Higher Level Chemistry for the IB Diploma by Catrin Brown and Mike Ford, Chemistry IB

Higher Level Chemistry for the IB Diploma by Catrin Brown and Mike Ford, Chemistry IB



Higher Level Chemistry for the IB Diploma by Catrin Brown and Mike Ford, Chemistry IB Study Guide by Geoffrey Neuss, and IB Chemistry Course Companion by Geoffrey Neuss.


Each student must have a scientific calculator, a three-ring binder, pencils, black or blue pens, a composition notebook, and tab dividers (8). All of these materials, including textbooks and data booklet, must be brought to class each day.


IB Chemistry HL is a rigorous two-year course in which students will learn essential chemistry concepts and an experimental approach to investigations. Throughout the course, students will apply and use scientific methods and techniques. The course is designed to teach students to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize scientific information. Since problem solving is a large part of IB Chemistry HL, students must have a very strong mathematical background.

In addition to regular laboratory investigations, students will be required to complete several internal laboratory assessments. Some investigations may be graded with only a part of the IA criteria (Design, Data Collection/Processing, and/or Evaluation/conclusion.) For a few others, all criteria will be assessed. With these IA’s, only a prompt will be given from which students will plan, carry out, and evaluate the investigation. Over the two-year period, laboratory investigations will comprise a minimum of 60 hours of the course.

IB Chemistry HL requires a minimum of 240 hours of classwork (60 hours of investigations included) scheduled over the two-year period. In May of the second year, students will be required to take an external assessment written by the IBO.


Each nine weeks grades will be determined in the following manner:

Tests 40% Quizzes 25% Laboratory Investigations 25% Homework/Daily 10%

Some laboratory investigations will be graded using a teacher generated rubric and some will be graded using the IB rubric. School IB policy requires that the IA grade for the senior year be counted as the final exam (20% of the overall grade for the senior year).

In order to prepare students for the external assessment, tests will be designed in a manner which is consistent with the IB external assessment given at the end of the senior year. Some quizzes may be teacher generated, however, most will be consistent with the IB external assessment.

Each nine weeks, a notebook check will be done. Students will date and place all assignments in order in their three-ring binder. Also, they will initial and date the course objectives as they are covered.


The internal assessments for IB Chemistry comprises 24% of the final marks needed to “pass/earn a 4” for the course. The IA is essentially the same for all IB sciences both SL and HL. This component of IB Chemistry is assessed by the teacher, however samples are sent to an IB moderator for uniform grading. (The teacher’s marks could be reduced or increased.) Ten of the 60 internal assessment hours include the Group 4 project. The five assessment criteria used to determine the total mark for the IA’s are: design (D), data collection and processing (DCP), conclusion and evaluation (CE), manipulative skills (MS),and personal skills (PS). The first three criteria have a maximum of six marks each. The best two marks of each of these will be used for a maximum of 36 marks. The fourth criteria, manipulative skills, will be worth six marks and will be assessed throughout the two-year course. The fifth criteria, personal skills, will be evaluated during the Group 4 project. An overall maximum mark of 48 may be obtained for the IA.


The external assessment comprises 76 % of the final marks. The external assessment consists of three papers (parts). Paper 1 has 40 multiple choice questions and is worth 20 % of the overall marks. Paper 2 is worth 36 % of the final marks and consists of one data-based question, several short answer questions, and two extended- response questions. Paper 3 has several short answer questions and one extended-response question for each of the two option topics covered by the teacher. Calculators are not permitted with Paper 1, however, the problems require only simple calculations.


The Group 4 Project is a collaborative investigation done with all IB science students. IB Chemistry students will team with IB Biology students to investigate a scientific or technological topic. A total of ten hours will be dedicated to this topic. Students will have about two hours to plan the investigation, six to carry it out, and two to present/discuss results. This is the only time that Personal Skills will be assessed.


