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Chen, Andrew
Math Teacher
Davidson, Justin
Math Teacher
Young, Shirley
Math Teacher
Zheng, Yan
Math Teacher

Released Exams

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Mathematical Studies SL

Mathematics HL and SL

Released Mathematics SL exams

Released Mathematics HL exams

Group 5: Mathematics

Group 5: Mathematics

It is a requirement of the programme that students study at least one course in mathematics.

 

The aims of these courses are to enable students to:

  • develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles
  • develop logical, critical and creative thinking
  • employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization.

 

 

Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives.

These courses are designed for different types of students: those who wish to study mathematics in depth, either as a subject in its own right or to pursue their interests in areas related to mathematics; those who wish to gain a degree of understanding and competence better to understand their approach to other subjects; and those who may not as yet be aware how mathematics may be relevant to their studies and in their daily lives. Each course is designed to meet the needs of a particular group of students. Therefore, great care should be taken to select the course that is most appropriate for an individual student.

In making this selection, individual students should be advised to take account of the following types of factor.

  • Their own abilities in mathematics and the type of mathematics in which they can be successful
  • Their own interest in mathematics, and those particular areas of the subject that may hold the most interest for them
  • Their other choices of subjects within the framework of the Diploma Programme
  • Their academic plans, in particular the subjects they wish to study in future
  • Their choice of career

Teachers are expected to assist with the selection process and to offer advice to students about how to choose the most appropriate course from the four mathematics courses available.

Glen A. Wilson offers Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics SL and HL.

Mathematics SL: Course Details

The course focuses on introducing important mathematical concepts through the development of mathematical techniques. The intention is to introduce students to these concepts in a comprehensible and coherent way, rather than insisting on the mathematical rigour required for mathematics HL. Students should, wherever possible, apply the mathematical knowledge they have acquired to solve realistic problems set in an appropriate context.

The internally assessed component, the exploration, offers students the opportunity for developing independence in their mathematical learning. Students are encouraged to take a considered approach to various mathematical activities and to explore different mathematical ideas. The exploration also allows students to work without the time constraints of a written examination and to develop the skills they need for communicating mathematical ideas.

This course does not have the depth found in the mathematics HL courses. Students wishing to study subjects with a high degree of mathematical content should therefore opt for a mathematics HL course rather than a mathematics SL course.

Mathematical Studies SL: Course Details

The course syllabus focuses on important mathematical topics that are interconnected. The syllabus is organized and structured with the following tenets in mind: placing more emphasis on student understanding of fundamental concepts than on symbolic manipulation and complex manipulative skills; giving greater emphasis to developing students’ mathematical reasoning rather than performing routine operations; solving mathematical problems embedded in a wide range of contexts; using the calculator effectively.

The course includes project work, a feature unique to mathematical studies SL within group 5. Each student completes a project, based on their own research; this is guided and supervised by the teacher. The project provides an opportunity for students to carry out a mathematical study of their choice using their own experience, knowledge and skills acquired during the course. This process allows students to take sole responsibility for a part of their studies in mathematics. 
The students most likely to select this course are those whose main interests lie outside the field of mathematics, and for many students this course will be their final experience of being taught formal mathematics. All parts of the syllabus have therefore been carefully selected to ensure that an approach starting from first principles can be used. As a consequence, students can use their own inherent, logical thinking skills and do not need to rely on standard algorithms and remembered formulae. Students likely to need mathematics for the achievement of further qualifications should be advised to consider an alternative mathematics course.

Owing to the nature of mathematical studies SL, teachers may find that traditional methods of teaching are inappropriate and that less formal, shared learning techniques can be more stimulating and rewarding for students. Lessons that use an inquiry-based approach, starting with practical investigations where possible, followed by analysis of results, leading to the understanding of a mathematical principle and its formulation into mathematical language, are often most successful in engaging the interest of students. Furthermore, this type of approach is likely to assist students in their understanding of mathematics by providing a meaningful context and by leading them to understand more fully how to structure their work for the project.

Mathematics HL: Course Details

The course focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensible, coherent and rigorous way. This is achieved by means of a carefully balanced approach. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems set in a variety of meaningful contexts. Development of each topic should feature justification and proof of results. Students embarking on this course should expect to develop insight into mathematical form and structure, and should be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between concepts in different topic areas. They should also be encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.

The internally assessed component, the exploration, offers students the opportunity for developing independence in their mathematical learning. Students are encouraged to take a considered approach to various mathematical activities and to explore different mathematical ideas. The exploration also allows students to work without the time constraints of a written examination and to develop the skills they need for communicating mathematical ideas.

This course is a demanding one, requiring students to study a broad range of mathematical topics through a number of different approaches and to varying degrees of depth. Students wishing to study mathematics in a less rigorous environment should therefore opt for one of the standard level courses, mathematics SL or mathematical studies SL. Students who wish to study an even more rigorous and demanding course should consider taking further mathematics HL in addition to mathematics HL.