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Most common IB Business Questions Part 2

Most common question students ask about IB Business- Part 2


As I mentioned in my previous post, I get a lot of questions about IB Business as a subject that are repeated year after year. If you want to take a look at that post, click here.


So here is round two of the most common questions that I get from students and parents alike.


1.     What is the internal assessment like in IB Business?


Since the change of syllabus in 2022, the IA (internal assessment), the IA for standard level and high level are the same. Students need to find a company that is facing an issue, considering a decision, or recently made a decision. Students must find something that has happened in the three years prior to submission. This means that more or less two years from when they start writing.


Once students have chosen a topic, they need to find three to five source documents within the time frame based on the company and decision they have chosen. These source documents need to represent a variety of viewpoints, positive and negative, internal vs external, etc. Then, using tools from the course, students need to comment on this decision and if it will have the desired outcome for the business. If you need more help or guidance on the IA, check out this guide on how to write and advise students on the IA.


2.     How many papers are there in IB Business?


Since the change in syllabus in 2022/24 there are now 2 papers for SL Business and 3 papers for HL Business.


Paper 1- the same paper for both HL and SL. It is based on a pre-released paragraph about a business. This pre-released statement includes key words about the business and industry that students need to research in advance. However, the majority of the case study is given in the exam, so it is harder to prepare than in previous years. However, each year I make some mock exams to help with exam technique and timing. You can check out the latest one here.


Paper 2 is calculation focused. High level (HL) students have 3 mandatory case studies that are quantitative focused while standard level (SL) students have 2 obligatory case studies. Then Section B is a case study worth 20 marks with a 10 mark question at the end.


Paper 3 is a high level (HL) only paper. This is focused on a social enterprise. Students must identify the need that is being met by the social enterprise, explain two problems it is facing and then complete an action plan based on their issues to help them sustain their business for more years to come. The action plan can be a tricky question to answer and is 17 marks long! If you want a break-down of how to approach the 17 mark question, click here.

Most common IB Business questions


3.     Do I have to have studied business before to do IB Business?


This is really school dependent so ask your teacher or IB coordinator about the possibilities. However, the IB guide says that students do not need prior knowledge to take the IB Business course. Students who have taken it at a previous level, will understand some of the first topics better, but IB Business goes into a lot more depth and has specific ways to answer questions.


4.     Is IB Business fun?


I think IB Business is lots of fun and applicable to every degree a student might study and can be applied to what they see in everyday life. Each teacher is going to be different, but with my materials, I try to include engaging activities, interesting discussion, real life businesses that are unique, and a mix of other entertaining tasks to make it fun for students. If you want these resources, check out my store for all of the options!


5.     Is it hard to get a 7 in IB Business?


If you saw the table in my previous post, you will know that only 8.7% of students taking high level get a 7 in IB Business and only 12.5% of standard level students get a 7. So, statistically speaking, it is hard to get a 7 in IB Business. But, with a good grasp on the theory and practicing with past exams or case studies, students have a good chance of getting a 6 or 7.


6.     What other subjects combine well with IB Business?


The wonderful thing about the IB is that you are not limited to only choosing a few subjects. You get a broad range of subjects that suit your interests. Unless your degree program requires a certain mix or your school only allows certain subject be taken together, then really most subjects pair well together. At this stage, I really think it’s more important to choose a range of subjects and find out what you enjoy. A subject might surprise you and change the course of what you want to study in the future.

Have I missed any questions? Write any questions you have about IB Business below!

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