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Everything You Need to Know about the New IB Business Syllabus for 2024

The new IB Business course is well underway, with 2024 marked as the first year of assessment under this new syllabus. Today, we’ll be unpacking the new course and comparing it to the old course - for you IB students, this will help you gain a better understanding of how past papers, existing strategies, notes and exemplar assessments can still be utilised to your advantage!


Syllabus Content


First of all, don’t stress about the content changes, they are not drastic. The course is still structured around the same 5 topics:


  1. Introduction to Business Management

  2. Human Resources

  3. Finance

  4. Marketing

  5. Operations


Many of the sub-topics have stayed the same or simply had the same content reorganised, however there are many new terms, theories and business tools to discover. There have also been some changes to the key concepts, with only four new concepts: Change, Ethics, Sustainability and Creativity (they also have a larger role to play in the course, but we’ll get to that later!)


Fortunately, we have updated our IB Solved Business Study Notes to the new syllabus content in advance of the first examinations in 2024! These notes were updated by our CEO (yours truly!) who has been teaching the IB Business course for over 5 years, after scoring a high Band 7 in IB Business in 2018. Our IB tutors have also been specially trained on this new course, so they are well-equipped to guide you on your IB business journey!


External Assessment


Each time an IB syllabus changes, they release ‘Sample Papers’ which give an idea of the new assessment scheme. There have been some big changes to the way IB Business is now assessed, outlined below.


Paper 1

  • All sections of this exam are now the same for SL and HL.

  • Instead of pre-releasing the full case study, you are now given a pre-released summary statement which gives a smaller extract of the case study and some key topics/themes.

  • The questions are generally qualitative, with more short-answer questions in Section A (comprising 20 marks) and just one 10 mark question for Section B.


Paper 2

  • The small ‘case studies’ are now split up into parts, with questions asked intermittently rather than all at the end.

  • Questions are far more quantitative and tend to involve more diagrams, tables and charts rather than just simple text as in the old syllabus.

  • There are more questions, worth lower marks.


Paper 3 (HL only)

  • This is an entirely new paper, only for HL students, focused on social enterprises (for-profit and non-profit).

  • Students are provided stimulus material on a fictitious company including extracts from news articles, posts and emails.

  • The first two questions are short answer (2 marks and 6 marks) whilst the third is an extended response which requires students to recommend a plan of action for 17 marks.


Ok so for those of you who have never seen an IB Business paper before, you are probably still wondering, is there a lot of change? Yes, however rest assured that our IB tutors are amongst the few who have been brought up to speed with these changes. They have been given the best strategies and resources to tackle these new assessments, and they are so excited to share them with you!


Internal Assessment


There have also been big changes to the internal assessment, worth 30% for SL students and 20% for HL students:


  • The IA is now the same for both SL and HL students.

  • This IA looks far more like the old SL commentary than the old HL extended report, as the broad structure of an introduction, main body and conclusion differs from the rigid, detailed structure of the old HL report. Furthermore, the new IA is built around 3-5 supporting documents, much like the old SL IA, which has been reflected in the exemplars released by the IB.

  • Students are required to produce a forward-looking or backward-looking research project about a real business issue or problem facing an organisation, centred around one of the four concepts.

  • We recommend students select an organisation for which there are both internal documents (such as financial reports and customer surveys) and external documents (such as media articles and commentaries), which will usually be a public company rather than a small business, also reflected in the examples released by the IB.


So far, this has been one of the most pressing issues within IB schools, as confusion remains around the best way to approach this new assessment. But don’t worry, we’ve got it covered! Our IB experts have been trained on the best approach to this new task, ensuring that you won’t get tripped up by this change.


And that’s it! As with any change, it can be daunting and often you can feel as though you are blindly stumbling through this course. Even some IB schools have had difficulties in adapting to the new changes, creating challenges in preparing their IB Business students for the 2024 exams. If you are looking for an IB expert that is well-equipped to help navigate you through this course, contact IB Solved!


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