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IB Mathematics Analysis & Approaches SL

Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches, Standard Level, is a rigorous course combining both pure and applied mathematics, although with more emphasis on pure mathematics than the Applications and Interpretation course. The Analysis and Approaches SL course does not contain the breadth nor depth of HL, but is nevertheless a demanding course that requires strong conceptual understanding, algebraic manipulation, and confidence with analytical approaches to problem solving. It is an excellent foundation for students looking to pursue further study of mathematics or science and keeps many options open for a variety of university courses.

Course Structure and Content

The Standard Level AA course is divided into five broad topics: Number & Algebra, Functions, Geometry & Trigonometry, Statistics & Probability, and Calculus. The focus of Analysis SL is spread fairly evenly across the five topics, although the connections between functions (including exponential and logarithmic), trigonometry, and calculus are particularly important .The approach to these topics is structured in such a way as to stimulate analysis, facilitate investigation, and invite theorizing and substantiation.

At the end of the program, all AA SL students sit paper 1 and paper 2. Both papers can cover the full breadth of the curriculum.

Paper 1 is a 90 minute long non-calculator paper, with a focus on algebraic manipulation, inquiry, reasoning, and interpretation based on conceptual understanding.

In paper 2, which is also 90 minutes long, 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.

In AA Standard Level, both papers 1 and 2 consist of a short answer section and an extended response section.

All SL 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. Accurate and concise mathematical communication is vital - show all your steps of working clearly.
  2. Always simplify as much as possible - it often makes next steps easier, non-simplified answers can lose marks and it is good practice for your algebraic manipulation!
  3. Particularly in long questions with multiple parts, look for information or solutions from previous parts to help you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches (AA) Standard Level (SL) is one of the four math courses introduced in the current IB Mathematics curriculum (2021-2027). The AA SL 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 SL course should be considered by students who are moderate to 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 SL course consists of three assessment items that contribute to a students overall score for the course. There are two exam papers, each worth 40%. Both exam papers consist of short and long response questions. The difference between the exam papers is that, in paper 2, a graphics display calculator is allowed to be used (not in paper 1). The third 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 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 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 SL course and appreciate how the concepts are connected. In the revision phase, the most effective strategy is to practice lots of IB Math AA SL exam questions, to build confidence, reach mastery, and be prepared for the AA SL examinations.

Revision Village is specifically designed to support IB students in the revision phase of their IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches Standard Level course. Revision Village has four main sections, each for different revision purposes: 1) Questionbank: a large library of IB Math AA 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 AA SL exam questions, taught by experienced IB Teachers, and 4) Key Concepts: short concise videos that recap the important theory in the AA SL 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.