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IB Chemistry HL

(2-year course)


Grades: 11–12 (two-year course)

Subject Area/Course Credit: Science, 1 credit each year

Prerequisite: B or above in Coordinated Science II, C+ or above in Honors Biology or Honors Chemistry, or science teacher recommendation

IB Chemistry HL is a two-year course designed to prepare students for the IB exam at the end of the second year.

As one of the three natural sciences in the IB Diploma Programme, chemistry is primarily concerned with identifying patterns that help to explain matter at the microscopic level. This then allows matter’s behaviour to be predicted and controlled at a macroscopic level. The subject therefore emphasizes the development of representative models and explanatory theories, both of which rely heavily on creative but rational thinking. DP chemistry enables students to constructively engage with topical scientific issues. Students examine scientific knowledge claims in a real-world context, fostering interest and curiosity. By exploring the subject, they develop understandings, skills and techniques which can be applied across their studies and beyond. Integral to the student experience of the DP chemistry course is the learning that takes place through scientific inquiry both in the classroom and the laboratory.

Structure 1. Models of the particulate nature of matter 
Structure 1.1—Introduction to the particulate nature of matter 
Structure 1.2—The nuclear atom 
Structure 1.3—Electron configurations 
Structure 1.4—Counting particles by mass: The mole 
Structure 1.5—Ideal gases 
Structure 2. Models of bonding and structure 
Structure 2.1—The ionic model 
Structure 2.2—The covalent model 
Structure 2.3—The metallic model 
Structure 2.4—From models to materials 
Structure 3. Classification of matter 
Structure 3.1—The periodic table: Classification of elements 
Structure 3.2—Functional groups: Classification of organic compounds 
Reactivity 1. What drives chemical reactions? 
Reactivity 1.1—Measuring enthalpy change 
Reactivity 1.2—Energy cycles in reactions 
Reactivity 1.3—Energy from fuels 
Reactivity 1.4—Entropy and spontaneity 
Reactivity 2. How much, how fast and how far?
Reactivity 2.1—How much? The amount of chemical change 
Reactivity 2.2—How fast? The rate of chemical change 
Reactivity 2.3—How far? The extent of chemical change
Reactivity 3. What are the mechanisms of chemical change? 
Reactivity 3.1—Proton transfer reactions 
Reactivity 3.2—Electron transfer reactions 
Reactivity 3.3—Electron sharing reactions 
Reactivity 3.4—Electron-pair sharing reactions 
Experimental programme
Practical work 
Collaborative sciences project 
Scientific investigation