so be aware of terms that can be easily confused, like glycogen, glucagon and glycolysis!
  3. Not sure how much detail to study material? Use markschemes to identify how to approach a question and details needed in a response that earns top marks.

RV Biology provides ample opportunity to practice and improve your approach to multiple choice, short answer response, long answer response style questions so that you are equipped to maximize your marks on the exam. Included in the unique RV questions are exam style multiple choice and data based questions, diagram interpretation, and extended response questions, with corresponding markscheme and videos explaining answers to questions created by expert IB teachers.

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