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IB Biology SL - 2024

Standard Level (SL) Biology is the study of living things, from a molecular to a systems level. This course allows students to explore the world of living things, as well as investigate the nature of science, experimental design, and communication of ideas.

Course Structure and Content

SL Biology is a rigorous course covering six core topics of biology, plus one Option. The Core content includes the following required topics: Cells, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Evolution & Biodiversity, and Human Physiology (digestion, blood system, immunity, gas exchange, nervous system, hormones, reproduction and homeostasis). Students study further content from one of four Option sections: Neurobiology and Behaviour (Option A), Biotechnology and Informatics (Option B), Ecology and Conservation (Option C), or further studies in Human Physiology (Option D).

SL Biology is most often studied over a two year period and the course culminates in an external exam consisting of three Papers. The external exam is administered at the end of the two year program, and the exam questions include multiple choice, short answer 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. Note the Optional section to be completed is only one of four sections; not all Options are studied.

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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Frequently Asked Questions

IB Biology Standard Level (SL) is one of the science courses introduced in the current IB Science curriculum (2016 - 2024). The Biology SL course is a traditional science course, whereby students develop a deep understanding of scientific concepts and solve both real and theoretical problems, with and without technology. The Biology SL course should be considered by students who are moderate to strong at science, and are interested in pursuing courses and pathways involving medicine, science, or engineering after their IB Diploma Program.

The IB Biology SL course consists of four assessment items that contribute to a student’s overall score for the course. There are three exam papers and an internally assessed independent investigation. Paper 1 consists of multiple-choice questions, Paper 2 consists of short-answer, extended response, and data-based questions, and Paper 3 consists of short-answer questions on practical experimentation, and short-answer questions from one option. The use of a calculator is prohibited for Paper 1, but permitted for Papers 2 and 3.

There are two phases students progress through in their two-year IB Biology SL course: the learning phase and the revision phase. The learning phase occurs in class, with their teacher and textbooks, where students first encounter and explore scientific concepts and consolidate their understanding by solving questions specific to that concept. The revision phase, which is what Revision Village is specifically designed for, is when students consolidate their understanding of all of the concepts in the Bio SL course and appreciate how the concepts are connected. In the revision phase, the most effective strategy is to practice lots of IB Biology SL exam questions to build confidence, reach mastery, and be prepared for the Biology SL examinations.

Revision Village is specifically designed to support IB students in the revision phase of their IB Biology Standard Level course. Revision Village has four main sections, each for different revision purposes: 1) Questionbank: a large library of IB Biology SL exam questions categorised by topic and ordered by difficulty, 2) Practice Exams: a carefully designed set of quizzes and mock papers for students to use in their final phase of revision, 3) Past Paper Video Solutions: step-by-step video tutorials of past Bio SL exam questions, taught by experienced IB Teachers, and 4) Key Concepts: short concise videos that recap the important theory in the Biology SL course. Revision Village is the perfect place for IB Students to learn, practice and prepare for their IB Biology exam stress-free, with all of the resources they need in one place.