IB DP- Mathematics: Application & Interpretation

It is a requirement of the programme that students study at least one course in mathematics. Students can only study one course out of three in mathematics. All DP
mathematics courses serve to accommodate the range of needs, interests and abilities of students, and to fulfill the requirements of various university and career aspirations.

The aims of these courses are to enable students to:

  • Develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles
  • Develop logical, critical and creative thinking
  • Employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization.

Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives.

Here we discuss Mathematics: Application and Interpretation

The IB DP Mathematics: applications and interpretation course recognizes the increasing role that mathematics and technology play in a diverse range of fields in a data-rich world. As such, it emphasizes the meaning of mathematics in context by focusing on topics that are often used as applications or in mathematical modelling. To give this understanding a firm base, this course includes topics that are traditionally part of a pre-university mathematics course such as calculus and statistics. Students are encouraged to solve real-world problems, construct and communicate this mathematically and interpret the conclusions or generalizations.

Students should expect to develop strong technology skills, and will be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between the theoretical and the practical concepts in mathematics. All external assessments involve the use of technology. Students are also encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.

The course emphasises the applied nature of the subject and is designed for students who wish to understand how mathematics relates to the real world and to other subjects. This course is suitable for students who may go on to further study in subjects that utilise mathematics in this way such as social sciences, natural sciences, statistics, business, psychology or design.


Aims of the Course

The aims of all DP mathematics courses are to enable students to:

  • Develop a curiosity and enjoyment of mathematics, and appreciate its
    elegance and power
  • Develop an understanding of the concepts, principles and nature of mathematics
  • Communicate mathematics clearly, concisely and confidently in a variety of contexts
  • Develop logical and creative thinking, and patience and persistence in problem solving to instil confidence in using mathematics
  • Employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization
  • Take action to apply and transfer skills to alternative situations, to other areas of knowledge and to future developments in their local and Global communities
  • Appreciate how developments in technology and mathematics influence each other
  • Appreciate the moral, social and ethical questions arising from the work of mathematicians and the applications of mathematics
  • Appreciate the universality of mathematics and its multicultural, international and historical perspectives
  • Appreciate the contribution of mathematics to other disciplines, and as a particular “area of knowledge” in the TOK course
  • Develop the ability to reflect critically upon their own work and the work of others
  • Independently and collaboratively extend their understanding of mathematics.

Curriculum Model Overview

  • Number and algebra
    Recommended teaching hours- 16/SL, 29/HL

  • Functions
    Recommended teaching hours-31/SL, 42/HL

  • Geometry and trigonometry
    Recommended teaching hours-18/SL, 46/HL

  • Statistics and probability
    Recommended teaching hours-36/SL, 52/HL

  • Calculus
    Recommended teaching hours-19/SL, 41/HL

  • Development of investigational, problem-solving and modelling skills and the exploration of an area of mathematics
    Recommended teaching hours-30/SL, 30/HL


Assessment Model

Problem-solving is central to learning mathematics and involves the acquisition of mathematical skills and concepts in a wide range of situations, including non routine, open-ended and real-world problems.

The assessment objectives are common to Mathematics: applications and
interpretation and to Mathematics: analysis and approaches.

  • Knowledge and understanding: Recall, select and use their knowledge of mathematical facts, concepts and techniques in a variety of familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
  • Problem solving: Recall, select and use their knowledge of mathematical skills, results and models in both abstract and real-world contexts to solve problems.
  • Communication and interpretation: Transform common realistic contexts into mathematics; comment on the context; sketch or draw mathematical diagrams, graphs or constructions both on paper and using technology; record methods, solutions and conclusions using standardized notation; use appropriate notation and terminology.
  • Technology: Use technology accurately, appropriately and efficiently both to explore new ideas and to solve problems.
  • Reasoning: Construct mathematical arguments through use of precise statements, logical deduction and inference and by the manipulation of mathematical expressions.
  • Inquiry approaches: Investigate unfamiliar situations, both abstract and from the real world, involving organizing and analyzing information, making conjectures, drawing conclusions, and testing their validity.

The exploration is an integral part of the course and its assessment, and is
compulsory for both SL and HL students. It enables students to demonstrate
the application of their skills and knowledge, and to pursue their personal
interests, without the time limitations and other constraints that are
associated with written examinations.

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IB DP- Mathematics: Application & Interpretation
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