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.

It is here that, for the most part, there are the fewest changes.  The content you choose to cover can be changed minimally or radically, depending on your choices.  And the assessment is the most similar to the current model.


The HL option is still region-based but the time frame has changed, as have two of the regions.

For our current Year II students doing Route 1, there is medieval Europe and the Middle East.  For those doing Route II, the time frame is roughly 1750-regions are: Africa, Americas, Asia, and Europe and the Middle East.

As with the rest of the curriculum, the two routes have been merged, and the curriculum now runs from 750-2005.   As opposed to 12, each regional option is divided into 18 sections but we still only need to cover 3.  Asia and Oceania and the Americas remain the same but there has been a seismic shift of sorts.  The ever-peripatetic Middle East has moved once again (many of you will recall that in the previous curriculum the Middle East was part of Asia), so our new regions are:

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


The Middle East has (yellow) been joined to Africa


The overall demands of Paper 3 remain the same and it looks the same as it has.  This is an essay test in which students are expected to write essays on different topics from their regional option.

The 18 sections are listed and there are two questions for each section.  Students can answer any three, meaning they can do two questions in one section.  So, they can answer three questions in three different sections or they can answer two questions in one section and the third from another.

The students still 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 they have for Paper 2, but they 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.  Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge that is detailed and accurate if they want to do well on this exam.

The changes to this assessment are mainly in two areas:

  1. The markbands have changed. Just as in Paper 2, essays are now graded out of 15 marks rather than 20.  This shift will be explained in further detail in a subsequent post.
  2. There are now 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

This is where teachers can relax the most because the changes are the fewest.