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Biology

'Biology is the study of life. The vast diversity of species makes biology both an endless source of fascination and a considerable challenge.Biologists attempt to understand the living world at all levels from the micro to the macro using many different approaches and techniques. Biology is still a young science and great progress is expected in the21st century. This progress is important at a time of growing pressure on the human population and the environment.' (IBO Biology Subject Brief)

May 2021 Examination Changes

The IBO has announced significant changes to the assessment methods for the May 2021 Examination period. Almost all subjects have seen the weighting of certain papers amended, the length of exams reduced, and many have seen entier assessment components removed.

Biology Examination Changes for May 2021

Paper 3 removed - Optional Topic and Data on Experimentation Questions
Group 4 Project - Never part of final grade

Read our May 2021 Exam Changes Report
Our 'May 2021 Examinations Report' goes into detail into all the changes the IBO have announced for every IB subject, as well as how to to respond and work with educators to minimise disruption as much as possible.
'May 2021 Examination Changes' Report ↗
Read more about Biology

From the molecular structures of cells and their complex metabolic functions to the processes of the ecosystem, biology covers a broad overview of our living surroundings, offering students a better understanding of the world which surrounds them and cultivating a deeper understanding and appreciation of our planet and its many resources.

IB students who choose to study biology will not only leave the course better prepared for scientific careers but, with a better understanding of the living world, they will also become better and more responsible inhabitants of our planet.

Need help chosing your IB subjects?
History or Economics? Maths HL or SL? Choosing DP subjects can feel like a ticking time bob. We've been helping IB families weigh their options for nearly a decade and can help you make sure you balance your future plans and aptitude with loving your IB subjects.
IB Subject Selection Advice >
This subject's group:
Group 4: Sciences
It is a requirement of the programme that students study at least one subject from group 4. Six subjects are available: Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics, 'Sports, Exercise and Health Science', and Environmental Systems & Societies - which meets the Group 3 and Group 4 requirements.
Find out more about Subject Groups >
Advice from our tutors

Biology can be a fascinating subject for some. However, some topics may be harder to understand than others. One important aspect of the study of biology is being able to always ask for clarifications when needed. Furthermore, one tool that can prove very useful in the understanding and revision of this subject, is the existence visual representations for almost all the processes and physiological structures studied. If they are not in the manual, the internet is full of them, and while always ensuring the accuracy of these resources, students should make use of them.

Assessment

IB Biology students will be exposed to a comprehensive framework for studying and accumulating an understanding of the living world and its many processes. From the subject’s core, which contains topics such as cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution and biodiversity as well as human physiology, to its additional topics, exploring a variety of areas, biology students will be given the necessary tools for producing their own scientific research and communicating with the use of scientific terms, thus preparing them for a wide array of career destinations.

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Next steps

By offering the necessary knowledge to have a solid basis which students can further expand through their subsequent studies, IB Biology opens a great amount of doors when it comes to its graduates’ careers. These can include but are not limited to: biology, psychology, neuroscience, ecology, zoology, nursing, medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences. Furthermore, for those who do not choose to pursue sciences through their university studies and careers, the knowledge accumulated from IB biology remains an important asset for everyday life by providing a clearer view and understanding of our surrounding living world.

Applying to UK universities?
History or Economics? Maths HL or SL? Choosing DP subjects can feel like a ticking time bomb. We've been helping IB families weigh their options for nearly a decade and can help you make sure you balance your future plans and aptitude with loving your IB subjects.
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Brief & Examinations
Read the information provided for this subject by the IBO.
Subject Brief ↗Announced Exams (May 2021) ↗

Read more about Biology

From the molecular structures of cells and their complex metabolic functions to the processes of the ecosystem, biology covers a broad overview of our living surroundings, offering students a better understanding of the world which surrounds them and cultivating a deeper understanding and appreciation of our planet and its many resources.

IB students who choose to study biology will not only leave the course better prepared for scientific careers but, with a better understanding of the living world, they will also become better and more responsible inhabitants of our planet.

Need help chosing your IB subjects?
Chemistry or Biology? Maths HL or SL? Choosing DP subjects can feel like a ticking time bob. We've been helping IB families weigh their options for nearly a decade and can help you make sure you balance your future plans and aptitude with loving your IB subjects.
IB Subject Selection >
This subject's group:
Group 4: Sciences
It is a requirement of the programme that students study at least one subject from group 4. Six subjects are available: Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics, 'Sports, Exercise and Health Science', and Environmental Systems & Societies - which meets the Group 3 and Group 4 requirements.
Find out more about Subject Groups >
Advice from our tutors

Biology can be a fascinating subject for some. However, some topics may be harder to understand than others. One important aspect of the study of biology is being able to always ask for clarifications when needed. Furthermore, one tool that can prove very useful in the understanding and revision of this subject, is the existence visual representations for almost all the processes and physiological structures studied. If they are not in the manual, the internet is full of them, and while always ensuring the accuracy of these resources, students should make use of them.

View the IBO's brief for this subject
Read the information provided for this subject by the IBO.
Subject Brief >
What can you do with this subject?

By offering the necessary knowledge to have a solid basis which students can further expand through their subsequent studies, IB Biology opens a great amount of doors when it comes to its graduates’ careers. These can include but are not limited to: biology, psychology, neuroscience, ecology, zoology, nursing, medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences. Furthermore, for those who do not choose to pursue sciences through their university studies and careers, the knowledge accumulated from IB biology remains an important asset for everyday life by providing a clearer view and understanding of our surrounding living world.

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