(NOTE: The syllabi for all subjects in group 5 have been revised for students starting the diploma period in 2012. This page will be updated with the new subject content has been released for publication by the IBO.)
This course caters for students who already possess knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, and who are equipped with the skills needed to apply simple mathematical techniques correctly. The majority of these students will expect to need a sound mathematical background as they prepare for future studies in subjects such as chemistry, economics, psychology and business administration.
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 mathematical rigour. 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 portfolio, offers students a framework for developing independence in their mathematical learning by engaging in mathematical investigation and mathematical modelling. Students are provided with opportunities to take a considered approach to these activities and to explore different ways of approaching a problem. The portfolio 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 course. Students wishing to study subjects with a high degree of mathematical content should therefore opt for the mathematics HL course rather than a mathematics SL course.