Syllabus content

Why the syllabus content is useful

The syllabus content can be found on pages 27 - 30 of the IB Chemistry Subject Guide. Essentially what it does is break each topic down into separate sub-topics. In the previous (pre-2014) programme it also suggested the time that should be spent teaching each separate sub-topic but now the time is just given for the whole topic[1]. The syllabus content is really useful when it comes to planning out your year and allocating which particular sub-topic(s) you will teach in each lesson. Remember though that the content syllabus is only detailing all the sub-topics that must be covered during the course of the two years, i.e. what will be tested in the final examinations. It is not a teaching order and you are free to teach them in any order or combination that you wish.

For example   Topic 4 : Chemical bonding and structure (13.5 h) in the core is broken down into:

4.1     Ionic bonding and structure

4.2     Covalent bonding

4.3     Covalent structures

4.4     Intermolecular forces

4.5     Metallic bonding

For Higher Level students you can now see what additional sub-topics need to be covered in  Topic 14 : Chemical bonding and structure (10 h)

14.1     Covalent bonding and electron domain and molecular geometries

14.2     Hybridization

Similarly for each option there is core material (15h) that is covered by both Standard and Higher Level students then some sub-topics (10h) in the extension material that is just for Higher Level students.

For example, Option D : Medicinal chemistry (SL 15 h / HL 25 h)

  Core material (15 h)

D1.     Pharmaceutical products and drug action

D2.     Aspirin and penicillin

D3.     Opiates

D4.     pH regulation of the stomach

D5.     Anti-viral medications

D6      Environmental impact of some medications

Additional Higher Level topics (10 h)

D7.     Taxol - a chiral auxiliary study case

D8.     Nuclear medicine

D9.     Drug detection and analysis


  1. ^ The suggested teaching times for each sub-topic can now be found in the Teacher's Support Material (TSM) which you can download from the programme resources section of My IB. They are also given on this website under Teaching each topic and sub-topic.
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