To the uninitiated, it may be surprising to learn that the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme contains not just one, but two different math subjects. In 2019, the two older math subjects – Mathematics and Maths Studies – were replaced by new syllabi, now called “Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (AA)” and “Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation (AI)”.
Both subjects can be taken at the Standard Level (SL) or HL (Higher Level), with SL containing a subset of the content in the HL syllabus. Students are required to choose out of the two math courses to fulfil the IBDP subject requirements.
Why did the syllabus change?
According to the examining board IB Organisation (IBO), the two new math syllabi are entirely new courses designed to keep up with the skills and abilities prized in these evolving times. There is now more emphasis on critical thinking skills and other 21st Century skills, including the use of technology to solve mathematical problems.
From the perspective of the assessment body, the new syllabus also aims to offer more options to students to cater to their abilities and academic goals, while hopefully addressing the low take up rate of HL Math in the IB DP.