IB Chemistry at FKG

Combined Higher Level/Standard Level course outline

Chemistry - an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills

The IB Chemistry Higher Level/Standard Level course is designed to bring the students on a level of knowledge to get a general understanding of how science “works”. Chemistry is a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science and serves as useful preparation for employment. The students are supposed to develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations associated with science and technology. Furthermore, the course will enable the students to apply and use a body of knowledge including methods and techniques of science in general or those unique to the subject of chemistry. The students will be trained to be patient and persistent in solving problems in a variety of contexts. Additionally, the students should be able to present their results and to communicate clearly with other people dealing with the same or similar matter. Finally, the course members ought to appreciate historical and multicultural aspects of chemistry.


To achieve those objectives the course will provide opportunities for scientific exploration and creativity within global contexts. For the course on Standard Level, no specific background or previous knowledge of science is presumed. The students approach to study, characterized by the specific IB learner profile attributes – inquirers, thinkers and communicators – will be significant here. For students considering the study of chemistry at Higher Level some previous exposure to the subject is recommended.

The two-year chemistry course will include the essential principles of the subject but also, through a selection of a compulsory option, will allow some flexibility to tailor the course to meet the needs of the students. Short histories of chemical pioneers and events are also going to be part of the lessons. Furthermore, we keep in touch with the renowned chemistry department of Goettingen University, which has always been a centre of internationally orientated excellent research since the university's foundation in 1737. The course covers all the eleven core topics and one of the options of the new 2016 syllabus. Additionally, an interdisciplinary project (“Group 4 Project”) gives the students an opportunity to share and explore natural science knowledge.


Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. Throughout the course, continuous investigations are executed by the students, preparing them for the Individual Investigation. As an important part of the final assessment each student has to perform one investigation on basis of a personal research question. This will be moderated by the teacher as well as by an external examiner. As mentioned above, the group 4 project is another practical activity in which “students from different group 4 subjects will work together on a scientific or technological topic to encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method”.

Students get a written and oral feedback after each core chapter. This should help the students to evolve their work according to the IB criteria and to assess their overall progress throughout the course.

Core topics according to the 2016 syllabus:

  1. Stoichiometric relationships 
  2. Atomic structure
  3. The periodic table 
  4. Chemical bonding and structure
  5. Energetics
  6. Chemical kinetics
  7. Equilibrium 
  8. Acids and bases
  9. Redox processes
  10. Organic chemistry
  11. Measurement and data proces 

Options (one must be chosen for exam paper 3):

  • Materials
  • Biochemistry 
  • Energy
  • Medicinal chemistry