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What are the changes in the new MYP Mathematics guide?

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

As of September 2020/January 2021 the mathematics guide which has been around for six years will no longer be current. If you want to save yourself the time of reading every . single . page, read on as (most of) the changes are listed here.

Mathematics across the IB continuum

Page 6 shows an updated figure outlining the transition from Primary Years Programme to the Middle Years Programme standard and extended courses and culminating in the new Diploma Programme courses of Analysis and Approaches, and Applications and Interpretation (standard and higher level). From this it seems that students' DP choices will not be restricted by whether they were in a standard or extended class in MYP4/MYP5.

Conceptual Understanding

Two of the related concepts have been removed and replaced. 'Justification' and 'Measurement' have been replaced by 'Approximation' and 'Validity' (page 20 in the old guide, page 18 in the new).

Pages 19 - 20 (page 21 in the old guide) show that six out of the seven example statements of inquiry have been reworded. Some to accommodate the new related concepts while others refer to the global context, key concept and related concept(s) more explicitly.

Mathematics framework

Pages 22-23 include a new recommended prior learning list outlining the topics and skills that students should be familiar with before starting the Middle Years Programme.

The four branches of mathematical study have been adapted to have a focus on reasoning:

Previous guide branches: number, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability.

New guide branches: numerical and abstract reasoning, thinking with models, spatial reasoning, and reasoning with data.

Topics and skills (this has changed a few times since the original blog post so the updated framework can be found here.)

The topics and skills on pages 23 - 29 of the new guide differ slightly to those in the previous guide (pages 25 - 31).

REMOVED: Topics/skills on previous guide which do not appear in the new guide:

  • Ordering numbers

  • Representing numbers as products of their prime factors

  • Converting currencies

  • Algebraic fractions

  • Solving non-linear inequalities

  • Compound shapes

  • Line graphs

MOVED: Topics/skills which have moved from Standard to Extended:

  • Domain and range

  • Transforming functions

  • Linear programming

  • Histograms

  • Enlargement around a given point, by a rational factor

  • Converse of Pythagoras’ theorem

MOVED: Topics/skills which have moved to enrichment (and therefore not on e-Assessment):

  • Exponential functions

  • Logarithmic functions (including ln and e)

  • Inverse functions

  • Composite functions

  • Number bases

  • Three dimensional coordinate geometry

  • Vector notation and vector spaces

  • Trigonometric identities

  • Radians

  • Unit circle

  • Arithmetic and geometric series and summation

NEW: Topics/skills on the new guide which did not appear in the previous guide:

MYP 1 - 3

  • Time zones, clocks and timetables

  • Flowcharts

  • Forming equations

  • Surface area and nets

  • Bar charts, stem and leaf, pictograms

  • Data visualizations and infographics

  • Limitations and context in statistical enquiry

  • Qualitative handling of probability


  • Representing and solving compound and double inequalities

  • Negative exponents

  • Mappings

  • Function notation

  • Tessellations

  • Bearings

  • Data manipulation and misinterpretation

  • Cumulative frequency graphs

  • Correlation, qualitative handling

  • Relative frequency

  • Response rates


  • Using technology to find values with logarithmic functions

  • Upper and lower bounds

  • Networks - calculating pathways and weighted pathways

  • Volume and capacity of additional shapes

  • Identical representation of transformations

  • Correlation, quantitative handling, using technology

  • Dependent events


  • Exponential equations

  • Rationalizing the denominator

  • Sigma notation

  • Convergence and divergence

  • Fractals

  • Dilation

  • Inscribing and circumscribing shapes

  • Polar coordinates

  • Area of a triangle rule

  • Equation of a circle with center at the origin

  • Manual calculator of standard deviation, correlation coefficient

  • Frequency polygons

  • Covariance

  • Interpolation and extrapolation

  • Confirmation bias

  • Counting principles

  • Combinatorics

  • Permutations

  • Factorials

  • Geometric mean

  • Regression - interpretation of results

Note: some of the above may appear implicitly in either guide and therefore may not be considered new or removed by all. The guide states clearly that topics/skills listed within extended or enrichment can be taught to standard. In addition, all topics and skills are said to be examples of what students could study. All this to say there is still considerable flexibility by each school and teacher, responding to the needs of their class.

How are these changes going to reflect in your school's subject overview? Will you be making subtle new inclusions in certain units or taking this opportunity to completely review your taught curriculum?



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