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Comparison of all Mathematics

Comparison of all Mathematics

Table of Contents

The International Baccalaureate had announced a huge change in their Mathematics syllabus for the Diploma Program. This was one of those times when IB assesses and evaluates their subjects to see if it needs to undergo any changes to optimize learning. It happens once every 7 years.

The group 5 subject, Mathematics, is a demanding subject for all the IB students because it aids in many different career paths and disciplines. To ensure quality learning, IB reformed their syllabus from Math Higher Level (HL), Math Standard Level (SL) and Math Studies to Mathematics Analysis and Approaches (AA) and Mathematics Applications and Interpretations (AI)

Mathematics Analysis and Approaches

This module focuses on the theoretical side of mathematics. The syllabus helps students analyze abstract math without having to apply them in real world life. As mentioned before, it concerns mathematical theories like advanced calculus and integration, idea of proof, mathematical theorems and arguments. This could be called the “Pure” form of mathematics.

Students are generally encouraged to choose this module if their interest lies beyond just using mathematics in practice. It is a keen way for them to hone and push their understanding of math. Math AA has both Higher Level and Standard Level (HL and SL)

Mathematics Applications and Interpretations

Do you ever sit in a class and wonder if you would use any of the complicated formulas you see in front of you in real life? Sitting in a Math AI class, you would learn how to apply the mathematical concepts and solve practical problems in any possible field be it science, finance, etc. Math AI is for students who wish to apply the math they learn in the world around them.

Like Math AA, AI too has two levels, HL and SL. In comparison to the previous Math curriculum, Math AI SL can be compared to IB Math Studies. Albeit, Math AI HL has a new syllabus with some additional topics making it unlike any other courses that were offered.

The difficulty of the math disciplines are as follows:

  • Math AA HL – If you adore math and math is going to be a significant college subject, this is your choice.
  • Math AA SL – Choose this if your university degree does not demand mathematics but you love math and you are interested in getting to know the why and how.
  • Math AI HL – If you solely care about the implementation of math then pick this.
  • Math AI SL – If you think you are not great at math and it will not be useful for your university degree, go ahead and pick this!

Syllabus:

Before we delve into the syllabus, let us brush through the teaching hours for each of the disciplines. Math AA and AI SL has 150 hours and Math AA and AI HL has an additional 90 hours thereby totalling 240 hours of class hours. One point to note is that both levels in Math AA and AI cover the following topics:

  • Number and Algebra
  • Functions
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Calculus

The only difference is that the depth covered in each of these areas vary according to the module and the level. Accordingly, the difficulty level also differs.

  • Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. – Albert Einstein

Assessment:

Paper Analysis and Approaches Applications and Interpretations
HL SL HL SL
1 Duration: 120 minutes

Total Marks: 110 marks

Weightage: 30%

Calculator: Not allowed

Duration: 90 minutes

Total Marks: 80 marks

Weightage: 40%

Calculator: Not allowed

Duration: 120 minutes

Total Marks: 110 marks

Weightage: 30%

Calculator: Allowed

Duration: 90 minutes

Total Marks: 80 marks

Weightage: 40%

Calculator: Allowed

2 Duration: 120 minutes

Total Marks: 110 marks

Weightage: 30%

Calculator: Allowed

Duration: 90 minutes

Total Marks: 80 marks

Weightage: 40%

Calculator: Allowed

Duration: 120 minutes

Total Marks: 110 marks

Weightage: 30%

Calculator: Allowed

Duration: 90 minutes

Total Marks: 80 marks

Weightage: 40%

Calculator: Allowed

3 Duration: 60 minutes

Total Marks: 5 marks

Weightage: 20%

Calculator: Allowed

2 long questions

Duration: 60 minutes

Total Marks: 5 marks

Weightage: 20%

Calculator: Allowed

2 long questions

 

How do you choose what’s right for you?

  • See if you are interested in the subject. Your level of love for the subject can decide which of the modules is right for you. In addition, judge your abilities to see if you are strong enough at math to pick up a module like AA HL.
  • Another angle to help you pick would be your other DP subject choices. See if the math discipline that you have chosen compliments the rest of your subjects.
  • Lastly, you can choose depending on what you want to pursue in university

What university options do I have with Math AA?

  • If you wish to pursue any career in the STEM field, either Math AA HL or Math AI HL would be an apt choice.
  • If you’re interested in pure math and if you want to pursue a degree or a doctorate in Mathematics, Math AA HL would be beneficial to you. You can also take up Math AA HL if you’re seeking a degree in Engineering. 
  • Some other courses that require Math AA HL in some universities are:
    • Physical Sciences
    • Science programs
    • Economics
    • Human kinetics
    • Kinesiology
    • Engineering disciplines 
    • Computer science
    • Any course with mathematics

What university options do I have with Math AI?

  • Law
  • History
  • Design 
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Psychology
  • Some Economics
  • Social Sciences
  • Biology and Chemistry

Now that you have the Math sorted out, you should find it easier to know what you want to choose to study! For a final breakdown, we’ve briefly tabulated the differences between Math AA and AI for you:

AA AI
  • There is more emphasis on algebraic methods in terms of solving
  • Critical mathematical think is developed by the student
  • Abstract and theoretical problem solving is practiced
  • The right choice for students wanting to pursue mathematics, engineering and physical sciences and some economics.
  • More emphasis on modeling and statistics unlike AA
  • Students develop skills in applying mathematics in the real world.
  • Mathematical problem solving is majorly done using technology
  • This is the right choice for students who are interested in pursuing social and natural sciences, statistics, business, some economics, psychology and design

All the best!

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