A levels vs IB Watch

AquisM
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#41
Report 5 years ago
#41
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Did any of your friends or classmates take the Maths Studies or soft Sciences? Because I'm quite afraid that the universities might think taking Maths Studies and other soft sciences do not show that I'm a strong student in that area, and they might think that the subjects I've chose are not strong enough as an IB student...


Posted from TSR Mobile
Yes, they did. In fact, I have quite a few friends who took Maths Studies AND a 'soft' science. Most of them are planning to do English, Music, Drama and other subjects that are unrelated to maths/science, and one of them has already got an offer from University of Birmingham. It's true that some unis, particularly Oxbridge and the like, do look down upon these 'soft subjects', but ultimately, a good point score is more important, and if your course doesn't require extensive mathematical/scientific knowledge, then many unis will be fine with it.
0
reply
rebeccalrose
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#42
Report 5 years ago
#42
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Thank you for your advice! ill try considering about the soft sciences, but my problem is with maths haha. Just hope I can do it in maths studies the I can focus more in my humanities if I really take the IB


Posted from TSR Mobile
I've just applied to read law at university, and russell group generally want 6,6,6 in highers with 35-38 overall As you can see, they care more about your highers, so if you get 6,6,6 with 2 in the core, you only need to get 15 in your standards (so 6,5,4 or similar) to get 35. If you're doing fairly well in your GCSEs, this is very achievable. Also, if you are getting a C/D in maths GCSE, you should be able to get a 4/5 in studies
0
reply
rebeccalrose
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#43
Report 5 years ago
#43
(Original post by DarthVador)
Yes it is. Furthermore the IB changes the grade boundaries year on year so that the amount of people who get a 6 and a 7 is fixed.

8% of history A level students get A*, only 2% of IB history students get 7; YET british universities put more value on an A* than on a 7 for the IB.

And this is without even taking into account that the average IB student is more intelligent than the average A level student because IB students are mainly from wealthy and middle class international families while A levels serve the entire british population, which includes millions of stupid poor children with bad quality education.
I recommend that you do A levels if you want to study in the UK. If you want to go to the US or Canada, maybe the IB will be better recognized although I seriously doubt A levels would disadvantage you.
Er, no. Since when do universities 'put more value' on an A*. A seven is at least seen as equivalent, and by many institutions as better.
0
reply
DarthVador
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#44
Report 5 years ago
#44
(Original post by rebeccalrose)
Er, no. Since when do universities 'put more value' on an A*. A seven is at least seen as equivalent, and by many institutions as better.
For an AAA many institutions ask for 766. Meaning that they consider a 7 to be below an A* and a 6 to be around A or a little less.
For A*AA, they often ask for 776.
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#45
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#45
(Original post by rebeccalrose)
I've just applied to read law at university, and russell group generally want 6,6,6 in highers with 35-38 overall As you can see, they care more about your highers, so if you get 6,6,6 with 2 in the core, you only need to get 15 in your standards (so 6,5,4 or similar) to get 35. If you're doing fairly well in your GCSEs, this is very achievable. Also, if you are getting a C/D in maths GCSE, you should be able to get a 4/5 in studies
Which university did u apply to?
So it means that it doesn't matter what subjects I take(soft sciences or maths studies) , just as long as I can get high scores, and I'm strong in subjects related to the degree I want to take, then I might meet the requirements?
But I heard that the IB changes it's grade boundaries every year so it's quite difficult to get a high score...


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#46
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#46
(Original post by AquisM)
Yes, they did. In fact, I have quite a few friends who took Maths Studies AND a 'soft' science. Most of them are planning to do English, Music, Drama and other subjects that are unrelated to maths/science, and one of them has already got an offer from University of Birmingham. It's true that some unis, particularly Oxbridge and the like, do look down upon these 'soft subjects', but ultimately, a good point score is more important, and if your course doesn't require extensive mathematical/scientific knowledge, then many unis will be fine with it.
Okay I guess the subjects don't matter that much as long as I'm strong in what I should be and I get good scores, then the I can meet the requirements right?

By the way is it really difficult to get good results as the IB changes it's grade boundaries every year?


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
rebeccalrose
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#47
Report 5 years ago
#47
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Which university did u apply to?
So it means that it doesn't matter what subjects I take(soft sciences or maths studies) , just as long as I can get high scores, and I'm strong in subjects related to the degree I want to take, then I might meet the requirements?
But I heard that the IB changes it's grade boundaries every year so it's quite difficult to get a high score...


