Students studying IB Geography are expected to be able to:


  • Interpret and analyse maps using latitude, longitude, direction, scale, grid references
  • Interpret and (where appropriate) draw and annotate isoline, choropleth, flow, dot, topographic, and topological maps
  • Interpret satellite and aerial photos and cross sections (cross profile)


  • Interpret and construct: line, pie, bar scatter, triangular, logarithmic and bi-polar graphs, flow charts, radial diagrams, population pyramids and Lorenz curves

Statistical tests and indices

  • Interpret and calculate: total, mean, median, mode, frequency, range, density, percentage, ratio, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, chi squared test, nearest neighbour index, location quotient, diversity index, HDI, dependency ration and measures of spatial interaction (gravity models)

Research methods

  • Observe and record information by: interviewing, draw a field sketch and taking photographs, measuring, judging, recording, classifying, describing trends, patterns and relationships in data, predicting, identifying anomalies, making decisions, concluding and evaluating research methods

Writing Skills

  • Evaluate geographic information in terms of reliability, relevance, bias, and accuracy
  • Synthesize information, respond appropriately to command terms and present a coherent argument

Table of Contents edit

Core Themes - Part 1 - Patterns and Change (SL/HL) edit

The four topics are compulsory:

  1. Populations in transition 
  2. Disparities in wealth and development 
  3. Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability 
  4. Patterns in resource consumption 

Optional Themes - Part 2 (SL/HL) edit

At standard level 2 options must be studied, at higher level 3 are required.

A. Freshwater - issues and conflicts 
B. Oceans and their coastal margins 
C. Extreme Environments 
D. Hazards and disasters - risk assessment and response 
E. Leisure, sport and tourism 
F. The geography of food and health 
H. Urban environments

Extension Themes - Part 3 - Global Interactions (HL) edit

  1. Measuring global interactions 
  2. Changing space - the shrinking world 
  3. Economic interactions and flows 
  4. Environmental change 
  5. Social-cultural exchanges 
  6. Political outcomes 
  7. Global interactions at the local level