Group 4: Experimental Sciences

Note: the IB recently introduced new syllabuses for all Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The first exams for these new guides were in May 2016. All of the books here reflect this the syllabus in each subject.

IB Biology textbooks

IB Biology Course Book: 2014 Edition
Author: Andrew Allow and David Mindorff
Pages: 728
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

In 2014 all IB science subjects started a new syllabus. This new textbook from Oxford is the currently the only textbook updated to reflect these changes. Any students taking IB Biology exams in May 2016 or later should buy this book. Students taking exams in November 2014 or in 2015 should buy one of the texts below.

IB Biology Study Guide: 2014 edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
Author: Andrew Allot
Pages: 208
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This new study guide covers the new IB Biology syllabus, for first exams in May 2016 (first teaching August 2014). The author is an IB curriculum developer, workshop leader and ex-IB student.

Biology for the IB Diploma Coursebook
Author: Walpole, Dann, et al
Pages: 607
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This new textbook from Cambridge covers all SL and HL topics, including the options, and feature exam-style practice questions.

IB Biology: 2nd Edition: For the IB diploma
Author: Andrew Allott and David Mindorff
Pages: 448
Levels: SL and HL
Support: Online (free with book purchase)
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This highly-regarded biology textbook covers the entire syllabus for both Standard Level and Higher Level, as well as featuring practice questions and assessments.

IB Biology: Study Guide: For the IB diploma
Author: Andrew Allott
Pages: 192
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This study guide written by the same author as the biology textbook. Like the other IB study guides it contains topics overviews and many practice assessment questions to help students prepare for the IB examinations.

IB Chemistry textbooks

Chemistry for the IB Diploma Coursebook
Author: Steve Owen et al
Pages: 599
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

The latest version of the Cambridge IB Chemistry textbook, updated for 2016 and covering all SL and HL options, plus Theory of Knowledge links and the new Nature of Science concepts.

IB Chemistry Course Book: 2014 Edition
Author: Sergey Bylikin, Gary Horner, Brian Murphy, David Tarcy
Pages: 824
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

A relatively expensive but large book, this updated Oxford textbook covers all of the new IB Chemistry syllabus, plus all the standard features including example questions and Theory of Knowledge links.

IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition
Author: Geoff Neuss
Pages: 208
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This is the new Oxford IB Chemistry study guide, updated for the new 2016 chemistry syllabus. The guide concentrates on exam technique and preparation, helping students achieve their potential.

IB Chemistry: 2nd Edition: For the IB diploma
Author: Geoffrey Neuss
Pages: 432
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

The latest edition of this textbook covers the most recent IB Chemistry syllabus and was developed in conjunction with the IB. The author is the principle IB Chemistry examiner, so you can be sure the assessment related advice is accurate. If you buy this book, beware that the previous version (which is now outdated) has virtually the same cover.

IB Environmental Systems and Societies textbooks

Environmental Systems and Societies for the IB Diploma
Author: Paul Guiness and Brenda Walpole
Pages: 330
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This text covers the latest IB syllabus (first exams 2010) and includes many examples of primary and secondary sources, case studies, and practice exam-style questions for students. It also has a section that covers exam skills and technique.

IB Environmental Systems & Societies: For the IB diploma
Author: Jill Rutherford
Pages: 376
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This text is Oxford’s IB offering, covering (as with Cambridge) the latest IB syllabus (first exams 2010). Written by an IB examiner, it offers the usual features found in Oxford’s books – namely thorough case studies, links to TOK, and practice questions.

IB Physics textbooks

IB Physics Course Book: 2014 Edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
Author: Michael Bowen-Jones and David Homer
Pages: 728
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

Like all Oxford books, this textbook for the new IB Physics syllabus is developed in conjunction with the IB and covers all topics and options at SL and HL. This is the book to buy for physics students taking their exams in 2016 or later.

IB Physics Study Guide: 2014 edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
Author: Tim Kirk
Pages: 208
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

As with many subjects, Oxford produce both a textbook and a study guide for IB Physics. While the textbook (above) concentrates on core knowledge and understanding, the Study Guides focus on exam preparation. This guide is updated to cover the latest IB Physics syllabus.

