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IB Math AA vs. IB Math AI: What Are The Differences? 🤔

Ready for an all-in-one comparison of IB Maths AA vs AI? In this article, I’ll explain what is the difference between Math AA and AI and what are some common things. I believe this will help you to decide which one to choose. But let’s start from the basics.

For students ages 3 to 19, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program offers a demanding and thorough curriculum. It is an internationally recognized educational framework that strives to produce informed, well-rounded people with the abilities, information, and attitudes required to prosper in a globalized society.

The Primary Years Program (PYP) is for students ages 3 to 12; the Middle Years Program (MYP) is for students ages 11 to 16; and the IB Diploma Program (IBDP) is for students ages 16 to 19. The IB curriculum is divided into these educational levels. Additionally, there are the IB Courses and the Career-related Program (CP) for students interested in following a particular career path or individual disciplines.

The IB program includes both internal and external assessments. Numerous techniques are used to evaluate students, including tests, assignments, presentations, and coursework.

One of the most common assignments that have to be done by IB students who have decided to study Mathematics as one of the subjects of the natural sciences are – Mathematics Internal Assessment, also known as Math IA, and Mathematics Analysis and Approaches, aka Mathematics AA.

They can also be of different levels Math AA SL (Standard Level) and Math AA HL (Higher Level), same with Maths IAs, and they can be SL and HL. I will provide more details in the following sections.

Importance of Mathematics in the IB Curriculum

Critical thinking, numeric literacy, logical reasoning, problem-solving abilities, and interdisciplinary linkages are all developed through the study of mathematics in the IB curriculum. It equips students to apply mathematical principles in various circumstances, encourages critical thinking, and prepares them for further study.

The Distinction Between IB Math AA and the IB Math IA

In this section, I’ll provide all the necessary information for you to understand the differences between Math IA and AA. Let’s begin.


What is Math AA?

Math AA (Mathematics Analysis and Approaches) focuses on theoretical and abstract mathematics to provide pupils with a thorough understanding of mathematical ideas and methods. The algebra, functions, calculus, and statistics topics covered in the Math AA course will help students improve their mathematical reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

It strongly emphasizes the development of mathematical reasoning, proof-writing skills, and the use of mathematical ideas in practical contexts. Students with a good aptitude for mathematics and those who intend to major in a field linked to mathematics in college should consider taking Math AA.

It gives students a strong foundation in complex mathematical ideas. It prepares them for college-level math classes and professions in math itself, engineering, physics, computer science, and economics.

What is Math AI?

Whether they are doing Math AA or Math Applications and Interpretations (Math AI), all students must complete this required independent assignment.

The IB Mathematics program must include the IB Math Internal Assessment (IA). Students complete an independent project to demonstrate their grasp of mathematical ideas and their capacity to apply them in practical contexts.

Students can thoroughly research any mathematical subject they choose using Math IA. It entails a process of research, evaluation, and reflection. The IA should demonstrate the student’s capacity for critical thought, the use of mathematical reasoning, and excellent communication of their conclusions.

Numerous mathematical subjects, including but not limited to algebra, calculus, statistics, probability, geometry, and discrete mathematics, are subject matter that the IA can cover. Students are urged to pick a subject that piques their curiosity and enables deep research and application of mathematical ideas.

IA scores often make up 20% of the overall subject score for students enrolled in the SL course. As a result, the IA receives a certain number of marks, making up 20% of the total IB Math SL grade.

How can Writing Metier help you?

As an academic writing service, we provide writing assistance for the International Baccalaureate Mathematics program’s Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) courses.

Our staff of talented writers has expertise in creating excellent academic content that is specifically targeted to satisfy the demands of both SL and HL courses.

IB experts at Writing Metier know the differences between Math AA vs Math AI. And we can help you with any IB assignment related to Mathematics or any other subjects. We can help with any written project for IB Math SL or IB Math HL, including essays, research papers, internal evaluations, internal assessments, extended essays, TOKs, etc.

We offer content that aligns with the academic standards and expectations of the various course levels because our authors know each level’s specific syllabus and evaluation criteria.


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Get help with your IB Math IA or AA 🆘


You can count on our writing services to give you thoroughly researched, precise, and well-structured papers that show a mastery of the basic mathematical concepts, ideas and methods presented in both SL and HL courses.

We would be happy to help you with your IB Math SL or HL assignments. If you want to order an assignment, contact us and let us know your particular needs.

Key Differences of IB Math AA vs. Math AI

math aa or ai

Ready to the most important part of this read? Let’s start with our comparison of MAth AA vs Math IA.


The IB Mathematics program includes a specific course called IB Math AA that emphasizes theoretical and abstract mathematics while focusing on acquiring a comprehensive understanding of mathematical topics and processes.

IB Math IA, in contrast, requires students to complete an individual project as part of their study. It enables students to thoroughly research a mathematical subject of their choice and exhibit their grasp of mathematical ideas and their capacity to use them in practical contexts.


The curriculum for IB Math AA includes a variety of mathematical disciplines, including algebra, functions, calculus, and statistics. Regular classroom instruction, evaluations, and exams are part of it.

IB Math IA is a self-directed project in which students select a particular mathematical issue or topic to research. Planning, research, gathering data, analyzing it, and reflecting on it all lead to the creation of a written report that summarizes the investigation’s results.


