If you want to do well on your IB exams (which you should since acing them will get you college credits!), you need to prepare as you would for any other standardized test: with practice tests.
But preparing for an IB exam doesn't simply mean reviewing your class notes. You should use IB Business Management past papers as practice tests so that you feel prepared for the length, format, and types of questions asked.
In this article, we'll provide you with links to IB Business Management past papers, free and official. Additionally, we'll give you advice on how to use them to ace the real IB Business Management test.
2022 IB Exam Changes Due to COVID-19
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the IB has decided to extend the adaptations which were put in place for 2021 to 2022. May 2022 IB assessments will have two routes, exam and non-exam, depending on which your school chooses. Currently they plan to return to their regular assessment process in the Spring of 2023.
Stay up to date with the latest information on what this means for IB diplomas, course credit for IB classes, and more with our our IB COVID-19 FAQ article.
New IB Business Management Course
The IB organization recently unveiled the new curriculum for Business Management that they will begin teaching in August 2022. The good news is, this new curriculum won’t affect students currently in the program who will take exams May 2022-Nov 2023.
For those of you out there who are planning to start taking the course in August for the 2022-2024 cycle, here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know (you can also find the IB’s official update here):
- The first assessment of the new curriculum will be May 2024. Exams should remain roughly the same until then.
- The new curriculum will revolve around four major interdisciplinary concepts: creativity, change, ethics, and sustainability. These concepts will be used as frameworks for understanding the connections between each unit and the course as a whole.
- New features of the course include “inquiry statements” in each unit designed to develop students’ higher-order thinking skills and knowledge of current issues in the business world, as well as a “business management toolkit” full of analytical tools that can be used in several interdisciplinary contexts during their education and beyond. The topics covered, and the organization of the units will also be changing. You can find the new Business Management SL full course and assessment brief, and the Business Management HL full brief.
- Business Management exam papers are also being updated in 2024 to test the four new major concepts. The two big changes are the addition of a 3rd paper for HL students, and a different breakdown of time allowed for each paper. SL students will have an hour and 30 minutes for each of their two papers, and HL students will have an hour and 30 minutes for paper 1, an hour and 45 minutes for paper 2, and an hour and 15 minutes for the new paper 3.
- Paper 1 will be an evaluation of an unseen case study. Previously students were given a case study to focus on for the exam. In 2024, students will get a pre-released statement that specifies the context and background of the case study they’ll be expected to evaluate, but not the case study itself. Instead, students will be expected to apply their research-based knowledge flexibly, like a professional would be expected to.
- Paper 2 will be an in-depth quantitative analysis and evaluation of unseen stimulus material. Again, in previous years this stimulus material was released ahead of time. For 2024, students will be asked to apply the business management theories and tools they’ve learned to any business context.
- The newly added Paper 3 will be about social enterprise. It will require that students “identify and describe a human need and the potential organizational challenges facing the social entrepreneur wanting to meet this need.” Then, students will need to recommend a course of action for the business being discussed.
If you’ll be taking your Business Management exam in 2024 or later, the links included below won’t exactly replicate what you’ll see on your assessment. However, they can help you practice writing about the concepts you’ve learned in the amount of time allowed on the test, and you’ll get valuable experience that can help you reduce your test anxiety before the big day!
For those who are taking the exam in the next couple years, keep reading for the best past papers to practice with.
Free IB Business and Management Past Papers Links
The IB has cracked down on illegally uploaded real past papers in the last few years, so many previous sources are no longer available.
Compounding this problem, the IB so far has not provided any free sample IB Business and Management exam papers on its website. We'll be sure to update this article as soon as they do with links, though!
While searching for "free IB Business and Management papers" online might still turn up some results, we do not recommend using them, as there's no guarantee those papers are real past IB papers. Instead, we suggest using the relatively inexpensive official paid IB past papers and mark schemes for further practice. This will give you the most accurate testing experience and score results.
