No matter which IB Math you take, the test can be stressful. For many students, achieving a 6 or better is necessary to get you out of college math requirements. Even if you're not aiming for a 6 or above, you need to pass to better your chances of getting your IB Diploma. You've spent years studying for this moment. To ensure you're prepared, I highly recommend sitting for at least one practice test using IB Math past papers.
In this article, we show you where you can find free and paid IB Math practice materials for Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics SL, Mathematics HL, and Further Mathematics HL. We'll also give you advice on how to get the most out of your practice so you can hit your target score on test day.
2020 IB Changes Due to COVID-19
Because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, IB exams for May 2020 have been canceled and coursework deadlines have been extended for schools that have closed. Stay up to date with the latest information on what this means for IB diplomas, course credit for IB classes, and more with our IB COVID-19 FAQ article.
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Where to Find Free IB Math Practice Questions
Unfortunately, there are far fewer practice resources for IB exams compared to many other standardized tests, such as AP exams, the SAT, and the ACT, but we've found everything that's available. In this section are free IB Math practice papers, both official and unofficial.
This past Mathematical Studies SL paper is the only free and official math paper IBO has made available. It contains five questions, each with multiple parts. You should definitely at least give it a look over, even if you're not taking Mathematics SL, just to get an idea of what an official IB Math paper will look like.
This school website has links to IB Math SL papers and mark schemes from 2015 and 2016, all available as PDFs. These are a great resource to use because they're official past IB exams so you know they're the highest quality.
Because these unofficially uploaded exams sometimes don't last long before they're taken down, we recommend you download them now even if you don't plan on studying with them quite yet.
This is another school website with links to past IB Math papers. These are older papers, from 2006 to 2008, so they won't be quite as up to date as more recent papers, but the IB Math SL curricula has remained largely the same since then, so they are still a good study resource. Click "Download" instead of "View" in order to access each document.
At the bottom of this web page are links to previous IB Math SL papers from 2013 to 2016. It can be somewhat difficult to figure out which file is the one you want, but there's still a lot of good resources here.
This site contains 76 free practice questions for the IB Mathematics SL exam. The questions aren't exactly like official IB Math questions (they're somewhat shorter and simpler), but this is still a decent resource to use if you're looking for free practice resources.
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Where to Find Paid IB Math Practice Questions
In addition to free IB resources, you can use paid IB Math exams and practice questions. Again, although official materials from the IBO are always your best bet, there are some good unofficial resources available, too. We go over the best ones here.
You can purchase official practice IB Math exams through the Follett IB Store. This is the only way to legally buy official past papers. The IBO used to have its own site where it'd sell IB exams, but they recently moved the store to Follett, and, unfortunately, the site can be difficult to navigate.
We're unable to link to specific exams, but to find them, go to the Follet IB Store site, click on the search bar at the top of the page, and type "[course name] paper." So if you're taking Mathematics SL, you'd type "Mathematics SL paper." You'll see a number of search results. The ones you're interested in are those with "exam paper" or "markscheme" (also known as the answer key) in their title.
For some reason, the exams and their answer keys are each sold separately. Each costs between 3 USD and 3.99 USD. A complete IB Math test (with all papers and mark schemes) will cost you 12 USD (for two papers and two answer keys).
The IB Math subjects have exams from multiple years, and although we recommend buying more than one test if you can afford it, only buy those published in the last few years (about 2015 onward), as these will be the ones closest to the exam you'll be taking.
This site includes multiple resources for the SL Mathematics exam, including dozens of video tutorials and practice questions. You can purchase all the resources for 199 USD, which includes video lessons, answer explanations, practice questions, and two unofficial practice papers.
This resource can get pretty pricey to use, so we only recommend it if you're really struggling with the material and think you need more in-depth explanations of subject material and how to answer certain questions.
This website has various quizzes (organized by category) and exams for both SL and HL Mathematics. There are about 20 quizzes available and 10 exams, some of which are organized by difficulty.
A few of the resources are available for free, but for most you'll need to pay for a membership. Membership costs range from 100 USD to 250 USD, depending on which materials you want access to and how long you want access to them. This is quite a financial investment, but if you need more study resources, it's an option to consider.
How to Use These IB Math Practice Materials: 3 Key Tips
A full practice test will take you between three and five hours depending on your IB Math class, so you need to get the most out of each one. Keep the following three tips in mind.
Tip 1: Take Each Paper a Different Day
The papers are split among two days for Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics SL, and Further Mathematics HL, and three days for Mathematics HL. Don't take the practice test in one day. In your practice, take the test over two or three days so that you get used to the schedule for your exam.
Tip 2: Keep Exact Time
You must familiarize yourself with the timing of this test. On each paper, you'll have the following time limits:
Mathematical Studies SL
- Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Paper 1: 2 hours
- Paper 2: 2 hours
- Paper 3: 1 hour
Further Mathematics HL
- Paper 1: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Paper 2: 2 hours 30 minutes
In your practice, don't allow yourself even one extra second. If you give yourself more time, you won't get used to the timing pressures of the real IB Math test and will likely score higher in your practice than you will on test day. These practice tests should be accurate representations of your eventual test score.
Tip 3: Check Your Mistakes Against the Mark Scheme
Once you finish your full IB Math practice test, you must review your mistakes. If you do not, you won't learn from your errors, and you'll keep getting the same questions wrong.
Spend a minimum of an hour on this step. This may seem like a lot of time, but you want quality practice, not quantity. Taking one practice exam with detailed review is better than taking five tests with no review!
Need more help with your IB Math course? Then check out our expert IB Math study guide.
Want to learn more about how the IB program works? Get started with this complete list of all IB courses and classes. Then, learn which IB courses you can take online as well as when IB scores come out.You've probably heard of AP courses and exams, too. But how do these differ from IB classes? Is there one that's better suited to you? Get the answer in our in-depth guide!
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As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.