(Original post by hin1994)
I agree with George, GCSEs don't mean much. I got 10 A*s for GCSE but only got 42 for IB. Whereas I know someone with no A*s for GCSE, with As and Bs, who got 44 IB points.
This is to do with work ethic, but more importantly, subject combination. If you take science/humanities/maths at higher level (eg Maths Physics History HL) it requires a wide range of skills, e.g. logical thinking, argument, deduction, arithmetic skills....etc. In contrast if you take soft subjects at HL (eg Business Second Language B Biology), it requires less of the skills mentioned above; rote memorization can get you much further.
Indeed, subjects which require memorization such as Biology are very time-consuming, but if you memorize the book then the 7 is in the bag. In contrast, with History / Maths, memorizing the textbook is not enough - you simply do not know what questions they could throw at you, and really have to understand the picture. With history, the cause/effect relationship, as well as your own judgement of the "most important factor" of a major event, need to be clarified, explained and argued lucidly to get a 6. That, PLUS originality/insight, gives you the 7.
Therefore, hard workers benefit from taking soft subjects which can be mastered through memorization. People who understand concepts quickly, but are lazy, can take subjects which require a high level of conceptual ability/logical reasoning, such as Maths/History HL. If you understand each concept thoroughly, the 7 is in fact not hard to achieve at all.
In sum, I believe the key to doing well in IB is a careful combination of four things. First: you must have the ability to gauge the extent of effort you are prepared to put in, as well as the extent of your natural conceptual ability in the maths/sciences. Second: you must then choose the appropriate subject combination based on which element you are stronger in (hard work / natural conceptual ability), and work hard during the course. Third: you must have good time management skills, putting the appropriate amount of effort into each subject. Fourth: luck of the draw during the exams could make or break you :P
This, my friends, is the formula for getting a 43+ score, assuming there is no drastic IA moderation.
PS: what brought me down to my heartbreaking 6s in English and History, was IA moderation. My English coursework was slashed by 9 marks in total (41/50 to 32/50), and my History coursework was slashed by 6 marks (24/25 to 18/25).
Do not take this "IA moderation" thing as discouragement though, I was in fact quite lazy up till the last two or so months of IB (skipping class and whatnot) so in some sense the disappointing 6s were reflective of my minimal effort. Work hard and you will get 43+.