That said, if you’re on a tight budget and want at least some practice for free, check out the following links (just be sure to double check your syllabus to ensure the questions are relevant, and make sure you’re still timing yourself accurately!):
- PowerSchool Learning has unofficial Business Management papers for both SL and HL.
- IBResources.org also has tons of Business Management specimen papers available for free for SL and HL.
Also be sure to check out the sample exam questions at the end of your course brief. Even though they don’t come with a mark scheme to allow you to review how you did, they’ll still give you a chance to study the concepts and practice writing in the time allowed. Plus, these are official!
These past papers will set you back a little cash, but they're also official--which means they're high-quality resources.
Paid IB Business Management Past Papers Links
To download safe and official IB Business Management SL/HL past papers and mark schemes, purchase them from the Follet IB store directly.
Currently, the store offers several sets of English-language IB Business Management SL and HL past papers from 2015 through 2021. There are a small number of past IB Business and Management papers in French and Spanish available as well.
The IB sells each of their older papers and mark schemes individually. These individual papers or mark schemes cost either $3 or $3.99 (depending on how old they are). The most recent past papers are sold with included mark schemes for $7.99. Either way, this means that a full test with all papers and mark schemes costs anywhere from $12 to $16 before tax.
Buying everything on this site will be costly (not to mention it'll be in different languages!), so we recommend that you only buy the most recent (2020-2021) papers. These will be the most similar to your IB Business Management exam, and two exams should provide you with plenty of practice.
How to Use IB Business Management Practice Exams
An IB Business Management test will take you three hours for SL or four and a half hours for HL. If you're going to invest that much time, you'll need to be maximizing your learning from these tests.
To make sure you get the most out of each Business Management practice test, follow these three essential tips.
#1: Spread Out the Test Over Two Days
Typically, IB Business Management Paper 1 and Paper 2 are held on two separate days before and after a weekend. If possible, you should copy this schedule exactly so that your practice can be as realistic as possible. At the very least, make sure you're taking the two papers on two different days.
Having to hold on to the information over multiple days (with a weekend in between!) makes it difficult to cram for the IB Business Management test. You'll need to have mastered the IB Business Management concepts and be able to write intelligently about them.
#2: Use Exact Timing
It's important that you time yourself so that you force yourself to practice your pacing. The time historically allowed per IB Business Management paper has been as follows:
- Business Management SL
- Paper 1: One hour 15 minutes
- Paper 2: One hour 45 minutes
- Business Management HL
- Paper 1: Two hours 15 minutes
- Paper 2: Two hours 15 minutes
However, when the new assessment begins in 2024, the timing will be different (although the total time will still be the same):
- Business Management SL
- Paper 1: One hour 30 minutes
- Paper 2: One hour 30 minutes
- Business Management HL
- Paper 1: One hour 30 minutes
- Paper 2: One hour 45 minutes
- Paper 3: One hour 15 minutes (that’s right, there’s an added paper!)
Because the test structure is changing as well as the curriculum, be sure to double check with your teacher how the timing will work for the exam in 2023. The new curriculum won’t be on that test, but there’s no word yet on whether or not they intend to go ahead and change the timing in 2023.
That said, do not stray from this timing, not even by a minute. You need to get used to the actual exam timing. Also, you'll get an inflated practice exam score if you allow yourself extra time. Don't do it! Stick to the actual timing so that you have a realistic indicator of your IB score.
#3: Review, Review, Review!
And now we get to the most important tip: after completing your IB Business Management papers, review your exam using the mark scheme.
Why do you need to review? Reviewing helps you figure out what mistakes you're making and what information you don't know before you take the real exam. If you don't check your answers on your practice test(s), you'll make the same mistakes on the actual IB Business Management test.
Take some time (at minimum an hour per paper) to review your answers. Taking one IB Business Management practice test with in-depth review is far superior to taking eight tests without review!
Want more information on the IB program? Learn how it works with our introductory guide and see a list of all the courses you can take in the IB Diploma Programme.
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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.