Posted from TSR Mobile
I've applied to Bristol (35 with 6,6,6), Nottingham (38 overall), UCL (39 with 7,6,6), LSE (38 with 6,6,6) and Oxford (38 with 7/6,6,6)
English universities don't care about your standards very much, as long as you get a good grade in them they don't care which subjects. (American Unis care a bit more) It's the highers they look at, as they are the A level equivalents, the standards are like extra AS levels.
Yes the IB change the grade boundaries every year, so you are marked against your cohort in the world. This could mean it's easier or higher depending on the calibre of the other students taking the IB, but it does mean it is trusted in a way that A levels haven't been in the last few years. There is no grade inflation on the IB, so if you get a 7, you sure as hell deserve a 7.
0
reply
rebeccalrose
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#48
Report 5 years ago
#48
(Original post by DarthVador)
For an AAA many institutions ask for 766. Meaning that they consider a 7 to be below an A* and a 6 to be around A or a little less.
For A*AA, they often ask for 776.
None of the universities I've applied to do this, and any that do simply don't understand the IB. It's quite easy to find the ones that do understand the IB, and then you can simply apply there.
There is also often more leeway on an offer for an IB student, so if you miss your offer by say 1 point, you're more likely to be accepted anyway than an A level student who missed their grade
0
reply
AquisM
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#49
Report 5 years ago
#49
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Okay I guess the subjects don't matter that much as long as I'm strong in what I should be and I get good scores, then the I can meet the requirements right?

By the way is it really difficult to get good results as the IB changes it's grade boundaries every year?


Posted from TSR Mobile
Yup, ultimately that's what matters, so don't be afraid to take a 'soft' subject just because some unis tend to dislike them.

Not really, the grade boundaries do change, but not by a lot. Each year, you still see the same sort of distribution of scores - around the same percentage gets 7, 6, 5 etc. each year, so I don't suppose so. But I wouldn't know, I haven't finished IB yet.
0
reply
seaholme
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#50
Report 5 years ago
#50
Personally the main reasons why I would pick A Levels over the IB are:

1. Despite what people say on this thread, it IS the case that many offers made to IB students are harder to achieve than A Level offers. It's easier to get an A than a 7, especially in subjects like HL Maths which are NOT always compared to Further Maths. For instance entry for a Physics degree might ask for an A in A Level Maths and a 6/7 in HL Maths. Definitely if you want to pursue a mathematical career, think hard about it.

2. The IB gives you the illusion of choice, but for some people you may actually discover that it was indeed just an illusion. I took IB to keep my options open, but when I think about it, I never ever wanted to do Maths and English. Subtract Maths and English and you're left with 4 subjects, the same as A Level. If there are 2 IB subjects you're a bit 'meh' about - maybe you're not fond of languages and dislike Maths - then think hard about whether it's actually worth taking those and doing the IB, because they'll pull your overall marks down. This is for two reasons - firstly you won't score as highly in them if you're awful at them. Secondly you'll be so busy stressing over doing better in those that you'll not be able to put as much time into your better subjects in the final 2 weeks of exams.

3. The final 2 weeks of exams. A Levels are spread over 2 years with opportunities for re-sits and it also means you don't have the stress of learning 6 subjects-worth of material to the highest possible level over the space of a 2-ish week exam period. It's so stressful having to know everything, and depending on your timetable you may even have your toughest subjects back to back - morning, afternoon, morning, afternoon etc.! It really affects your performance versus having just a day in between to go over big subjects like chemistry, biology etc.

4. Anybody recommending the IB without having gone into the second year of it, no offence to those people at all, but it's not really possible to get a clear view from just the first year. The first year is very little work and the second year is atrocious. The IBO do not seem to take any responsibility for the quality of teaching or organisation of the IB and some schools will leave everything until the 2nd year. My school even taught us out of A Level textbooks. If you do go to to the IB, try to look at the past IB results and speak to some people already doing it to know whether the teachers actually know much about the IB itself.

5. CAS, TOK etc. are bull**** and do not expand your life. TOK will if you've never ever contemplated anything ever before, in which case it will be fascinating to sit and ponder whether we all see colours the same and other such random things. If you do absolutely nothing with your life except for school then CAS may motivate you to do it (although to be honest, almost everybody at my school was already doing enough for CAS) only with a shedload of documentation. Personally I would suggest doing D of E which is the same as CAS in terms of activities but you get to go on the expeditions, and you don't have to do a load of BS reflections about how you playing badminton miraculously helped improve the world and made you think deeply about your place in society. There's a lot less paperwork and you get an award at the end If you do CAS I suggest also doing D of E anyway because it's more fun.

