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The Best IB Economics Notes and Study Guide for SL/HL

Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 8, 2015 10:30:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)


If you need a little help in your IB Economics SL/HL class, this study guide is for you. I’ve gathered all of the best FREE online IB Economics Study Guides and Notes into one useful article. I order this IB Economics Study Guide using the IB Economics Syllabus


How to Use These IB Economics Notes and Study Guide

If you are looking for help with one topic, use the Command + F function on your keyboard to search this article for that topic. For instance, if you want to learn more about Markets, use Command + F to bring up the search function. Type in “Markets” and it’ll bring up all of the study materials for Markets. 

I separate the resources into:

  • Quick reference: one-page summary of material if you just need a quick refresher.
  • Longer notes: notes (generally 3-10 pages) if you need more of an in-depth explanation.


How Should You Use This Article During the School Year?

Use this guide throughout the school year to help you prepare for in-class tests. Make sure you’re learning the material during the school year and not waiting to cram until right before the IB Economics exam.


What are the Best Study Practices During the School Year?

You should practice related IB Economics past paper questions as you learn new subjects in class. Find IB Economics HL and IB Economics SL past papers, Free and Official, in our other article. Also, if you’re having a hard time learning in class, you should also be reading the corresponding chapter in a textbook or study guide.


Common Study Mistakes for IB Economics SL/HL

If you struggle with IB Economics SL/HL, you can’t fall behind; there are too many subjects to learn. You need to master the topics during the school year to ace your IB Economics papers. Some common mistakes are:

  1. Avoiding the topics you don’t understand in class. If you didn’t learn it in class, you need to look for help elsewhere whether through this IB Economics study guide or tutoring.
  2. Waiting to study until a week or two before the papers. There are a lot of concepts to master. A week or two is not enough time to learn them all (that is why IB Economics is taught over 1 to 2 years). Learn the topics as you’re supposed to learn them in class. Use this study guide if you need extra help:



Section 1: Microeconomics

1.1 Competitive markets: demand and supply (some topics HL only)

1.2 Elasticity

1.3 Government intervention (some topics HL extension, plus one topic HL only)

1.4 Market failure (some topics HL only)

1.5 Theory of the firm and market structures (HL only)



Section 2: Macroeconomics

2.1 The level of overall economic activity (one topic HL extension)

2.2 Aggregate demand and aggregate supply (one topic HL only)

2.3 Macroeconomic objectives (some topics HL extension, plus one topic HL only)

2.4 Fiscal policy

2.5 Monetary policy

2.6 Supply-side policies


Section 3: International Economics

3.1 International trade (one topic HL extension, plus one topic HL only)

3.2 Exchange rates (some topics HL extension)

3.3 The balance of payments (one topic HL extension, plus some topics HL only)

3.4 Economic integration (one topic HL extension)

3.5 Terms of trade (HL only)



Section 4: Development Economics

4.1 Economic development

4.2 Measuring development

4.3 The role of domestic factors

4.4 The role of international trade (one topic HL extension)

4.5 The role of foreign direct investment (FDI)

4.6 The roles of foreign aid and multilateral development assistance

4.7 The role of international debt

4.8 The balance between markets and intervention


What’s Next?

Learn more about IB Economics:

Learn more about other IB classes:


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Dora Seigel
About the Author

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.

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