The Best IB Books of 2021

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Are you an International Baccalaureate (IB) student seeking success in the program? If yes, you are in the right place, as this article features a detailed review of the best IB textbooks for you.

The truth is that the IB program features so many topics with very little time to study them. Therefore, you’ll need to maximize your study time using the best IB books and study materials. To help, we’ve collected a list of the best IB books and textbooks that you can use to prepare for the exam. Read on to find out more.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top pick for IB books here.

Our Top Favorite
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book: Oxford IB Diploma Program Course Book
Our Top Runner Up
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
Our Top Value Pick
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
Book Title
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Favorite
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book: Oxford IB Diploma Program Course Book
Book Title
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
Book Title
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
Book Title
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-07-23

Our Favorites for Best IB Books

IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book by Eileen Dombrowski and Mimi Bick

For most people, the main goal of taking the IB program is to build confidence for critical thinking to process complex ideas in relevant contexts. For such people, the IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book is a book to prepare them for the difficult test and excellent material to take you closer to your learning goals. The book adopts an inquiry-based approach to drive independent thoughts and help students explore ideas, perspectives, and questions, equipping you with top-level critical awareness.

Perhaps, the biggest plus for this book is its ability to navigate the current IB syllabus with a clear and logical learning pathway. Therefore, learners can easily navigate the course to the assessment tasks without getting lost in details. Throughout the book, the authors simplified the complex concepts to make self-study easier and better.

What Makes It Unique:

  • IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book is written to help IB students analyze, process, and articulate otherwise complex ideas using an inquiry-based approach.
  • Instead of focusing typically on preparing you for the test like most other books do, this one focuses on using a questioning approach to encourage an open-minded, analytical approach.
  • A combination of concept explanations and practice sections helps to build the confidence needed to ace the program from the start.

Why Choose this IB Book:

  • IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book is able to navigate the current syllabus with a clear and logical learning pathway for students.
  • It features a smooth blend of different concepts so that you won’t get lost switching from one concept to another.
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book: Oxford IB Diploma Program Course Book
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • Dombrowski, Eileen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-07-23


IB Biology Course Book: 2014 Edition by Andrew Allott and David Mindorff

This is one of the best IB biology textbooks developed in collaboration with the IB to date; hence, the accurate match with the new SL and HL syllabus. Although a revised edition, the IB Biology Course Book: 2014 Edition still offers unparalleled support for the new concept-based learning approach. Throughout the book, the authors integrate skills, understanding, and applications, alongside real-world connections to ensure that students understand every topic beyond the classroom perspective.

Collaborating with the IBO also means that the book aligns strongly with the IB philosophy. This feature ensures that every part of the book offers unrivaled insight and support for success in the program.

What Makes It Unique:

  • IB Biology Course Book: 2014 Edition fully integrates the relatively new concept-based learning approach. So, students can be assured of a book that holistically addresses understanding, skills, applications, and science’s nature.
  • The book is very thorough with its contents, with each section featuring real questions that resemble the actual test.
  • Instead of focusing on the basics, this book’s authors partnered with the IBO to develop a book covering the complete syllabus that the exam features.

Why Choose this IB Book:

  • The book is well organized, with topics corresponding directly with the IB biology guide.
  • The use of basic language structures helps to ensure easier understanding, even when you have to self-study.
IB Biology Course Book: 2014 Edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • Allott, Andrew (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-07-22


Runner Ups for Best IB Books

Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM by Paul Fannon

Yet another book that forms part of the completely new mathematics for the IB Diploma series. The Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level has gained popularity among higher-level IB students. The highly illustrative coursebook features detailed explanations of how most parts of the IB higher-level syllabus can be applied. The author’s main objective is to adopt a progressive approach that encourages cumulative learning.

The Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level focuses much on teaching learners how to break down challenging concepts using mathematical formulas to capture every detail. The print book comes with an additional CD-ROM that provides a complete e-version of the book to aid learning on the go.

What Makes it Unique:

  • Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level provides a detailed explanation of concepts and the introduction of formula to aid easier learning and application.
  • Uses attention-grabbing tactics to make learning easier and more efficient.
  • Written by an experienced IB teacher.
    The inclusion of e-version aid learning anywhere.

Why Choose this IB Book:

  • It is a self-study book that you can use to develop your skills even when you are not necessarily preparing for the IB test.
  • Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level covers different vital aspects of IB mathematics, explaining concepts in a simplified manner.
  • A good blend of examples and exercises to consolidate learning.
On Sale
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Fannon, Paul (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-07-23


IB Extended Essay Course Book by Kosta Lekanides

The IB Extended Essay Course Book offers everything they’ll need to achieve in and outside the classroom as far as extended essay is concerned. It is not just the only support that matches the new IB Guide, but it also adopts an approach that makes learning easier. Throughout this book, learners are presented with a step-by-step pathway to maximize achievements. With his objective set at strengthening performance, the author provides complete guidance for researching and writing in this book.

The inclusion of a fully comprehensive outline of the assessment criteria means that learners have just what they need to understand and address this subject’s different requirements. Most users commend the book for containing just the right info to build skills central to performance in the Extended Essay.

