IB Textbook Reviews

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Group 3[edit]

Economics[edit]

IB Economics Course Companion International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme by Ian Dorton and Jocelyn Blink, published by Oxford University Press (2007), ISBN: 978-0199151240. A must-have book for IB-Economics. It is concise, and one of its authors is the chief examiner at IB Economics. You can find analysis of past exams. It is for SL and HL. Very highly recommended!

Economics from a Global Perspective by A Glanville, published by Oxford: Glanville Books, (2003). A good textbook written especially for the IB diploma. Has clear easy to understand explanation of concepts but supplementary material may be needed since it lacks examples and great depth. Highly recommended. I would not recommend this text as there are few questions allowing students to practice IB type data response and extended response questions. Only MCQs provided. The McGee text is more thorough.

Economics -In terms of The Good, The Bad and The Economist by Matt McGee, published by IBID Press, (2005). A very detailed and thorough textbook written for the IB. Has broad and detailed coverage of concepts and examples. However it does not explain concepts clearly and is also overly verbose, with some irrelevant information.

Economics - 6th Edition by William Boyes and Michael Melvin, published by Houghton Mifflin, (2005). This economics textbook does a good job of covering most of the material but its relevance in terms of the IB Economics examinations is not entirely clear. However, if a general textbook is needed to learn economics, the Boyes/Melvin book makes an excellent resource.

Geography[edit]

Planet Geography by S Codrington [1] is an excellent textbook to read and is interesting for the avid geography student, including many photos and charts. It may suffer from not being focussed enough specifically on the IB curriculum, although this has been improved in later editions.

History[edit]

For both European and American HL history, the text Our Western Heritage is an excellent resource.

Group 4[edit]

Biology[edit]

Biology by NA Campbell published by Benjamin Cummins. 4th edition or higher is also an excellent textbook - self explanatory, covers much more than the IB requirements, helpful for reviewing and self studying as well. The most widely used biology textbook worldwide for high school and universities. The only downside is its price and weight, however definitely worth the price.

Biology for the IB Diploma by Allott, published by Oxford University Press (2001). An excellent summary of the course, but which will need to be augmented by your teacher over the two years. It provides brief and easy to understand explanations of concepts and information.

Biology for use with the IB Diploma (2001) Minka Peeters Weem, IBID Press. A useful textbook to refer to directly for statements relating to the IB syllabus. A very useful buy since it contains notes/explanations under every IB objective, so one can concisely study for the subject. Use this book preferable with a more comprehensive textbook as a reference alongside as well.

Pearson Baccalaureate: Standard Level Biology for the IB Diploma and Pearson Baccalaureate: Higher Level Biology for the IB Diploma (2009)Those two biology books for standard and higher level have the best described details at explanation and practice among all other kind of IB textbooks, the books also including practise question from past test papers in end of each chapters,and fully graphic worked example, Tok related information, hint and revision quote. It also include a brief introduction for lab work and exam. However, some of the details are explained kind of superficial.

Chemistry[edit]

Chemistry for the IB Diploma by G Neuss, published by Oxford University Press (2001), ISBN 0199148074 An excellent summary of the course, but which will need to be augmented by your teacher over the two years. It provides brief and easy to understand explanations of concepts and information. It has a great section about the options. Each option is laid out very clearly. [OUP website]

Chemistry by S Damji & Green, 2nd edition published by IBID, ISBN 1876659416. A dedicated text for the IB Diploma. [IBID website]

Be aware many of the answers to question are incorrect and/or would not be an adequate response to gain full marks in an IB exam. On the other hand, the drawback with the new version is the lack of answers at the back of the book. If your school uses the book, you should have the Student Guide, Chemistry for the IB Diploma.

Chemistry in Context by G Hill & J Holmann, 5th edition published by Nelson Thornes. Primarily an A-level text, but with a guide to its coverage of IB topics. Thorough for SL, almost complete for HL; nothing for the Options, apparently. [Chemistry in Context website]

Advanced Chemistry (Advanced Science) by Michael Clugston and Rosalind Flemming (2000), ISBN: 978-0199146338. If you are a dedicated higher-level-chemistry student, the book makes many things more clear. It is not necessary, but it helped me a great deal in my studies.

Pearson Baccalaureate: Chemistry for the IB Diploma(there are two books for higher version and standard version) The books have generally good explanations that cover all the syllabus and many worked examples.It also has many questions from past papers and explanation of lab,definition and final exam. However, like many IB diploma books there are a few minor errors.

IB Chemistry Online by Andrew Symons [website]. Different in that it is an online textbook available on Windows PCs and Macs. It covers all the IB syllabus including the Options and is full of questions (with marks schemes) and tips for students.

Physics[edit]

Physics for the IB Diploma by Tim Kirk published by Oxford University Press (2001). An excellent summary of the course, but which will need to be augmented by your teacher over the two years. It provides brief and easy to understand explanations of concepts and information.

IB Study Guide: Physics 2nd Edition by Tim Kirk published by Oxford University Press (2008).

Physics for the IB Diploma by K.A. Tsokos published by Cambridge University Press; 5 edition (28 Jan 2010).

Higher level Physics developed specifically for the IB Diploma by Chris Hamper publised by Pearson/Heinemann International is an excellent book which has a lot of questions from past year papers, ways to write your lab report & EE and a TOK section. The author of the book also has a site: www.physic-inthinking.co.uk

Environmental Systems and Societies[edit]

Pearson Baccalaureate Environmental systems and societies for the IB Diploma by Andrew Davis (Author), Garrett Nagle (Author). An excellent summary of the course, but which will need to be augmented by your teacher over the two years. It provides brief and easy to understand explanations of concepts and information.

IB Environmental Systems and Societies Course Companion by Jill Rutherford. Provides an immense amount of detail pertaining to the course

Group 5[edit]

Mathematics HL, SL and Further[edit]

Mathematics For The International Student: SL, Mathematics For The International Student: HL (Core) and Mathematics For The International Student: HL (Options) by Haese & Harris Publications. Full textbooks following the syllabus with exam-like review exercises at the end of each chapter. It elicits investigation (portfolio) and other types of critical thinking. Sample chapters are available online.

The IBID book by Fabio also for Math HL, and SL: Covers all topics with detail very useful with questions that work with IB but in a new approach. This contains all the core topics.

Pearson Baccalaureate: Higher Level Mathematics for the IB Diploma (Pearson International Baccalaureate Diploma: International Editions): Practice Questions are photocopy IB questions(mostly) You can also visit the site to see the book they provide you with the first two chapters. Options are online, if you want them.

Mathematics Higher Level for the IB Diploma by Bill Roberts and Sandy McKenzie: The book has good, clear and concise explanations but it is riddled with mistakes.

Mathematics for the IB Diploma Higher Level: Statistics and Probability by Hugh Neill and Douglas Quading: This book deals with one of the four options of the HL Maths syllabus. It has clear and very excellent explanations, but will need some background knowledge of HL Topic 6 before using the book.