Exam Resources

There are two examinations for SL students and three for HL students. 

Paper 1 – Themes
This exam is based on the optional themes that you have chosen to study. The first section of each optional question is worth 10 marks and contains a series of  structured questions based around a graphic / map to test knowledge & understanding.

The section section has two 10 mark questions. You choose to answer one only

Each question will take you 45 minutes to complete. 

Paper 2 – Core (Global Change) 

This exam is split into three sections, A, B & C. 

Section A contains question 1, 2 & 3. These are the short response questions from the Core (Population, Climate & Resources). There are 30 marks available here. Time taken 35 minutes. 

Section B contains question 4 and is the Infographic question. There are 10 marks available for this question and the activities will test you ability to read and critique the graphic that will be present in your insert. Time taken, 10-15 mins

Section C contains question 5 and 6.  Both these questions are 10 mark essay questions and you will be required to answer ONE QUESTION only. The questions will likely link together two or more parts of the core (e.g. climate change and population movement). Time taken 20 minutes. 

Paper 3 – Core Extension (Global Interactions) 

This paper is completed by HL students only. 

The paper contains 3 combination questions. Each combination has a 12 and 16 mark essay to complete. The 12 mark question is often focused on a specific area of the Interactions unit whereas the 16 mark question will allow you to link in many different parts of the IB course to effectively answer the question. You answer one combination only. 

Dealing with Essay Questions

Look carefully at the essay title and carry out the following:
Underline the key words in the title

  1. Use the L.I.S.T. checklist below to ensure that you give the essay title its broadest interpretation:
  • L – LOCATION (spatial context): poor/rich countries; rural/urban areas; tropical/temperate; land/air/sea; marine/terrestrial/atmospheric
  • I – ISSUES (factors): positive/negative, advantages/disadvantages, costs/benefits, human/physical, environmental, social, cultural, demographic, political, economic, geographic
  • S – SCALE: global, regional, international, national, sub-national, local
  • T – TIME: long-term/medium-term/short-term; past/present/future; contemporary/recent/current

​(note that some of the items in the L.I.S.T. may not be relevant to the essay)

Making a great start to the essayA good introduction must be brief and include the following 3 elements:

  1. Define the key words of the title (e.g. “globalization”, “physical water scarcity”, “megacity”)
  2. Formulate the question: use or rephrase the essay title, suggest possible sub-questions which may be relevant to the essay
  3. Announce the structure/plan that will be used to answer the question: however do NOT “conclude” by giving away your key arguments in the introduction. Rather, indicate the path you’ll follow (e.g. “we will first examine this aspect, then evaluate this this aspect, and finally look into this aspect”). Don’t be afraid to mention the relevant 4P’s & SDG’s and underline them too to draw attention to the 
  4. Skip 2-3 lines after the introduction so that there is no doubt for the reader that you are now beginning the body of the essay.

SL Essay Advice

Paper 1 – Themes – You will answer (HL – 3 and SL – 2) questions in total. Each question is split up into a structured section  worth 10 marks  followed by a choice of one of two 10 mark essay questions. The 10 mark essay questions will include A03 command terms. 

These WILL REQUIRE YOU to make a judgment based on evidence and when relevant construct an argument.

Paper 2 – You will answer one of two 10 mark questions. The questions should contain an A03 command term such as ‘To what extent’…

Mark scheme for 10-mark question – here

HL Essay Advice

Look again carefully, the 12 mark questions are generally AO2  (analyse, explain etc)

Paper 3 – The 16 mark ones are only AO3 (Examine, discuss etc). These WILL REQUIRE YOU to make a judgment based on evidence and when relevant construct an argument.

The mark scheme for each 12 & 16 mark question is different. Synthesis and evaluation is not required for 12 marks but is for 16 marks .  In effect, one is a high scoring short answer the other is an essay.

Mark Scheme For 16-mark question – here

Mark Scheme For 12-Mark question – here