I personally would not recommend the IB to anybody unless they have a particular and very IB specific reason. Think hard about what A Levels you want to do, is my advice. Whether or not the IB prepares you 'better' for University, I'm not sure. I think writing the EE does give you some skills, but there is an A Level equivalent which you can also do - some kind of extended project - which is less limited in terms of the scope than the EE is, so it's not like the IB is the only way to achieve this. The main skill you acquire via the IB is coping with being really tired, a bit miserable and occasionally stressed out. Whether you want to habituate yourself to this before it is really necessary is up to you.
1
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#51
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#51
(Original post by rebeccalrose)
I've applied to Bristol (35 with 6,6,6), Nottingham (38 overall), UCL (39 with 7,6,6), LSE (38 with 6,6,6) and Oxford (38 with 7/6,6,6)
English universities don't care about your standards very much, as long as you get a good grade in them they don't care which subjects. (American Unis care a bit more) It's the highers they look at, as they are the A level equivalents, the standards are like extra AS levels.
Yes the IB change the grade boundaries every year, so you are marked against your cohort in the world. This could mean it's easier or higher depending on the calibre of the other students taking the IB, but it does mean it is trusted in a way that A levels haven't been in the last few years. There is no grade inflation on the IB, so if you get a 7, you sure as hell deserve a 7.
Is that your grades or the university requirements?
Okay I might consider taking IB now, because it looks like ill be more prepared for university life, as a all rounded students I guess...
We're required to take at least 3 HL right? So I can choose to take HL for the subjects I'm strong in?


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#52
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#52
(Original post by AquisM)
Yup, ultimately that's what matters, so don't be afraid to take a 'soft' subject just because some unis tend to dislike them.

Not really, the grade boundaries do change, but not by a lot. Each year, you still see the same sort of distribution of scores - around the same percentage gets 7, 6, 5 etc. each year, so I don't suppose so. But I wouldn't know, I haven't finished IB yet.
Okay, the subject combination is good news to me I guess :P
is it difficult for you to focus in 6 subjects in different areas in 2 years time? Because the A levels only require 4 subjects so people do say it's more relaxing...

By the way what subjects are you taking ?




Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#53
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#53
(Original post by CaldoVerde)
Yeah, I had good exam results before the holidays and have 37 points predicted, so you can still do well with a busy schedule. I have huge commitments to drama, directing one play and leading actor in another, as well as preparing speeches for drama school, along with volleyball, model united nations and music commitments. You can always get the grades you want if you work at it, just don't expect much sleep at all
You still do well while balancing your time between studies and activities! I guess it's quite a good exposure for you to take part in so many things


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
AquisM
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#54
Report 5 years ago
#54
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Okay, the subject combination is good news to me I guess :P
is it difficult for you to focus in 6 subjects in different areas in 2 years time? Because the A levels only require 4 subjects so people do say it's more relaxing...

By the way what subjects are you taking ?




Posted from TSR Mobile
Not really. I've never done A-Levels so I can't compare the feeling, but ultimately you only do 3/4 HLs that go into similar depth as A-Levels (the only exception is probably Maths, where SL is more comparable to A Level), so it's more like doing 5 subjects rather than 6, even when you count in the time spent on TOK, EE and CAS. It's not that difficult with the right subject combination, and to be honest, the IB does do quite a good job in terms of deciding the right level of difficulty for SL and HL so that any combination is doable. A lot of it comes down to your own personal time management and organistion skills, and if you are poor in that area, you wouldn't excel in any qualification anyway, be it A-Levels, IB or some other exam.

I take HL Maths, Chemistry, Physics and SL Spanish, Eng Lit and Econ.
0
reply
rebeccalrose
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#55
Report 5 years ago
#55
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Is that your grades or the university requirements?
Okay I might consider taking IB now, because it looks like ill be more prepared for university life, as a all rounded students I guess...
We're required to take at least 3 HL right? So I can choose to take HL for the subjects I'm strong in?


