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Every IB English Past Paper Available: Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 9, 2015 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 (If you were looking for IB English B, we may be adding that article later. Check back soon!). 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.

Where to Find Free IB English Past Papers

Caution: These tests should be used at your own risk because they are hosted on other sites, not by the IBO. 

IB English Literature SL 

IB English Literature HL

IB English Language and Literature SL




IB English Language and Literature HL

IB Literature and Performance SL

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. 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 to 2015 online.

Unfortunately, the IBO sells each paper and mark scheme individually (bleh); each one costs 1.99 Pounds or just over $3. One full IB English test (with both papers and mark schemes) will cost you about $12. Buying all of the past papers from 2013 to 2015 will be expensive. I recommend only buying the most recent (November 2014 and May 2015) past papers since those tests will be closest to your own.

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 2 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.  



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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 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 2 practice tests with good review than 8 tests with no review.


What’s Next?

Learn more about IB English:

  • IB English Study Guide (Coming Soon!)

Learn more about IB:


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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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