Physics for the IB Diploma Coursebook
Author: K. A. Tsokos
Pages: 600
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This is the Cambridge textbook for the new 2016 syllabus. Like the Oxford book it covers all of the new syllabus and has links to Theory of Knowledge. Some people prefer the Cambridge books because they include exam preparation material, whereas Oxford tend to sell separate Study Guides.

IB Physics: 2nd Edition: For the IB diploma
Author: Tim Kirk and Neil Hodgson
Pages: 512
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)
Support: Online (access with book purchase)

Written by a senior Physics examiner, this textbook covers all core and optional topics for SL and HL. The book also has online support material to help studying.

IB Physics: Study Guide: For the IB diploma
Author: Tim Kirk
Pages: 224
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

Written by the same author as the physics textbook, this study guide contains topic overviews plus many practice exam questions to help students prepare for the final IB assessments.

Physics for the IB Diploma Exam Preparation Guide
Author: K.A. Tsokos
Pages: 224
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

This exam preparation guide contains overviews of topics and definitions of key terms. Each chapter has shorter self-test questions plus longer exam-style sample questions to help students prepare for the final IB Physics exams. Be aware that there is an older version of this book with a very similar cover (the background is blue and image is more central in the older version).

IB Computer Science textbooks

Until recently the IB Computer Science course did not have a specific, dedicated textbook. Many teachers used a combination of textbooks for other exam boards or levels. These books are included below. However, there are now two textbooks written for the IB course: one for the Core topics and one for the OOP option.

Computer Science: An Overview (11th Edition)
Author: Kostas Dimitriou Phd & Markos Hatzitaskos MSc
Pages: 385
Levels: SL and HL (core only)
Buy: Amazon

This is the first textbook written specifically for the IB Computer Science syllabus. It is much more accessible for pupils than many of the university level textbooks teachers used to use. This is especially important for ESL pupils. This book covers all of the Core content at both SL and HL. For the option content (e.g. OOP, databases, or web sciences) a separate book will be needed. The same authors do publish a book that covers the OOP option (see below).

 

Computer Science: An Overview (11th Edition)
Author: Kostas Dimitriou Phd & Markos Hatzitaskos MSc
Pages: 385
Levels: SL and HL (core only)
Buy: Amazon

This is the first textbook written specifically for the IB Computer Science syllabus. This volume covers only Option D: OOP. A separate volume (see above) covers the Core topics.

Computer Science: An Overview (12th Edition)
Author: J. Glenn Brookshear
Pages: 624
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)
Kindle version: Yes

Despite its name, this book provides much more than ‘an overview’ of essential computer science concepts, including computer architecture, networking, and operating systems.

As this is not an IB-specific book, there are some sections that are not fully relevant to the IB Computer Science course – especially the opening sections which cover the history and development of computing. This book only covers some aspects related to the programming part of the course (if students select that option). However, the coverage is more theoretical coverage of algorithms and students are still likely to need a separate text for their practical option (programming, databases, etc).

Understanding Computer Science for Advanced Level
Author: Ray Bradley
Pages: 752
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

Although designed for A-Level courses, this book is widely used by IB Computer Science teachers. It covers all of the theory required by the IB course and includes large numbers of diagrams and examples to help clearly explain concepts.

The book does not contain sections that cover the practical aspects of the IB Computer Science course.

Computer Science: Java Enabled for International Baccalaureate
Author: Andrew Meyenn
Pages: 398
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

Computer Science: Java Enabled has long been a favourite of IB Computer Science teachers, and is designed specifically for the course. Despite the changes to the syllabus for exams in 2014, the book remains very relevant – especially if teachers opt for the Object Oriented Programming option

Even if teachers select alternative options, Java is a very good choice of teaching language and this book still offers a great deal of value.

Java: A Beginner’s Guide (Sixth Edition)
Author: Herbert Schildt
Pages: 640
Levels: SL and HL
Buy: Amazon, Worldwide (free shipping)

Java: A Beginner’s Guide is another highly rated Java textbook. The text covers practical aspects of programming as well as the related theory such as algorithms and complexity.

One thing to remember is that because the book is not designed for IB courses, it may use techniques which are not part of the JETS (Java Examination Tool Subset) language the IB defines, and as such may not be used in the examinations.

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