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7th IB subject... is it too much? Really.

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    I'm not going to say way too much about myself but I am a straight A*/A student at GCSE'S at the mo,

    i am definitely going to do the IB..

    I'm in year 10 but im trying to finalise my options now before september's sixth form applications etc.. here is what I decided on:

    English literature SL
    French SL
    Art (taught in french) SL

    History HL
    Maths HL
    Chemistry HL

    I really want to do World Politics at standard or higher as a 7th subject.. and it does link in with history i guess... but is it worth it? please no simple assumptions of "oh too much homework" I would really appreciate someone who has gone through/ is going through the IB diploma and knows what they are talking about..

    THANK YOU!
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    I'm nearly done with the IB- just got my French exam left- and I can say that it's hard work, even with 6 subjects. Then again I'm incredibly lazy when it comes to studies (blame the ADD) and I've heard of people doing 7 or even more subjects, and getting high scores.

    But do you really want to take 7 subjects when your HLs are Math, Chemistry and History? You do know that those subjects have a famed reputation for their difficulty? I don't want to stereotype, there ARE people who can handle it but most people I know think that having Math/ History HL is like having 3 extra subjects anyway.

    What do you want to do in college? If you're going for something History- related where Math is not necessary at all, why not drop to Math Studies and then take World Religions at HL as a 7th subject?

    By the way, getting straight A*/ A's at GCSE is hardly an indicator of how you'll do at IB. I got straight As at GCSE too, and know plenty who got like 9 A*s and many of us started IB thinking '38, no problem' but two years into this mess and I've realized that 34 is also a very, very good score. Just a heads up
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    Politics isnt as recognised as your other subjects by universities. Depending on what you want to do in life I would even swap Art for politics.
    You really dont understand the workload of your subjects

    History/English is a minimum of an essay each a week
    Being taught french SL and doing SL Art in french? If you want to be taught in french you should be taking French HL tbh.
    Art is ALOT of content.
    Maths requires commitment, you need atleast 3-5hrs a week of solid practice out of school and the aptitude to do well...kids at my school fail SL math with A* at GCSE...
    Chemistry has content and requires some practice.

    I take
    HL Physics
    HL Maths
    HL Chem

    SL Spanish
    SL English
    SL Economics

    and I've just got 1 exam left, going by the exams I've done so far I'm going to get around 42 so I know what Im talking about when it comes to the IB.
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    I agree with Jonty, I myself have similar subjects, and can say that Mathematics HL will take up quite a bit of your time every day if you want to become good at it and end up with a high grade.
    I also take chemistry at higher level, and it has quite a high workload.
    Why do you want to take a 7th? Unless it's a requirement for university, I would not. You can always try take it and if your workload becomes too much, drop it since it's not part of your diploma anyways.

    (Original post by Jonty007)
    Politics isnt as recognised as your other subjects by universities. Depending on what you want to do in life I would even swap Art for politics.
    You really dont understand the workload of your subjects

    History/English is a minimum of an essay each a week
    Being taught french SL and doing SL Art in french? If you want to be taught in french you should be taking French HL tbh.
    Art is ALOT of content.
    Maths requires commitment, you need atleast 3-5hrs a week of solid practice out of school and the aptitude to do well...kids at my school fail SL math with A* at GCSE...
    Chemistry has content and requires some practice.

    I take
    HL Physics
    HL Maths
    HL Chem

    SL Spanish
    SL English
    SL Economics

    and I've just got 1 exam left, going by the exams I've done so far I'm going to get around 42 so I know what Im talking about when it comes to the IB.
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    I was also a straight A/A* person at GCSE and now I'm hoping for 36 with the IB (last exam in 6 days time!). How you're doing in Year 10 isn't really too much of an indicator of how you will do at IB. I found GCSEs really quite easy and didn't work as hard as I should have done (I probably would have got a couple more A*s if I had) but the IB is on a completely different level.
    With regards to your subjects, I seriously wouldn't recommend taking 7, especially if you're doing Art. I took Art SL and I ended up spending more time on it than my HLs (English, French and Philosophy, would probably be considered easier that yours!). Even doing Maths Studies I have found IB to be A LOT of work. Plus there's CAS: have you thought about how you would fit that around 7 subjects? No CAS, no diploma.
    But as kaibraunbeck suggested, you could always try with the 7 and then drop one if it doesn't work out.
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    (Original post by Sumie)
    I'm not going to say way too much about myself but I am a straight A*/A student at GCSE'S at the mo,

    I really want to do World Politics at standard or higher as a 7th subject.. and it does link in with history i guess... but is it worth it? please no simple assumptions of "oh too much homework" I would really appreciate someone who has gone through/ is going through the IB diploma and knows what they are talking about..

