How to survive with Double Sciences at Higher Level? Watch

JamesHoKS
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I have to choose my IB Subjects by next tuesday, and i need some help. Currently I'm thinking of Bio/Chem/Eng at HL. I have seen the curriculum for bio & chem at hl and i find that it is really demanding. I actually prefer having just one hl science (which would be bio because i love bio and not so chem), but a hl in chem is definitely needed as a university prerequisite when pursuing a science-related course (such as medicine, physiology, marine biologist) - it is the necessary evil since having science career is my final objective.

I am terrified of the workload to befall me with two hl sciences in hand. I would like to meet people who took these two sciences at HL and for them to share the experience of having double science hl. In particular concern is the IAs (lab reports - you have to do 20 detailed ones in one year) and the extra curriculum (hl chemistry, for example, is a steep climb from sl chem in terms of syllabus). i have the passion for biology, but not that much for chem, so im worried it'll bring me down.

How is life like with bio&chem hl? What should i look out for? :woo:

Thanks
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JamesHoKS
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help please
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Iapetus
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No need to bump after half an hour. You'd have to wait at least 4 days before any thread in IB discussion drops off the front page.

I do Chem&Phys at HL (graduating this year). We're cutting the Chemistry really close and will only just finish the options syllabus with the amount of time left, so YES the workload is quite demanding. With Chemistry everything is sequential; if you don't understand one topic before the next you'll suffer because everything builds on previous topics. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to be really comfortable with Topic 4: Bonding as this is by far the most central topic. Also Topic 1: Quantitative Chem is worth lots of easy marks if you get familiar with it early on.

(Original post by JamesHoKS)
In particular concern is the IAs (lab reports - you have to do 20 detailed ones in one year)
Just thought I'd pick you up on this because whoever told you it is wrong. Your school may have a policy to try and do 20 in one year but it is by no means an IB requirement. IA for the sciences are built around 3 areas: Design (D), Data Collection and Processing (DCP), and Concluding and Evaluating (CE). Your teacher has to select your best two for each, so in the end only 6 get marked externally. Also you may use one experiment for more than one of the three areas - several of my experiments are being marked for both DCP and CE.

Some more general advice: Obviously try to keep on top of your workload, but even more important is that you prioritise your work properly throughout the IB. This is something that everyone always gets wrong at some point. IAs should always take priority over other homework. If you need extensions for work ask teachers early on, and don't ask for extensions on important coursework so you can finish other overdue work that won't make any difference to your eventual IB score. Also if a teacher is putting pressure on you to finish something urgently that won't contribute towards coursework and you have something more important at hand, IGNORE them. Their opinions are meaningless if this is the case.
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schnargle
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I did Bio/Chem/Eng at HL, and survived :p: Bio HL is really no big deal. Really. As long as you're fairly good at science and memorising, all you need are detailed notes and good study technique and you're set. Chem HL is tricky, but again good study technique and notes will get you far. Schedule time after each lesson/every week to go over what you've learned and check that you understand and know it, then after you've finished a topic go over the whole thing again. This keeps things fresh in your mind, and saves you a lot of time when you start actual exam revision because you'll already know your strengths and weaknesses in the syllabus, and so which bits you need to spend more time on.

IAs aren't a big problem in terms of workload, but they're hard to do well. The IB Study Guide for Biology (Oxford University Press) has some good tips - basically, know what you're being asked to do from the marking criteria, and do your best to meet those standards.
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opaltiger
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I took chemistry HL for the same reason you're considering it, and to be honest, I hate it; but it isn't overwhelmingly difficult. If you're willing to put enough work into it, it'll be fine. Also, if your teacher chooses the human biochemistry option (C, I think) you'll have a nice overlap with biology.

Oh, and the syllabi are absolutely essential in the sciences. The biology syllabus especially. The syllabi and the Oxford Study Guides are what I'm relying on to get through this.
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Iapetus
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(Original post by opaltiger)
I took chemistry HL for the same reason you're considering it, and to be honest, I hate it
Dude.... you have a BioNatsci offer :eek: :eek: If you make it you are going to like DIE in your first year. But congrats you're awesome.
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opaltiger
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(Original post by Iapetus)
Dude.... you have a BioNatsci offer :eek: :eek: If you make it you are going to like DIE in your first year. But congrats you're awesome.
Well, I like the bits that are relevant to biology well enough. I just wish there were more of those. :P and thanks!
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merribel
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Well I'm in first year, currently doing Maths, Biology at Chemistry at Higher, because I want to study Medicine at Uni. I'm finding it pretty demanding, but alright as long as I keep on top of my homework.

Hope this helps.
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Jamesop
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Hey,
I'm doing math, physics and chemistry at HL (bio at SL). I think physics is by far the hardest science. If you're good at biology you should be good at chemistry, as most of the course is just memorising, like biology. You only really need to do basic calculations. Chemistry for me at least is the easiest higher level, and biology at HL is meant to be easier than chemistry so it can definitely be done.
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SwedenSappy
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I'm taking Biology, Chemistry and Psychology at higher level, and like everyone else says: it's all about having a good study technique! Seriously. I personally consider Chem to be far more difficult than Bio. Bio is all about memorising. And well, some common sense when it comes to logic (I freakin HATE the data base questions, they always bring me down a grade-level on every test)
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