  1. Students will be in the classroom and in their seats when the tardy bell rings. The school tardy policy will be used.
  2. Students will come to class prepared to work and will have homework, textbook, calculator, paper, and pens or pencils. Students will not be permitted to leave the room to get a forgotten item after the bell rings!
  3. Classes will be over when the bell rings. All students are expected to stay in assigned seats and do class work until that time.
  4. Students will be given 5 bathroom passes per semester. For each pass not used, the student may earn extra credit. If a student has a medical problem and must go to the restroom often, then a note from a parent is required.
  5. Students will follow all lab safety rules and will not play in lab. Anyone caught doing anything not written in the lab procedures will be removed from the lab and will receive a zero.
  6. Students will not be allowed to eat or drink in the classroom.
  7. Students will complete all assignments within five days of an absence or a zero will be earned. (District policy)
  8. Students will be responsible for getting make up work and will be responsible for turning make up work turned in to the teacher on or before the five day limit.
  9. According to IB policy, students will lose 20 points per day for the first two days on any late major assignment such as an IA. The student will earn a zero if the assignment is three days late. This also means that if you are sick the day an IA write-up is due, you must at least e-mail a copy to the teacher by the beginning time of your normal class period!
  10. Students are required to take quizzes and tests on the date they are scheduled even if the student was absent the day before the quiz/test is given. These assessments will be announced several days in advance.
  11. Students will sign the HHS Academic Honesty Policy statement for all graded assignments.


Topic 2 and Topic 12 Atomic Structure (7 hours)

2.1 The atom

2.2 The mass spectrometer

2.3 Electron arrangement

2.4 Electron configuration

Topic 11 Measurement and Data Processing (2 hours)

11.1 Uncertainty and error in measurement

11.2 Uncertainties in calculated results

11.3 Graphical techniques

Topic 1 Quantitative Chemistry (12.5 hours)

1.1 The mole concept and Avogadro’s number

1.2 Formulas

1.3 Chemical equations

1.4 Mass/gas volume relationships in reactions

1.5 Solutions

Topic 3 and Topic 13 Periodicity (10 hours)

3.1 The periodic table

3.2 Physical properties

3.3 Chemical properties

13.1 Trends across period 3

13.2 First-row d-block elements

Topic 4 and Topic 14 Bonding (17.5 hours)

4.1 Ionic bonding

4.2 Covalent bonding

4.5 Physical properties

14.1 Shapes of molecules and ions

14.2 Hybridization

14.3 Delocalization of electrons

4.3 Intermolecular forces

4.4 Metallic bonding

Topic 5 and Topic 15 Energetics (16 hours)

5.1 Exothermic and endothermic reactions

5.2 Calculation of enthalpy changes

5.3 Hess’s law

5.4 Bond enthalpies

15.1 Standard enthalpy changes of reaction

15.2 Born-Haber cycle

15.3 Entropy

15.4 Spontaneity

Topic 6 and Topic 16 Kinetics (11 hours)

6.1 Rates of reaction

6.2 Collision theory

16.1 Rate expressions

16.2 Reaction mechanisms

16.3 Activation energy

Second Year

Topic 7 and Topic 17 Equilibrium (9 hours)

7.1 Dynamic equilibrium

7.2 The position of equilibrium

17.1 Liquid-vapor equilibrium

17.2 The equilibrium law

Topic 8 and Topic 18 Acids and Bases (16 hours)

8.1 Theories of acids and bases

8.2 Properties of acids and bases

8.3 Strong and weak acids and bases

8.4 The pH scale

18.1 Calculations involving acids and bases

18.2 Buffer solutions

18.3 Salt hydrolysis

18.4 Acid-base titrations

18.5 Indicators

Topic 9 and 19 Oxidation and Reduction (12 hours)

9.1 Introduction to oxidation and reduction

9.2 Redox equations

9.3 Reactivity

9.4 Voltaic cells

19.1 Standard electrode potentials

19.2 Electrolysis

Topic 10 and Topic 20 Organic Chemistry (22 hours)

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Alkanes

10.3 Alkenes

10.4 Alcohols

10.5 Halogenoalkanes

10.6 Reactions pathways

20.1 Introduction

20.2 Nucleophilic substitution reactions

20.3 Elimination reactions

20.4 Condensation reactions

20.5 Reaction pathways

20.6 Stereoisomerism

Option 1 To be determined (22 hours)

Option 2 To be determined (22 hours)