Posted from TSR Mobile
Those are the Uni requirements And you can definitely choose the 3 HLs you feel you are strongest in.
You have to take a language, a science, English, maths, a humanities and then either another language, science or humanities or an arts subject like art, film studies etc. (6 altogether)
3 are at higher (your strongest ones) and the other 3 at standard (or studies maths, which is still a 'standard' level, even though it's studies- confusing, I know)
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#56
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#56
(Original post by AquisM)
Not really. I've never done A-Levels so I can't compare the feeling, but ultimately you only do 3/4 HLs that go into similar depth as A-Levels (the only exception is probably Maths, where SL is more comparable to A Level), so it's more like doing 5 subjects rather than 6, even when you count in the time spent on TOK, EE and CAS. It's not that difficult with the right subject combination, and to be honest, the IB does do quite a good job in terms of deciding the right level of difficulty for SL and HL so that any combination is doable. A lot of it comes down to your own personal time management and organistion skills, and if you are poor in that area, you wouldn't excel in any qualification anyway, be it A-Levels, IB or some other exam.

I take HL Maths, Chemistry, Physics and SL Spanish, Eng Lit and Econ.
Does the CAS consume a lot of time? But I guess it's fun because its an exposure. Which year are you in now?
I guess I really need to do some research and understand the whole system and how it really works before I decide. i might take quite a long time to plan, As if I want to take the IB, I might go to Hong kong for that. The colleges here do not really offer IB programme.


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#57
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#57
(Original post by rebeccalrose)
Those are the Uni requirements And you can definitely choose the 3 HLs you feel you are strongest in.
You have to take a language, a science, English, maths, a humanities and then either another language, science or humanities or an arts subject like art, film studies etc. (6 altogether)
3 are at higher (your strongest ones) and the other 3 at standard (or studies maths, which is still a 'standard' level, even though it's studies- confusing, I know)
I think I know what subjects to take if I'm really taking IB. I just need to decide as soon as possible because I'm already in the last year of high school. By the way do you know what maths studies is like?

And good luck in your application!


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
alexschmalex
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#58
Report 5 years ago
#58
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Does the CAS consume a lot of time?
CAS takes at least 150 hours out of your life, and that's not including all the reflections and writeups you need to do on top of it. What you do will determine whether or not you like it, there was nothing to do where I lived so I hated it.

If you're gonna study in the UK and have the option to do A-levels, I'd go for that instead. My friend did A-levels and he breezed through it while I struggled. We're doing the same course at uni and so far I have not really felt like I benefitted from doing the IB, but that could just be my course.
0
reply
AquisM
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#59
Report 5 years ago
#59
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Does the CAS consume a lot of time? But I guess it's fun because its an exposure. Which year are you in now?
I guess I really need to do some research and understand the whole system and how it really works before I decide. i might take quite a long time to plan, As if I want to take the IB, I might go to Hong kong for that. The colleges here do not really offer IB programme.


Posted from TSR Mobile
As said, CAS will definitely take 150 hours minimum. You just have to continuously do activities throuhjout the two years. If you have any hobbies like playing an instrument or train for basketball, then you've pretty much sorted at least a third of it. It's quite fun to learn new thinfs and participate in new activities.

I am in Year 2 right now, and I'm acutally from Hong Kong . Where are you from, if you don't mind me asking? Anyway, definitely do thorough research of both IB and potential colleges you want to go to. You wouldn't waste your two last years of secondary school because you couldn't be bothered to use Google. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here or PM me.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
rebeccalrose
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#60
Report 5 years ago
#60
(Original post by Yuanqii)
I think I know what subjects to take if I'm really taking IB. I just need to decide as soon as possible because I'm already in the last year of high school. By the way do you know what maths studies is like?

And good luck in your application!


Posted from TSR Mobile
Which subjects would you want to do? Maths studies (which I'm doing now) is somewhere between the difficulty of GCSE maths and AS maths, but you have 2 years to study it, so unless you are failing Maths GCSE, it will be fine And thanks!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • SOAS University of London
    Postgraduate Open Day Postgraduate
    Wed, 29 May '19
  • University of Exeter
    Undergraduate Open Day - Penryn Campus Undergraduate
    Thu, 30 May '19
  • Cranfield University
    Cranfield Forensic MSc Programme Open Day Postgraduate
    Fri, 31 May '19

How did your AQA A-level Business Paper 1 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (191)
22.52%
The paper was reasonable (390)
45.99%
Not feeling great about that exam... (157)
18.51%
It was TERRIBLE (110)
12.97%

Watched Threads

View All