New Maths Syllabus

New IB Maths Syllabus

IB is proposing a whole new syllabus for Maths to be implemented from classes starting in 2019.

The new IB Maths syllabus seems nothing like the system we have now. How will this possibly affect students, schools, and even UCAS?

It’s first important to look at the new changes being implemented and examine the differences when compared to our current system. There will be two subjects in Group 5, both of which will be offered in SL and HL:

Mathematics: Analysis and approaches

  • “construction of mathematical arguments and develop strong skills in mathematical thinking”
  • “real and abstract applications”
  • “mathematical problem solving and generalisation”

Mathematics: Applications and interpretation

  • “developing mathematics for describing our world, modelling and solving practical problems using the power of technology”
  • “mathematics seen in a practical context”


  • SL students: two externally assessed written papers and the internal assessment
  • HL students: three externally assessed written papers and the internal assessment

There are some more changes brought into the syllabus. Most noticeably, Mathematical studies (SL) and Further mathematics (HL) are no longer available. For students who would have taken Mathematical studies SL, Applications and interpretation SL course is designed to be most applicable.

There are also no more options available for higher level students. Some of the topics that are currently available as HL options will be introduced as topics in HL of the two new maths subjects. Calculus options will be included in Mathematics: Analysis and approaches HL, and statistics and discrete options will be included in Mathematics: Applications and interpretation HL.

Schools are likely to have four separate classes for Analysis and approaches SL and HL and Applications and interpretation SL and HL. Teachers will need to familiarise themselves with the new syllabus and the different assessment methods.

Regarding university choices, students applying to courses that previously required Mathematics HL will need to take the Mathematics: Analysis and approaches course. Students applying to other courses which do not require maths as a necessary subject will be sufficiently prepared by the Mathematics: Applications and interpretation course. It is likely that universities will recognise the significant change in the IB maths syllabus and set new requirements for subject and level for particular courses where necessary.

You can read more about what the IB says here.