SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Every IB English Past Paper Available: Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | Mar 22, 2020 3:30:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)



In this article, I cover IB English Literature SL/HL, IB English Language and Literature SL/HL, and IB Literature and Performance SL. These are the core language A options for English speakers. When preparing for one of these IB English exams, you should take a practice test. Where can you find IB English past papers, free and paid? I will answer that question and let you know how to get the most out of these past papers.




2020 IB English Exam Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, all IB exams for May 2020 have been canceled and coursework deadlines have been extended for schools that have closed. (Yep, that includes the IB English SL/HL exams, too.) 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.


Where to Find Free IB English Past Papers

The IB has been cracking down on illegally uploaded past papers for the past few years, so a lot of previous sources are no longer available. IB has however, uploaded a few official past exams that you can view for free online. Below are links to the IB English Past Papers.

English A: literature higher level/standard level: papers 1 & 2

English A1 higher level: paper 2

English standard level A2: paper 2


I haven't seen any unofficial IB English exams (ones created by someone that is not from the IBO). If you find any, don't use them for practice! You need REAL IB English past papers to get realistic practice.


Where to Find Paid IB English Past Papers

The only safe and reliable place to buy IB English past papers is from the IBO at the Follet IB Store. The IBO sells past IB English Literature SL papers, IB English Literature HL papers, IB English Language and Literature SL papers, IB English Language and Literature HL papers, and IB Literature and Performance SL papers from 2013 onward. The site is somewhat hard to navigate, but using the search bar several times got me where I wanted to be eventually.


How to Get the Most of Each Past Paper

One complete test will take you 3 hours for SL or 4 hours for HL. If you are going to invest that much time, you need to be maximizing your learning. To do so, follow these rules.


Rule 1: Take Paper 1 and Paper 2 on Separate Days

IBO splits up all of the IB English tests over two days. You should too. That way you get realistic practice, mimicking the actual testing schedule.


Rule 2: Time Yourself

You need to get used to the timing. Here is the time allowed:

English Literature SL

  • Paper 1—1 hour 30 minutes
  • Paper 2—1 hour 30 minutes

English Literature HL

  • Paper 1—2 hours
  • Paper 2—2 hours

English Language and Literature SL

  • Paper 1—1 hour 30 minutes
  • Paper 2—1 hour 30 minutes

English Language and Literature HL

  • Paper 1—2 hours
  • Paper 2—2 hours

Literature and Performance SL

  • Paper 1—1 hour 30 minutes
  • Paper 2—1 hour 30 minutes

Make sure you stick to this exact timing. Don't give yourself any extra time. Otherwise, you will not be prepared for the pacing of the actual test.



Research to Action / Flickr


Rule 3: Review With the Mark Scheme

After completing your full test, review your answers. You must review to learn from your errors and not make them on the actual test.

Take an hour to review. While this may seem like you are wasting time that you could be spending on other practice, it's not. You need to emphasize the quality of your practice and no the quantity of practice. I'd rather you take two practice tests with good review than eight tests with no review.


What's Next?

Want more tips for IB English? Then check out our complete IB English study guide for all the info you need.

Impatient to get your IB scores? Learn when IB results and scores come out.

Did you know that you can take some IB classes online? Check out our complete guide to online IB courses, including which classes you can take online and if you can get an online IB diploma.


One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose to take in high school (in conjunction with how well you do in those classes). Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule. We'll advise you on how to balance your schedule between regular and honors/AP/IB courses, how to choose your extracurriculars, and what classes you can't afford not to take.

Plan Your Course Schedule


Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
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.

Get Free Guides to Boost Your SAT/ACT
100% Privacy. No spam ever.

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!