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 