[Group5][Tips]Which books to study for IB Maths HL?

[Group5][Tips]Which books to study for IB Maths HL?

There are a lot of great books out there to study for IB Math. There are mainly 4 major publications that I recommend everyone for IB math preparation regardless of Higher Level or Standard Level. 4 major publications are

1)      Haese Publication

2)      Oxford University Press

3)      Cambridge University Press

4)      Pearson

Among these four, Haese is the most favored publication by IB schools; despite its lack of touch on IB exam type questions, its online support and user friendly textbook attracted many teachers to prefer this book over the others. I personally think it has the charm with easy interaction on PDF version, and on its last chapter ‘Miscellaneous’ section you can enjoy a lot of IB exam type questions. Today, I’d like to talk about pros/cons of each major publication (except for Pearson) and the strategies for you to prepare the 2-years-journey of IB mathematics.


1)      Haese Publication:

-           it has great alignment of 6 core topics as well as the detailed subject of each topic.

-           Chapters end with relatively easy one-way application questions. Exercises do not show which question is relevant to exam type question.

-           It has great chapters on Trigonometry, Vectors, Optimization and Related Rates, Probability and Counting (Permutation and Combination).

-           It is highly recommended that you attempt to finish this book around the summer before DP2.

2)      Oxford University Press

-           Its allocation of chapters spread out too widely, especially Calculus part.

-           Each Exercise part of chapters consists of great diversity and well-prepared exam style questions.

-           It has many errors in question and answers

-           However, I personally believe it has had the most relevant IB exam questions up to 2016.

-           It has great chapters on Complex, Integration, Statistics and Trigonometric Function.

3)      Cambridge University Press

-           In my opinion, it is the best book to study in DP2 after completion of Haese in DP1.

-           I do not recommend this book for DP1. After going the full cycle of core topics with Haese, candidates should try this book for more advanced questions and learn tricks for IB exam preparation.

-           Its alignment is the best one yet for IB exam preparation; its organized route to experience IB questions really feels the publisher did a wonderful job. Its mixed questions are very relevant to IB exam questions.

-           It has great chapters on Function/Calculus/Complex/Trigonometry.


Regardless of your level, I think studying with HL books really help you succeed both SL and HL. For the matter of time, it is only 40 extra more hours for HL to be taught at school than for SL. In terms of content, HL does not differentiate that much from SL. It is the only matter of how much the exam question gets complicated and requires logical processing. For the current shift of SL exam question, (please do refer to my first article) I believe Haese gives great understanding for SL. For HL, you should complete Haese book after DP1, then use OUP and CUP vice versa until your exam period.

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One thing I'd like to mention with Cambridge university press book for maths HL is that sadly it contains quite a few errors - both in the examples and in the answer book. It's a great book with the assistance of a teacher who can help if you were to come across a mistake. With it I recommend the solutions manual which gives a step-by-step guide for most of the questions. 


Overall a very good list, definitely am going to use it! 

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