IB Spotlight: Mathematics

IB Spotlight: Mathematics

A student’s experience studying IB Mathematics is this week’s IB Spotlight focus. IB Mathematics is designed to not only develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles, but also foster logical, critical and creative thinking. It also aims to give students an appreciation of the international dimensions surrounding the subject and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives.

Sharing his thoughts this week is AIS Year 13 student, Bao Khanh. He reveals the ups and downs of studying IB Mathematics at higher level, his reasoning for choosing the subject, and what interests him most about it.

One…Two…Three…Four…. That was how mathematics all began for me. Growing up, it was a vital subject and the foundation for almost all other subjects. Maths relates to everything that we do in life. At least that was what I was told…

Mathematics is a compulsory subject in the IB Diploma. When talking about Maths, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds is how much they dislike finding ‘x’. Personally, I have mixed feelings on the subject, sometimes it is intriguing, other times dreadful.

Studying IB Mathematics as a higher-level subject, I have found that some of the topics from the course were quite similar to the IGCSE Additional Maths course. The IB curriculum in Mathematics Analysis and Approaches wants students to explore and dive deeper into the world of Mathematics, refining their skills and their mathematical techniques. It is related more to pure Mathematics.

For me, one of the most interesting things about Maths is that there is always a right answer. Unlike English or Business, there is a definite solution. The subject itself is straightforward, yet difficult in a way that makes students cry the night before their exams. Maths is fun, but only when it makes sense. If you ask me, one of the most interesting things about Maths is the disagreements between my classmates and I when our solutions are different. We would try really hard to prove each other wrong, only to find out in the end that we were all wrong. Mathematics enhances my ability to approach problems in different ways; at times, even though there is one solution, there are many paths to that solution. It gives me a different outlook in life, where people might take different paths to get to the same destination.

One thing that I want to pursue in the future is Computer Science. I think Mathematics will help me a lot in this course as it covers a lot of methodology and calculation aspects of each program that is created. Computer-related courses and jobs often contain algorithms and mathematics, and therefore by doing the course at a higher level, this will help me practise those techniques and hopefully I will be able to apply them in my future career.

I think that mathematics is relevant for everyone. It has its own unique ‘language’ that we all agree to and understand. My tip for younger students doing Maths is about practising it regularly. I think Maths is more about doing the work than rather just understanding it. The more a student can practise, the more likely they will understand the topics.

Bao Khanh

Year 13 Student at AIS

To find out more about studying IB Mathematics at AIS, or about the IB Diploma in general, check out AIS’s complete comprehensive curriculum guide, which includes IB Programme FAQs, 10 reasons why you should study IB, and an IB Diploma Handbook: https://www.aisvietnam.com/curriculum/ib-diploma/