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New IB diploma textbooks

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by David Getling, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    In the last month or so I've had a really good look at the three new books, published by Oxford University Press, that have been written specifically for the new 2012 syllabus: HL, SL and Studies books.

    I imagine that many school will continue using their existing books. However, if you are restocking I would thoroughly recommend these books. They are attractively presented in a style very similar to Edexcel's texts, and the GDC examples are based on the the TI-Nspire. There's also a CD which, among other things, contains the entire book and PDFs for those unwilling to give up their Casio or TI-84.

    On a separate topic, now that Further Maths is a HL option how many schools out there are going to offer it? I imagine that quite a few of the more mathematically able students would be very happy to trade in their biology or chemistry HL for a second one in maths.
  2. I had a look at these and agree they look nice, my only concern was there didn't seem to be very many questions, I'm going to get a copy to have a proper look through this term. I've been using the Quadling books by CUP which are great but include no technology guidance at all...
  3. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Could I just ask from someone who knows very little about the IB, is the SL any more difficult that A-level. The reason I ask is because I have seen some past papers and it doesn't look that more challenging, indeed it's almost like they only test small chunks of the curriculum.

  4. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    We are going to be using the Oxford books and probably also get the Pearson books in.
    In terms of questions, there is a fantastic set of old question books around by the IBID press called Student Resource books. They were printed for HL, Maths Methods and Studies back in 2003.
    Naturally some of the questions are not relevant, but all the books contain are questions on all topics, set at different levels, with worked solutions. I found them last year while rooting around in the maths department library at my place.
    Sadly, they may be out of print now...
    Further Mathematics HL. Hmm. We have offered the SL version off and on in the past and I am hoping that there will be some interest from students in a year or so's time for the HL version, but we will see. We are certainly keen to offer it and the whole department is keen to teach it, but most of our students are happy with HL Maths and HL Physics as their choices, with a third language as their Group 6. Until the universities start asking for FM HL specifically, I don't think the demand will be very high.
    I would be very happy to be proven wrong though!
  5. No IB Maths SL is no more difficult in terms of content to A-level Maths if anything it is probably a little easier (and only includes stats in terms of applied maths), however it is taught on half the time to A-level Maths in my school, so the students have to be much more self-motivated!!
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    There are very valid viewpoints both for and against.
    I last taught A Levels over a decade ago, and my memory seems to tell me that SL is just as strong. However, I may just be remembering everything in a hazy glow misremembered nostalgia ( or lack of it ).
    When on conferences and chatting to people who teach both, they don't seem to see much difference between them. Although the current thinking seems to be that HL Maths is as difficult as FM A Level, which I find very surprising as I always thought FM A Level was stronger.
    The one weakness in IB Mathematics, in my opinion, is that it contains no mechanics.

  7. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Thanks AnotherMathsHOD
    I assume HL is much more difficult than a-level maths.
    I was also looking at the Cambridge Pre-U mathematics too (just out of interest) and this (to me) doesn't look any more difficult and subject content seems less (I may be wrong), plus its 3 x 2 hour papers sat at end of course. I was just interest as the IB and Pre-U are promoted by Gove and universities and interested to see how it compares

  8. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I haven't used the core books, but used the statistics one for the HL option, which I would agree is excellent. However, as you said technology guidance was not a strong point.
  9. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Technology guidance is a must.
    Paper 2 for both HL and SL assume complete knowledge on how to use the calculator and the questions are written with this in mind.
    The 2014 Information Booklets no longer contain Stats tables ( not that they were ever used ) and only the Ti-84 and the Ti-Nspire calculators are recommended ( from the Texas stable ).

  10. pencho

    pencho New commenter

    Thanks Karvol for the input. I don't teach it and never have,but I just how it is meant to be far more rigourous etc..., but I was surprised about the level of the papers - I thought they would be more difficult and also subject content seemed limited. granted I have only had a look at a few papers from previous years. I have no comment either way.
    I realise the Ib is about more than just the subjects etc... I'm assuming you would not go on to study maths at University if you had only done SL maths - is that right?
  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Universities will require a minimum of a 6 in HL Maths with at least 34 points overall to get on to a maths degree.
    The problem with the IB is that the students need to take 6 separate subjects - 3 at HL and 3 at SL. The SL require approximately 180 hours of teaching and the HL approximatel 240 Hours. All exams are sat at the end of two years - although one can "anticipate" some exams and sit them at the end of one year. This is the full exam, though. In addition to this there is the World Lit essay, the ToK essay, the Extended Essay and the CAS requirements.
    Each subject is awarded up to 7 points and the EE and ToK essays combine to give a further 3 points, although some universities ignore the 3 bonus points. So typical request is out of 42 points, not 45.
    Typical entry requirements to Russell Group unis start at 34 points and go up to 39 points depending upon location ( London and Oxbridge are the more pernickety ).
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Well, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I can recall my maths teacher telling us that we would be doing stats rather than mechanics because the latter would all be covered in physics - which it was. So maybe this is the IBO's rational for excluding this from its maths syllabus.

    As for which is harder, both at SL and HL, I would say that it really depends on which modules are chosen at A-level, and which option is chosen for HL.

    Having said this, and looking at the new syllabus, I think that HL Futher Maths will now win the accolade of being hardest. Of course, as I asked at the start of the this thread, I'll be very interested to see how many schools will offer this.

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