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 are not aiming for a 6 or above, you need to pass to better your chances of getting your IB Diploma. You have spent years studying for this moment. To ensure you are prepared, I highly recommend sitting for at least one practice test using IB Math past papers.
In this article, I will let you know where you can find free and paid IB Math practice materials for Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics SL, Mathematics HL, and Further Mathematics HL. Also, I will give you advice on how to get the most out of your practice so you can hit your target score on test day.
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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 like AP, SAT or ACT. Below are two free resources for IB Math practice. The first resource is official, and the second is unofficial.
You can often find other official IB Math past papers online. We can't legally link to these, since they've been uploaded without the IBO's permission, but you can Google phrases like "official past IB math papers" and see if you can find any. Many times students on IB forums will upload past exams they have used.
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 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
There are also paid IB Math exams and practice questions. Again, official materials from the IBO are always your best bet, but there are some good unofficial resources available too.
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 3 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 about 200 USD, or purchase materials in specific subjects, like statistics or vectors, for 29 USD each. Practice exams can also be purchased for 29 USD each. This site 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 ten 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 99 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 Practice Materials
A full practice test will take you between three and five hours depending on your Math class, so you need to get the most out of each one. Keep these 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 need to familiarize yourself with the timing of this test. On each paper, you have:
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 an extra second. If you give yourself more time, you won’t get used to the timing pressures of the real test and will likely score higher in your practice then you will the day of the test. These practice test should be accurate representations of your eventual test score.
Tip #3: Check Your Mistakes Against the Mark Scheme
Once you finish your full test, you must review your mistakes. If you do not, you won’t learn from your mistakes, 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.
Learn more about IB Math:
Learn more about IB:
- When Do IB Results and Scores Come Out?
- The Complete List of IB Courses and Classes
- Which IB Courses Can I Take Online? Can I Get an Online IB Diploma?
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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.