IB Mathematics Analysis & Approaches HL

Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches at Higher Level is a rigorous course that combines both pure and applied mathematics, with a focus on analytical approaches and thinking. It is designed for students who enjoy mathematical challenges and are strong both in conceptual understanding and algebraic manipulation. Analysis and approaches HL is an ideal course for students looking to pursue further study in engineering, computer science, mathematics or physics, and who have successfully completed MYP 5 extended mathematics or IGCSE additional mathematics 0606.

Course Structure and Content

The Higher Level AA course is divided into five broad topics: Number & Algebra, Functions, Geometry & Trigonometry, Statistics & Probability, and Calculus. The treatment of the topics is designed to promote analysis, and lend itself to exploration, conjecture and proof. AAHL students go into much greater depth in each topic than SL students, studying a number of subtopics that are not part of the SL course - for example, complex numbers, vectors, reciprocal & inverse trigonometric functions, and differential equations.

At the end of the program, all AA HL students sit paper 1, paper 2 and paper 3. All three papers can cover the full breadth of the curriculum.

Paper 1 is a two hour, non-calculator paper, with a focus on algebraic manipulation, inquiry, reasoning, and interpretation based on conceptual understanding.

Paper 2 is also two hours long, but a calculator is required. Therefore paper 2 has a greater focus on using technology to explore mathematical problems, and inquiry, reasoning and interpretation based on these approaches and findings.

Both papers 1 and 2 consist of a short answer section and an extended response section.

Paper 3 is a one hour paper that consists of two extended response questions that explore Analysis HL topics in great depth. There is a greater emphasis on reasoning and inquiry in paper 3 than in paper 1 or paper 2.

All HL analysis and approaches students are also required to submit an internal assessment - a written piece of work known as the exploration. This is an opportunity for students to apply mathematics learned in the course to a topic of interest to them.

Tips for Success

  1. Develop a strong understanding of the concepts: examination questions often test conceptual understanding more than knowledge of the content. It also leads to greater understanding and appreciation of a topic!
  2. Make connections between different topics: particularly in section B of papers 1 and 2, multi-strand questions are common. Different strands of mathematics do not always exist independently!
  3. Practice algebraic manipulation: important for both rearranging equations and simplifying expressions, particularly for paper 1 where calculators are not allowed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches (AA) Higher Level (HL) is one of the four math courses introduced in the current IB Mathematics curriculum (2021-2027). The AA HL course is a traditional mathematics course, whereby students develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and solve both real and theoretical problems, with and without technology. The Analysis and Approaches HL course should be considered by students who are strong at mathematics, and are interested in pursuing courses and pathways involving mathematics after their IB Diploma Program (economics, sciences, etc.)

The IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches HL course consists of four assessment items that contribute to a students overall score for the course. There are three exam papers, combined to be worth 80%. Paper 1 (non-calculator) and Paper 2 (calculator) both consist of short and long response questions. Paper 3 consists of 2 long response problem solving questions (calculator). The fourth assessment item, worth the remaining 20% of the marks, is a ‘Mathematical Exploration’, where students complete a written assignment involving the investigation of an area of mathematics that interests them.

There are two phases students progress through in their two-year IB Math AA HL 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 the mathematical 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 AA HL course and appreciate how the concepts are connected. In the revision phase, the most effective strategy is to practice lots of IB Math AA HL exam questions, to build confidence, reach mastery, and be prepared for the AA HL examinations.

Revision Village is specifically designed to support IB students in the revision phase of their IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches Higher Level course. Revision Village has four main sections, each for different revision purposes: 1) Questionbank: a large library of IB Math AA HL 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 AA HL exam questions, taught by experienced IB Teachers, and 4) Key Concepts: short concise videos that recap the important theory in the AA HL course. Revision Village is the perfect place for IB Students to learn, practice and prepare for their IB Mathematics exam stress-free, with all of the resources they need in one place.