Preparing for HL Paper 3 - Analysis
One of the more significant changes in the new IB maths courses is a completely revamped Paper 3 exam (HL level only). As the Analysis & Approaches Guide puts it, the Paper 3 exam consists of "two compulsory extended response problem-solving questions." Thus, the stated objective of the Paper 3 exam is to assess a student's problem solving skills. There is no additional syllabus content associated with the Paper 3 exam as is the case with the current HL Paper 3 exam that covers the content of one of the HL option topics.
A careful look at the published Paper 3 exam in the set of specimen papers for Analysis & Approaches reveals that the exam will potentially be quite a challenge for many students because it must be completed in 60 minutes (55 marks in 60 minutes). I believe that this serious time limit is the main reason that the specimen Paper 3 exam has a generous number of "show that" questions appearing in both of the questions on the exam. Although it is described as a "problem solving" exam, it is necessary to give students clues along the way that they are progressing correctly. If it was a genuine problem solving experience then there would be more time allowed because students may choose an incorrect strategy, realize their error, and then refine their approach. Unfortunately, with only 60 minutes for the Paper 3 exam students will need to be efficient and stay on track with an appropriate and correct strategy. The "show that" questions embedded in different parts of the questions can help students do this.
There is definitely a need for suitable materials to help students prepare for this new HL Paper 3 exam. At the moment, there is only the one specimen paper. I am in the process of attempting to compose some Paper 3 practice exams. Below is my Sample 2 for a practice Paper 3 exam for the new Analysis course. Worked solutions are included. Feeback is very welcome.