What Makes It Unique:

  • IB Extended Essay Course Book is written to serve as an ideal reference to IB students interested in Extended Essay Writing.
  • Instead of focusing on just concepts, this book goes the extra to integrate examples and exercises to make the learning process engaging.
  • It offers a detailed explanation of the core of the subject, making it easy to learn.

Why Choose this IB Book:

  • IB Extended Essay Course Book is a good simple read, especially for people taking IB Extended Essay at a higher level.
  • A pretty decent book for learners that want to strengthen their background in Extended Essay.
IB Extended Essay Course Book (IB Diploma Program)
  • Oxford University Press
  • Lekanides, Kosta (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-07-23


Value Pick for Best IB Books

IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition by Geoff Neuss

The IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition is a go-to IB chemistry textbook online for IB students with limited time to study. Published by the Oxford University Press, this book is written to supplement other IB chemistry textbooks. The book breaks down topics into easily understandable sections, with pictures for proper comprehension. Perhaps, what stands this book out is its ability to reinforce all the key concepts for the 2014 syllabus, ensuring that students develop a clear understanding of the various SL and HL topics.

The book also integrates exam preparation material to help build your confidence and ability before the exam date. The use of clear and concise language in this book makes self-study easy.

What Makes it Unique:

  • The author of this book adopts a clear and explanatory writing style with plenty of visuals to make concepts accessible.
  • Integrates exam questions to strengthen potential and build strong foundations of assessment skills.
  • Uses a focused approach to simplify complex ideas, therefore, building confident understanding.

Why Choose this IB Book:

  • It features a very logical organization with practice questions integrated coherently to ensure easy understanding.
  • Very thorough for those who need a little extra help in addition to their textbook/class lectures
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
  • Neuss, Geoff (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 10/29/2014 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-07-23


How to Choose the Best IB Books for You?

Students taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program would typically need different IB resources to help them through the program. One such resource that’s vital for any student’s success is IB study books. As an IB student, you’ll be needing different IB books at various times throughout the program.

Most times, choosing a book that’s right for you can come with so much stress, especially with so many options available in the market. It would help if you had guidance on the right options to pick, and that is why we’ve created this section for you. With the proper application of the criteria in this section, you should get the best IB books for your needs. Read on to find important questions that you should answer correctly to get the best IB books in the market.

What Books are the Best for Self-study?

If you are in the market to buy books outside your teacher’s recommendations, then you are probably going to use the book for self-study. No IB student can thrive in the program without dedicating sufficient time to self-study. However, the amount of time you can commit to self-study often depends on how exciting and insightful available materials are. Therefore, when going to the market, you should be conscious of getting books that you can use during your personal study time.

Such books will not only help you prepare better for exams, they’ll also help you understand a broader scope of the subject in question. Most of the books reviewed in this article can be used for self-study. Therefore, whether it’s for IB mathematics or any other subjects, you can rest assured that you’ll find the best from this article.

Are You Looking for a General Overview or a More Specific Subject’s Book?

Another question that you should ask yourself is what you intend to get out of the book. Of course, the IB program is made up of different subjects, and you’ll need to dedicate time to all the subjects you’ll register for. Before going to the market, there’s a need to ask yourself what you truly need. Some textbooks contain a general overview of different subjects, while others focus more on a particular subject.

Bear in mind, however, that subject-focused textbooks typically have more details and are concept-oriented compared to general overviews. Therefore, if you intend to get better on a particular IB subject, you should buy a textbook that focuses much on it.

Are You a Beginner or an Advance IB Student?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is generally divided into levels. As the years go by, students progress from level to level. Each level had its unique requirements, and you must be ready to meet up their requirements. Textbooks are written to help you scale through the different levels. However, you must be aware of textbooks that suit your particular level before going to the market.

Generally, we’ll advise that you consult your teachers or program counselor for recommendations on the best textbooks for your level. Bear in mind that buying a textbook that’s not for your level would be counterproductive to your studies.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best IB Books

Here’s a helpful table to consolidate every IB book we went over:

Our Top Favorite
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book: Oxford IB Diploma Program Course Book
Our Top Runner Up
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
Our Top Value Pick
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
Book Title
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Favorite
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book: Oxford IB Diploma Program Course Book
Book Title
IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
Book Title
Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition: Oxford IB Diploma Program
Book Title
IB Chemistry Study Guide: 2014 Edition
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-07-23

That’s a wrap, a detailed review of the best IB books to buy. Both beginners and advanced learners can testify to the fact that the IB program is challenging. You’ll need all the relevant resources you can get to be successful throughout the program. Textbooks play an essential role both for self-study and for preparing yourself for exam conditions.

Unfortunately, the availability of so many books in the market can make the process of choosing the right IB book for your need somewhat complicated. You don’t have to be confused about it, not when you can choose from the options reviewed in this article. If you do not feel like picking any one of the options reviewed here, you can refer to our buying guide for tips on choosing the best IB books for you.

Our favorite pick, IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book by Eileen Dombrowski and Mimi Bick, will help you build the confidence you’ll need for critical thinking so that you can process complex ideas relevant to the subject. Our runners up, Mathematics for the IB Diploma: Higher Level with CD-ROM by Paul Fannon, features a detailed explanation of how an advanced syllabus can be applied.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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