So you want to take IB Math Applications and Interpretations but have no idea what the course is about? Then, this article is for you! IB Math Applications and Interpretations or IB MAI is a Standard Level (SL) course, which fulfills Group 5 (Mathematics). It should be noted that Higher Level (HL) courses can only be offered in Year 1 via request from a student. IB MAI covers the practical usage of math in the real world, such as using statistics to predict how many of each color candy will be in a bag sold or using Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient to study relations between two variables, such as the number of cars in a given area and the carbon emissions produced. IB MAI covers five categories of math: numbers and algebra, functions, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability, and calculus. You will be expected to spend the majority of your time on the statistics and probability section and the least amount of time on calculus, so don’t fret over not having experience with calculus. The course requires you to have a basic understanding of all the concepts. Now that we’ve established a basis of understanding, let’s talk about my experience with IB MAI.
I used to hate math. It was never my “thing” and many of my previous math teachers would tell me that I was “bad at math”. That all changed when I started IB MAI. My teacher was kind yet firm, but wholly believed in his students’ abilities to overcome the challenges presented as well as their competency overall. That which was once a dreadful subject was now some course that I aced and excelled at. The hardest sections in IB MAI, in my opinion, was the statistics and probability section, not because the content itself was necessarily challenging but because of the sheer amount of vocabulary that you had to memorize. My tips for this and any section is to use relatable situations and examples to understand the content. Additionally, take notes on what you don’t understand and don’t be afraid to ask questions in class.
The second most valuable “tool” in this class besides your teacher are your peers. I would never have been able to make it through that class without the other people in my class. You’re all in the same storm together, so lean on each other. Try working problems out together or quizzing each other on certain topics. A good standard of your comprehension of the material is your ability to explain and teach others the same material. Many a time I’ve explained and taught fellow classmates how to do a problem, in which they questioned my methods, forcing me to explain which in turn allowed me to see gaps in my understanding or in my methods. On the flip side, it might affirm what you already know, solidifying and boosting your confidence in your ability.
Lastly, make sure to communicate with your teacher. In my case, it was the wonderful Mr. K! He’s arguably one of the best teachers on our campus who will do his best to support you on your journey. It’s about the journey, understand? Learning how to research then effectively learning how to communicate your understanding in analysis of mathematics is the focus of this class. Do your best! Let me know if you have any questions about it!
By Elizabeth Leung
Elizabeth Leung is an IB Diploma Candidate and Senior at Glen A. Wilson High School who is passionate about STEM. She is the vice captain of the Science Olympiad team at school, specializing in Chemistry events, such as Chemistry Lab and Forensics. She is also a Girl Scout Ambassador 1, who plans trips and events for her troop. She enjoys drinking boba milk tea, trying new foods, and hanging out with all her friends.