Exams, assessments, and other assessment forms are used in IB Math AA to evaluate student performance by the course’s criteria. Performance on these tests determines the final mark in IB Math AA.

Teachers or examiners of the students conduct internal evaluations of IB Math IA. The IA is given a lot of weight in the overall evaluation of the IB Math studies, which affects the subject’s final grade. The criteria established by the IB, which measure the report’s mathematical inquiry, analysis, communication, and reflection, are used to grade the IA.


IB Math AA aims to improve students’ theoretical comprehension of mathematical ideas, problem-solving abilities, and mathematical reasoning. It is appropriate for math enthusiasts or those pursuing higher education careers in math-related sectors.

IB Math IA strongly emphasizes letting students use their mathematical understanding and expertise to research a real-world issue or circumstance of their choosing. Students get the chance to show that they can adequately evaluate data, use mathematical models, and present their findings.


Is Math AA or Math AI harder?

So, which IB Math is harder? Determining whether IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or Mathematics Applications and Interpretations is “harder” largely depends on a student’s strengths, interests, and future plans. Both courses have their unique challenges and focus areas.

Math AA is generally more abstract and theoretical, involving rigorous calculus and algebra, and thus may be seen as harder for students who struggle with abstract reasoning or theoretical concepts. It’s also more suitable for students pursuing studies in fields like engineering, physics, or mathematics. On the other hand, Math AI emphasizes practical problem-solving, statistics, and the application of mathematics to real-world scenarios and may be more challenging for those who struggle with contextual or data-based problems. It’s designed for students who plan to study subjects such as social sciences, natural sciences, statistics, or business.

Thus, depending on the student’s strengths and future aspirations, either course could be considered more difficult.

Choosing Math AA Course Topics

Students are advised to select IA topics for the IB Math AA (Analysis and Approaches) course emphasizing mathematical analysis and approaches.

Choosing themes that enable in-depth examination, exploration of abstract mathematical concepts, modeling and problem-solving, mathematical proofs and reasoning, interdisciplinary links, and personal interests is necessary.

Students can demonstrate their mastery of mathematical ideas, cultivate their analytical abilities, and apply mathematical procedures to real-world problems by integrating IA themes with the course’s focus.

Examples of potential IA topics for Math AA students

Tips for Maths AAs

General tips

  • Choose a suitable topic that demonstrates mathematical knowledge and skills

  • Conduct thorough research

  • Apply appropriate mathematical concepts and techniques

  • Present a well-structured and organized project

Examples of applicable topics

  1. Exploring the relationship between Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio.

  2. Investigating optimization problems using calculus, such as finding the maximum area of a fence given a fixed perimeter.

  3. Analyzing the behavior of mathematical sequences, such as geometric or arithmetic progressions.

  4. Investigating the properties and applications of fractals, such as the Mandelbrot set or the Sierpinski triangle.

  5. Modeling the spread of infectious diseases using mathematical equations and studying the impact of different intervention strategies.

I have also written 2 separate articles where I have shared a list of good topics for Maths IA and a list of ideas for Maths AA. Make sure to check them out 😉

Ready to choose between Math AA and Math AI?

Students enrolled in the IB Math AA program must comprehend the differences and standards for the course and the assessment component. Understanding the distinctions between the course and the assessment component and the unique requirements for each is crucial.

Students can successfully traverse the course’s content and structure, choose pertinent IA subjects, and fulfill the assessment criteria by understanding these distinctions. IB students can focus their efforts appropriately if they are aware of the course’s goals, which include fostering mathematical thinking and problem-solving abilities, as well as the IA’s objectives, which include exploring the practical relevance of mathematical subjects and using principles in practical settings.

Therefore, those of you who selected the IB Mathematics course can carefully plan your studies, utilize your time and resources, and ultimately succeed in both program elements by knowing the weighting, grading standards, and detailed rules for both the course and the IA.

Special Note From Us

Dear students, you must make well-informed course selections and approach your Internal Assessments attentively as you begin your IB Math adventure. When choosing a course, whether Math AA or Math AI, take the time to grasp the distinctions between them and consider your interests, strengths, and long-term objectives.

To better understand what is required of you, familiarize yourself with the course’s objectives, content, and evaluation criteria after selecting it. Regarding your IAs, remember that this is your chance to delve deeply into a mathematical subject of your choice. Approach it with interest and excitement.

Choose a subject that appeals to your interests and enables you to analyze and apply mathematical ideas meaningfully. Plan your investigation carefully, do much research, and adhere to the IB’s detailed instructions.

Be thorough while gathering and evaluating data, building mathematical models, and effectively expressing your conclusions. Keep in mind that your IA has a significant impact on how the course is evaluated as a whole. To assure its quality, invest the necessary time and effort.

To assist the development of your IA, ask your teachers for advice and make use of the tools that are accessible. You can maximize your learning experience and increase your chances of succeeding in the IB Math program by making wise decisions and approaching your IAs with assurance and dedication.


Using our services, You may use our writers’ experience, save time and effort, and get a well-written IA that satisfies the IB Math program’s requirements. We will be pleased to help you with your IA or any other IB tasks you may have if you contact us with your unique demands.

Vasy Kafidoff

Vasyl Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He is interested in education and the ways modern technology makes it more accessible. He wants to bring awareness about new learning possibilities as an educational specialist. When not working, he’s found behind a drum kit.

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