    THANK YOU!
    As someone who has very nearly finished their final year of IB, I'll try to be useful
    I do History HL. If you do it properly, without taking risks with how much you know before exams, it is so much work. We would often get an essay a week. These essays we wrote were 14 pages often. I sometimes wrote essays over 4000 words (that's over the amount you are supposed to write for your Extended Essay). History HL is amazing, and so so interesting, but it is a lot of work unless you are going to slack off.
    Maths HL - many of my friends had a similar desire to take Maths HL. After the first year, all but three dropped down to SL. Maths HL is hard. If you really want to take it, prepare yourself either for working on it for hours and hours and hours, or prepare yourself for a mediocre mark. If maths isn't that important to you, don't spend your time crying over Maths HL/dragging down your score because you got a 5 in it (which, for Maths HL, is apparently a good score!). As people have said, I'm afraid GCSE scores aren't really an indicator of how well you do - they show you are bright, but you need more than that for the IB. I was in top set for GCSE maths, took it a year early and got an A*. At the end of the first year, I dropped from SL to Studies because I realised that the universities didn't care what I took (as I was applying for MML).
    Don't underestimate Chemistry either!
    If you really have your heart set on World Politics, firstly see if you could possibly replace it with anything else you have chosen. If not, the only way I could see you actually doing a 7th subject and not dying would be to drop Maths to Studies (easy) and put World Politics at HL. If you love love love Maths though, maybe this isn't an option.
    Seriously though, a 7th subject...firstly, your timetable would be horrible. I only get 2 frees a week, and that's with 6 subjects. Around exam time, we were scheduling two extra history lessons a week just to fit the syllabus in! Your exam timetable would also be horrible, and you would have more to study than everybody else. Plus, it's not just the subject itself...it's the Internal Assessments and other forms of coursework that are stressful as well. Also...I imagine you want a good IB score to show for your two years of hard work? Well, would you rather get a good score doing 6 subjects, or a slightly more mediocre one doing 7 (because it was so much harder?).
    You'll want to make life as easy as possible for yourself. And let's face it - you need some times for seeing friends and actually having a life! Think about it carefully and remember not to underestimate the amount of work it will be.
    It is worth it though, if you do it well
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    Its too much........... plus GCSE's are a piss take. IGCSEs (Edexcel or Cambridge) are far more difficult. Source? I took GCSE sciences and Maths in year 9
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    You will regret it for the rest of your life I promise you. No universities will even notice that you took a 7th subject, just that the grades in your other subjects are lower.

    Higher History requires an awful lot of extra reading, while Maths and Chemistry are ridiculously difficult. You won't have any free periods and the work load will be approaching 3/4 hours a night if you take an extra subject. Art is also a nightmare and is ridiculously harshly marked, so just choose between that and Politics - coming from an IB 45er.
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    (Original post by Banishingboredom)
    You will regret it for the rest of your life I promise you. No universities will even notice that you took a 7th subject, just that the grades in your other subjects are lower.

    Higher History requires an awful lot of extra reading, while Maths and Chemistry are ridiculously difficult. You won't have any free periods and the work load will be approaching 3/4 hours a night if you take an extra subject. Art is also a nightmare and is ridiculously harshly marked, so just choose between that and Politics - coming from an IB 45er.
    You got 45? Wow, respect

    I used to be set on 45...but then Chemistry and German happened. Now I'm hoping for 43...
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    Erm...pretty sure you can't do 7 subjects anyway? You have to register for 6 subjects when you register for doing the exams through your school. Unless you mean you do 7 subjects for learning and then choose which 6 you actually want to do...but you wouldn't be allowed to enter with 7 subjects, sit 7 exams...

    ??
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    (Original post by beautiful-lion)
    You got 45? Wow, respect

    I used to be set on 45...but then Chemistry and German happened. Now I'm hoping for 43...
    I used to be set on 42. It was a sheer freak of examining nature haha
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    Not worth it, universities don't care. That's the short and sweet answer.
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    I only have French left now, and I've done:

