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

Posted by Dora Seigel | Aug 18, 2019 11:00:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)


IB Math SL and IB Math HL are two of the toughest classes in the IB curriculum. It’s no surprise if you need a little extra help in either class.

I’ve compiled this article of the best free online materials for IB Math SL/HL so you can get all the IB Math notes you need in one place. For convenience, I ordered the resources following the IB Math SL/HL syllabus.


How To Use This IB Math Guide

If you’re in search of information on one topic, use the Command + F function on your computer to search this guide for that specific topic. For instance, if you want to read about Algebraic Sequences, use Command + F to bring up the search function. Type “Algebraic Sequences,” and you’re computer will show you all of the study materials for Algebraic Sequences listed in this article.

I split the material into three categories:

  • Broad Notes: Longer (generally 3-10 pages) that provide an overview of most or all of the subjects covered in a topic.
  • Specific Subject: Shorter summaries of specific subjects within a topic.
  • Video: demonstration videos of how to solve past paper problems related to the subject.


Common Study Errors IB Math SL/HL Students Make

IB Math SL/HL cover a lot of material. With so much material, you can’t afford to fall behind because you won’t be able to catch back up. You need to master the subjects during the school year in order to excel on the IB Math SL/HL papers. Common errors are:

  • Ignoring the material you don’t understand. If you didn’t understand it from your teacher, you need to look for outside help. This IB Math Study Guide is a good start, but you might need to supplement with outside tutoring, too.
  • Only studying right before the IB Math SL/HL papers. As I said before, there are too many topics for both courses to master in only a couple weeks (that’s why these courses are spread over a couple years). Master the subjects when you’re learning them in class! If you're still struggling, this guide can help...but don't be afraid to get tutoring from a teacher or other expert. 



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Core Topics—140 Hours for SL and 182 Hours for HL

For IB Math SL and HL, all students study the topics listed below. Here are a complete set of IB Math notes.


Complete IB Math Overview: Standard Level

This 167-page set of notes includes every topic covered in IB Math SL. It's definitely not something you want to read in one night, but it's great to reference as you review different IB Math topics. It's highly organized, so you can search the table of contents to find the exact topic you want to study.


Topic 1: Algebra


Topic 2: Functions and Equations


Topic 3: Circular Functions and Trigonometry


Topic 4: Vectors


Topic 5: Statistics and Probability


Topic 6: Calculus


Options—48 Hours for HL Only

IB Math HL students study one of the following four options listed below. There are fewer written notes for these topics, but you still have many videos and practice questions to use for your review.


Topic 7: Statistics and Probability


Topic 8: Sets, Relations, and Groups


Topic 9: Calculus


Topic 10: Discrete Mathematics



Summary: The Best IB Math Study Materials

IB Math has six core topics that both SL and HL students study, as well as one of four options that HL students will also study. There are many free IB Math notes and study resources available online, especially when compared to other IB classes, which often have few high-quality online resources. This makes it easier to keep up with what you're learning in IB Math and be prepared for all the exams for the class.

There are multiple types of IB Math study resources, including general study guides, in-depth notes, and videos you can watch. Try out each of them to see which ones work best with your study style. Remember, you want to study early and consistently in order to be well prepared throughout the school year.




What’s Next?

Learn more about IB Math:

Looking for more resources for IB Math review? Check out our articles on trig identities, completing the square, finding the mean of a set of numbers, and calculating statistical significance.

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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