Happy New Year to all of you!  The weather has definitely changed course for most of you, and while most of my posts have been written with a blue sky and warm temperatures, the mountains of New Mexico have had near-record amounts of snow and the temperatures have been very cold, even for this altitude.

With the new year comes a new semester, term or quarter for many of you.  While I used the past term to cover the SL requirements of the course, this first posting of the term addressed the final piece of the History puzzle for HL.


The HL option is region-based, and the curriculum now runs from 750-2005.   Each regional option is divided into 18 sections but you only need to have detailed knowledge of three of these.

The IB regions are:

  • Africa and the Middle East
  • Americas
  • Asia and Oceania
  • Europe

The Middle East has (yellow) been joined to Africa


This is an essay test in which you are expected to write essays on different topics from your regional option.  There are two questions from each of the 18 sections, for a total of 36 questions.  Paper 3 puts the questions under a section heading so there are no surprises.

You can answer any three, so you can answer three questions in three different sections or you can answer two questions in one section and the third from another.  You have 2 1/2 hours to answer all three questions.  This works out to roughly 50 minutes per question, so that is more time than you have for Paper 2, but you should use all of that time.

This is the content heavy part of the assessment model: Paper 1 is skills based, Paper 2 is concept based and Paper 3 is content based.  You are expected to demonstrate knowledge that is detailed and accurate if they want to do well on this exam.

Just as in Paper 2, essays are graded out of 15 marks.  This will be explained in further detail in a subsequent post.

There are 5 command terms that will be used in the essays.  We will break these down in greater detail later, but for now here is the list:

  • Compare and contrast
  • Discuss
  • Evaluate
  • Examine
  • To what extent