No matter which IB math course 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, we 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 the four IB math exams: Applications & Interpretations SL and HL as well as Analysis & Approaches SL and 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.
2022 IB Exam Changes Due to COVID-19
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the IB has decided to extend the adaptations which were put in place for 2021 to 2022. May 2022 IB assessments will have two routes, exam and non-exam, depending on which your school chooses. As of now, they expect to return to their usual assessments in 2023. 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 (and high quality). In this section are free IB Math practice papers, both official and unofficial.
Also note that the IB Math courses were revamped in 2021. The former IB Math SL and HL classes are most similar to the new IB Math: Analysis & Approaches SL and HL classes, respectively, and the former IB Math Studies class is closest to the new Applications & Interpretations SL course. There is also an Applications & Interpretations HL course which has a curriculum that's different from all of the old IB Math courses. Here's a chart showing these updates:
|New Course||Most Similar Retired Course|
|Analysis & Approaches SL||Math SL|
|Analysis & Approaches HL||Math HL|
|Applications & Interpretations SL||Math Studies|
|Applications & Interpretations HL||----|
Unfortunately, these recent updates make it even harder to find relevant, high-quality IB past papers. However, you can use papers from the old course that is closest to your current course for a pretty close approximation.
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 Analysis & Approaches SL, just to get an idea of what an official IB Math paper will look like.
The resources included here can definitely help you study–the main benefit of this website is that the course information is actually up to date with the 2021 syllabus changes. So you can find formula booklets and syllabus info for Analysis and Approaches SL and HL, as well as Applications and Interpretation SL and HL.
In addition, there is one specimen paper for each of those courses. While the specimens aren’t quite the same as the official past papers, they are still official IB examples.
This website has past IB math papers all the way to 2019, including Math HL and SL, Further Mathematics, Math Methods, and Math Studies. This site is a good one because in addition to the papers being official and recent, the website also includes notes and other resources to help you study.
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 resource contains links for past IB Math SL papers from several years, including 2003, 2009 and 2017. Some of the years aren't labeled, so you'll need to click on each link to see which year the exam is from. There are other resources here as well, including mini practice exams.
This school website has links to IB Math SL papers and mark schemes from 2015-2017, all available as PDFs. These are a good 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. In addition, this website is a bit difficult to navigate, so you may need to use the search bar to find additional resources.
This site has links to tons of downloadable past math papers, dating all the way back to the 90s. It’s best to use the most recent ones for practice first, but you have plenty of options if you want to kick your studying up a notch with extra practice.
This website can be difficult to navigate. To get to the resources for your specific math class you’ll have to click through several additional links from the main landing page we linked to 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.
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 would sell IB exams, but they've 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." You'll see a number of search results. The ones you're interested in are those with "exam paper" or "mark scheme" (also known as the answer key) in their title.
Currently exams for the new IB math courses are available! Each exam paper (with included mark scheme) costs $7.99 USD. While you can’t buy all the papers and mark schemes for your class as one bundle, you can buy each individually.
This site includes updated resources for the new math courses, including dozens of video tutorials and practice questions. Currently they don't have the courses split into SL and HL, so there is just one course for Analysis & Approaches and one course for Applications & Interpretation. You can purchase all the resources for 119 USD, which includes video lessons, answer explanations, practice questions, and 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 is another one of the few with updated resources for each of the four new IB Math courses. For each course, there are several dozen quizzes available and 10 exams, some of which are organized by difficulty.
A few of the resources (a handful of quizzes and one exam for each course) 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
Depending on the IB math class you're taking, the exam will be spread over two (for SL courses) or three (for HL courses) days. 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:
Analysis & Approaches SL
- Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes
Analysis & Approaches HL
- Paper 1: 2 hours
- Paper 2: 2 hours
- Paper 3: 1 hour
Applications & Interpretation SL
- Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes
Applications & Interpretation HL
- Paper 1: 2 hours
- Paper 2: 2 hours
- Paper 3: 1 hour
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.