Paper 2 is an essay paper for both Standard and Higher students.
This page gives an overview what is required; see the page Essay writing for Paper 2 to get hints for tackling Paper 2 essay questions and for suggestions for helping students develop their essay writing skills.
Paper 2 is a one hour and 30 minutes essay paper in which students must answer two essay questions. Each question has to be chosen from a different topic.
For each topic the IBO guide gives an introduction and prescribed themes that must be studied for each topic. However there are no prescribed examples or case studies and exam questions will not include named examples.
The examples that are listed in the guide are for suggestions only.
The paper is divided into the different syllabus topics; there are two essay questions for each topic.
Thus it is essential that teachers choose case studies which will allow students to make comparisons across regions.
Students also need to be familiar with the command terms used for essay questions. A student friendly guide to command terms can be found on the page: Essay writing for Paper 2
Questions are marked out of 15.
There are generic markbands for marking the essays. A student-friendly breakdown of the markbands can be found on the page Assessment for Paper 2.
As there is no prescribed content with regards to case studies there is no indicative content as such for examiners - only guidance on how responses should approach the question and suggested content.
World history topic 12: The Cold War: Superpower tensions and rivalriesThis topic is divided into three themes which are...