Updated 1-Page Formula Sheets for AA & AI courses (to be used in exams)
Applications & Interpretation
With the curriculum changes, many questions come to mind…
What are the main changes in the new IB Mathematics curriculum?
The IB Mathematics curriculum change was significant. The 4 old courses (Studies, SL, HL & Further) were replaced by two “routes” that can be taken at either a Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL). The two routes are “Analysis & Approaches (AA)” and “Applications & Interpretations (AI)”. This creates 4 brand new courses: AA SL, AA HL, AI SL, AI HL. The AA route is similar to the old SL & HL courses and traditional higher level mathematics pathways, whereby students develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and solve both real and theoretical problems, often without the use of technology. The AI routes on the other hand, have been introduced for citizens in our future world, whereby students can harness the power of technology to solve real life practical problems.
Why did the IB Mathematics curriculum change?
The IB review and improve subject curriculums every 7 years to ensure students are equipped with skills desirable to Universities & future employers. Critical thinking & problem solving, especially with the use of technology, has become an increasingly valued skill in this complex & technologically dependent world. The IB has incorporated more of this with the addition of the AI route. The curriculum change also provides a wider choice of mathematics pathways for students as well as enabling schools with more flexibility in how they group students, schedule classes and teach the content.
When did the new IB Mathematics curriculum start?
The new IB Mathematics curriculum commenced teaching in 2019 and the first examination session was in May 2021.
Which new IB Mathematics course should I take?
The infographic at the top of this page provides guidance on which of the new IB Mathematics courses to select, depending on the student’s confidence level in mathematics and preferred university pathway. As a general guide, students who struggle with mathematics and want to pursue university pathways not involving mathematics (e.g., Law) will be suited to AI SL. Conversely, students who excel at mathematics and aim to take mathematically demanding courses (e.g., engineering) may consider the AA HL subject. Students between this range can consider the AI HL or AA SL pathways.
Which new IB Mathematic course is the easiest / hardest?
This is a subjective question and individual views may vary. Based off the course content and specimen papers, AI SL looks to be the easiest course and AA HL looks to be the hardest course of the 4 options. AI HL and AA SL are comparable in difficulty, however AI HL has more course content to cover (an additional 90 HL hours).
Which new IB Mathematics courses will Universities accept?
10 leading universities were sampled to understand their acceptance criteria. Their responses have been summarised in the info-graphic above. Universities around the world are still determining prerequisites and it is recommended that students reach out to the recruitment office of their preferred universities to understand course prerequisites prior to course selection.
Where do I find resources for the new IB Mathematics courses?
The leading textbook providers have updated their IB Mathematics offering to cater for the new courses. For digital resources (websites, videos & exam preparation), Revision Village has released all features and resources for IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches & IB Mathematics Applications and Interpretations. 2,000+ exam style questions filtered by topic with videos, practice exams and more!
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