IB Chemistry Web

Examination timing


IB Higher level exams

The HL IB chemistry exam consists of three papers.

Paper 1: multiple choice - 1 hour

There are 40 questions and you are given 60 minutes to complete them. This works out to an average of 1 minute and 30 seconds per question. This is obviously simplistic as the questions assess different skills, some of which require very little time and some require working out.

The best approach is to read through the questions one at a time answering as you go. There is usually more than enough time to complete the paper and go back to check any questions that you had difficulty with.


Paper 2: structured questions - 2 hours 15 minutes

This paper consists of two sections, section A and section B, with a relative weighting of 40 marks and 50 marks respectively.

Section A: Answer all questions

There are 40 marks given for this section making 4/9 of the total. The overall time available is 135 minutes. This equates to 60 minutes for section A. There are usually 5 questions making 12 minutes per question.

Section B: Answer two questions from the choices given.

There are 50 marks awarded for section B making 5/9 of the total. The overall time available is 135 minutes, equating to 75 minutes for section B, or 37 minutes 30 seconds per question.


Paper 3: Options - 1 hour

The paper consists of six options of which the student must answer two complete. There are 50 marks available, equating to 25 marks per option.

Timing should be shared equally between the two options - 30 minutes per option.


Summary HL papers

Paper
Marks available
Time allocated
Time per question
1
40
60 minutes
1 minute 30 seconds
2A
40
60 minutes
12 minutes
2B
50
75 minutes
37 minutes 30 seconds
3
50
60 minutes
30 minutes / option

 


IB Standard level exams

The SL IB chemistry exam consists of three papers.

Paper 1: multiple choice - 40 minutes

There are 30 questions and you are given 40 minutes to complete them. This works out to an average of 1 minute and 20 seconds per question. Again this is simplistic as the questions assess different skills, some of which require very little time and some require working out.

The best approach is to read through the questions one at a time answering as you go. There is usually more than enough time to complete the paper and go back to check the questions that you had difficulty with.


Paper 2: structured questions - 1 hours 15 minutes

This paper consists of two sections, section A and section B, with a relative weighting of 40 marks and 50 marks respectively.

Section A: Answer all questions

There are 30 marks given for this section making 3/5 of the total. The overall time available is 75 minutes. This equates to 45 minutes for section A. There are usually 5 questions making 9 minutes per question.

Section B: Answer one question from the choices given.

There are 20 possible marks awarded for section B making 2/5 of the total. The overall time available is 75 minutes, equating to 30 minutes for the section B question.


Paper 3: Options - 1 hour

The paper consists of six options of which the student must answer two complete. There are 40 marks available, equating to 20 marks per option.

Timing should be shared equally between the two options - 30 minutes per option.


Summary SL papers

Paper
Marks available
Time allocated
Time per question
1
30
40 minutes
1 minute 20 seconds
2A
30
45 minutes
9 minutes
2B
20
30 minutes
30 minutes
3
40
60 minutes
30 minutes / option