    HL Math, Physics, Chemistry
    SL French B, Economics, English A1

    All of my highers were a lot of work. English, even at standard level, was arguably even more work- but perhaps it seemed that way as I am generally a more number than word-oriented person. The IB? First few weeks teachers settle you into it and everyone keeps telling you how difficult things are gonna get... In all honesty, HL Math was the hardest subject to do at first- if you want to picture it, it's like being in a jet fighter that is catapulted off an aircraft carrier into flight. Your GCSEs are your aircraft carrier, the jet fighter hurtling at over 200 MPH in a mere few seconds is math in the IB. However, I do have to disagree with a lot of the people here and other forums and teachers too- HL Math is not difficult if you understand math. If you are fine with numbers, if you can visualize (this is the most important part) a line in 3D space or what-not, you will do fine- English will be a bigger workload than Math. I think HL Math gained its reputations as an impossible subject from people who aren't initially "good" in Math but think they still want the reputation of being a higher level math stident.
    Physics- again, this requires intuition, but if you feel confident with Physics, you'll be able to handle it. HL Chem has the largest syllabus- it'll be roughly 600 pages of knowledge that you'll have to store in your head before exam time- but in the end, it's intuitive, and anyone can do it.
    Economics- easy, but I found the last few months difficult as I'm initially not an economics fan and so I wanted to finish as quickly as possible. English, French-these are languages, so any homework wil be essay homework and reading homework. A lot of analysis in English, you'll read between 10-15 books in your two years, and the last few books you'll write a Paper 2 on- so many people read the books 2-3 times (I only read one of them twice, and think I did very well on paper 2 so even that is not necessary).
    THE IB IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT! Study hard from day 1, you'll get into the flow. Put things off for later- you'll get into a habit you'll regret of ever having burdened yourself with once July 6th comes and those who worked hard get their 45s, and those who did not work hard enough tell themselves that whatever they achieved was good enough. Anyone is "good enough" for a 45- and if you get it, the IB will have taught you the fruits of hard work and insight.
    IF you are interested in World Politics, go for it. What the hell? You shouldn't be studying subjects because a university needs them, and you shouldn't be going to university because a job needs it. You are doing these things for yourself- and the main thing is to stay confident and happy in life. You want to a 7th subject? **** it, do it and be admired and respected for it. Who cares in a university might (and I hardly hardly HARDLY doubt this) not see that you've a done a whole other subject int he world's hardest pre-university program? You'll have done what you wanted- and at the end of the day, that's what matters.
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    Look, I can't be bothered to actually read those comments above cos they are really long, but anyway, I'll tell you my experience:I asked the head of my department for the 7th subjects, for I wanted to do art.. he told me that I could possibly do it, but that I have to choose 6 subjects for my finals.. so you would have a 6 subject diploma either way!
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    (Original post by KeelyEverywhere)
    Look, I can't be bothered to actually read those comments above cos they are really long, but anyway, I'll tell you my experience:I asked the head of my department for the 7th subjects, for I wanted to do art.. he told me that I could possibly do it, but that I have to choose 6 subjects for my finals.. so you would have a 6 subject diploma either way!
    That's what I thought and said - you can't do 7 subjects! So why is everyone wasting their time going into soooooo much detail??
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    (Original post by ElationAndPathways)
    That's what I thought and said - you can't do 7 subjects! So why is everyone wasting their time going into soooooo much detail??
    You can do 7 subjects. You just have to choose which one goes onto the certificate and the others are used for your diploma.
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    (Original post by ElationAndPathways)
    That's what I thought and said - you can't do 7 subjects! So why is everyone wasting their time going into soooooo much detail??
    Firstly: you can do seven subjects.

    Secondly: it's helpful. I know I deliberated for ages about IB, and would have appreciated detail.
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    (Original post by Banishingboredom)
    I used to be set on 42. It was a sheer freak of examining nature haha
    And a dash of hard work and a sprinkle of intelligence?

    Lucky you - you're in the 0.1%!

    Haha, so jeal!
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    (Original post by chickenonsteroids)
    You can do 7 subjects. You just have to choose which one goes onto the certificate and the others are used for your diploma.
    (Original post by beautiful-lion)
    Firstly: you can do seven subjects.

    Secondly: it's helpful. I know I deliberated for ages about IB, and would have appreciated detail.
    Oh ok... but if it's not on the diploma, then it just counts as a completely extraneous thing...you can't really call it doing 7 subjects for IB can you? You're still only doing 6 on the diploma. So it would have the same value as, for example, doing the normal IB diploma in two years and then doing an extra subject afterwards.

    I'm struggling to see how that would help with uni applications apart from increasing your UCAS points...
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    (Original post by ElationAndPathways)
    Oh ok... but if it's not on the diploma, then it just counts as a completely extraneous thing...you can't really call it doing 7 subjects for IB can you? You're still only doing 6 on the diploma. So it would have the same value as, for example, doing the normal IB diploma in two years and then doing an extra subject afterwards.

    I'm struggling to see how that would help with uni applications apart from increasing your UCAS points...
    Yes you can. I don't see what the problem is. Just because it isn't useful for university applications doesn't mean you aren't doing 7 subjects during the IB.

    You get a good amount of UCAS points from doing well in the IB anyway.

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