One of the key features of the maths and science courses in the IB diploma programme is the inclusion of “option” topics. I’ll come back to the scary quotes in a moment, but for now let’s briefly review the overall structure of maths and sciences at both the Standard and Higher Level. First, courses require students to learn the common core of the material. Second, there is a coursework component in the form of explorations, internal assessments, and practicals. And third, when all of that is out of the way, students also need to choose an extra option or options, which will be examined by separate papers.