Is IB Psychology Hard

Is IB Psychology Hard? A Comprehensive Overview

IB Psychology is a challenging subject that requires considerable time and effort to master. Many students in this course need help with the complex concepts and theories.

The difficulty can change based on a person’s previous knowledge, interest, and how they study.

When considering whether IB Psychology is hard, it is essential to note that the course is designed to be rigorous and demanding. The curriculum covers various topics, including cognitive, biological, and sociocultural psychology.

Students must develop critical thinking skills, research, and analyze data. Moreover, the exams are structured to require students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and apply them to real-life situations.

Despite the challenges, many students find IB Psychology to be a rewarding and engaging subject.

It offers a special chance to learn how people think and act, helping us better understand ourselves and those around us. 

Course Structure

HL and SL Courses

IB Psychology offers Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) courses. The HL course is more demanding and covers a broader range of topics than the SL course.

The HL course requires students to complete more coursework, and the exams are more challenging. The SL course, on the other hand, covers fewer topics and requires less coursework. The exams for the SL course are also less demanding.

Subject Combination

IB Psychology is part of the Individuals and Societies group of subjects. This means that students who take IB Psychology must also take at least one more subject from this group.

Students who take the HL course will need to take two more subjects from the Individuals and Societies group, while students who take the SL course will need to take one more subject from this group.

Individuals and Societies

The Individuals and Societies group includes various subjects, such as Anthropology, Business and Management, Economics, Geography, History, Psychology, Philosophy, and Social and Cultural Anthropology.

🌟 Hey Students! 🚀 Ready for the ultimate experience? Join us on's Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn. Click now for tips, fun, and success vibes! 🌈✨ #StudentLife #JoinUs

Students who take IB Psychology must choose another subject from this group to fulfill the IB requirements. Overall, the course structure of IB Psychology is challenging but manageable for students who are interested in the subject.

The HL course is more demanding, but it gives students a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. Students taking the SL course will cover fewer topics but have a more manageable workload.

Assessments and Examinations

Internal Assessment

The Internal Assessment (IA) is a crucial component of IB Psychology. It is an opportunity for students to research and apply the concepts they have learned in class.

The IA is worth 25% of the final grade and is assessed by the teacher. Students must conduct their research project, collect data, analyze it, and write a report. The IA can be a challenging task, but with proper guidance and planning, students can excel in it.

Paper 1

Paper 1 is a two-hour exam that consists of short answer questions. The exam is worth 46 points and covers the course’s core topics. Students are required to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and theories covered in the course.

The exam is divided into sections A and B. Section A consists of three compulsory questions, and Section B consists of three optional questions, out of which students must answer one.

Paper 2

Paper 2 is a one-hour exam that consists of two essay questions. The exam is worth 22 points and covers the options of the course. Students must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the possibilities they have studied.

The exam is divided into two sections, A and B. Section A consists of one compulsory question, and Section B consists of three optional questions, of which students must answer one.

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is a project where students conduct independent research in their last year of the IB Diploma Programme. This essay contributes 20% to the final grade and is evaluated by external assessors.

Students must choose a research question, conduct research, analyze the data, and write a 4,000-word essay. The Extended Essay can be a challenging task, but with proper guidance and planning, students can excel in it.

Study Material and Revision

Suitable materials and revision techniques can make all the difference when studying for the IB Psychology exam. Here are some effective study materials and revision techniques that can help students prepare for the exam.


Taking detailed notes is essential to studying for the IB Psychology exam. Students should take comprehensive notes during class, highlighting key concepts and theories. These notes can then create study guides to help students review and reinforce their understanding of the material.

Students should organize their notes clearly and logically to make the most of them. This can involve using headings, bullet points, and diagrams to help structure the information. Students can also use different colors and highlighters to help emphasize important information.


Watching videos can help you understand IB Psychology better, alongside class notes and books. Many online videos explain the main ideas and theories. These videos can benefit visual learners, as they often use diagrams and animations to help explain complex ideas.

When watching videos, students should take notes and pause the video to review and reinforce their understanding of the material. Watching videos multiple times to ensure they have a solid grasp of the material can also be helpful.

Model Answers

Model answers can be a valuable resource for students preparing for the IB Psychology exam. These answers provide examples of how to structure and write essay responses and demonstrate the level of detail and analysis required to achieve high marks.

Students can find model answers online or through their teacher. They can use these answers to practice writing their responses and to identify areas where they may need to improve their understanding of the material.

It is important to note that students should not simply memorize model answers but rather use them as a guide to help structure their responses.

Challenges in IB Psychology

IB Psychology can be challenging for students due to the complex subject matter, requiring them to grasp various theories, concepts, and research methodologies. 


One of the main challenges in IB Psychology is the amount of research students need to read and understand. Students are expected to memorize many studies and evaluations and apply them to the questions asked in the exam. This requires a lot of time and effort and can overwhelm some students.

To overcome this challenge, students can break the research into smaller sections and try to understand each study’s main concepts and theories. They can also use study guides or summaries to help them memorize the key points of each study.

Human Relationships

Another challenge in IB Psychology is understanding the complex nature of human relationships. This topic covers various areas, including interpersonal attraction, communication, and group dynamics.

Students need to understand the different theories and concepts related to these areas and be able to apply them to real-life situations.

To overcome this challenge, students can use case studies and examples to help them understand the different concepts and theories related to human relationships.

They can also use role-playing exercises or group discussions to practice applying these concepts to real-life situations.

Derek Burton

Derek Burton is a well-known psychologist who has made significant contributions to the field of psychology. His work has focused on cognitive, social, and developmental psychology. Students studying IB Psychology may come across his work in their courses.

To overcome the challenge of understanding Derek Burton’s work, students can use study guides or summaries to help them understand the main concepts and theories related to his work. They can also read his original research papers to understand his work better.

Community and Support

IB Psychology can be challenging, but students can find support from various sources. Community and support are essential for students to succeed in IB Psychology. 


Teachers play a crucial role in supporting IB Psychology students. They are responsible for guiding students through the course content, providing feedback on assignments, and helping students prepare for exams.

Teachers can also provide emotional support to students struggling with the workload. Students are encouraged to communicate with their teachers regularly and seek help when needed.


Examiners are responsible for grading IB Psychology exams. Students can benefit from understanding how examiners grade papers. This knowledge can help students write better responses.

Examiners also provide exam feedback, which can help students understand their strengths and weaknesses. Students can use this feedback to do better on their next tests.


IB Psychology alumni can provide valuable support to current students. Alumni who have completed the course can offer advice on how to succeed.

They can also share their experiences and give tips on managing the workload. Students can connect with alumni through social media or alumni networks.


R/IBO is a subreddit dedicated to the IB program. It is a community of IB students, alumni, and educators who share their experiences and offer support to each other.

Students can use this subreddit to ask questions, seek advice, and connect with other IB Psychology students.

The subreddit also provides resources and study tips to help students succeed in IB Psychology.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *