rossyg25
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Hi guys,

I just found out I got 34 points overall, with a 7 in HL spanish and 6 in SL economics, which is handy as I want to study economics with spanish.

However Im short of my offer for St. Andrews by 3 points. I was thinking of resitting 3 subjects in November 2010, but phoned the university, who told me they are unlikely to accept candidates who resit the IB after already completeing the diploma.

Is this true for all universities or just St Andrews?

Any advice would be useful!

Thanks guys
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AnonymousPenguin
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Universities will have different policies and you would have to call them. However, generally the policy at competitive unis will be to give out a higher offer or similar to the one at St. Andrews. Less competitive courses are less likely to use a policy like that.
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eviltimmehempire
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I really wouldn't bother, IB retakes aren't like A level retakes and are poorly regarded. Most competitive unis won't accept IB retake candidates. Besides, as much as everyone tells themselves that they'll do things differently come november, you'd need to get something like 40 points on your retakes in order to impress even a mediocre university and you're unlikely to pull that off. Did you meet the offer for your insurance uni?
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AnonymousPenguin
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(Original post by eviltimmehempire)
I really wouldn't bother, IB retakes aren't like A level retakes and are poorly regarded. Most competitive unis won't accept IB retake candidates. Besides, as much as everyone tells themselves that they'll do things differently come november, you'd need to get something like 40 points on your retakes in order to impress even a mediocre university and you're unlikely to pull that off. Did you meet the offer for your insurance uni?
Some countries use a points system that is based on the final score and doesn't discriminate against retakes. In that case it is useful. I think Ireland and Germany work like that.
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eviltimmehempire
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(Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
Some countries use a points system that is based on the final score and doesn't discriminate against retakes. In that case it is useful. I think Ireland and Germany work like that.
Yeah that's probably true so the OP could perhaps consider applying to another country but I very much doubt an English/Welsh/Scottish university of reasonable standing would go for a retake candidate.
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Bobscob
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I'm in a similar position to you OP albeit with less points but i've been ringing around and it very much depends on the university, and even the individual department, i would call up some universities that you might like to go to and see what their policy on IB retakes are, some said it was no issue at all when i asked while some said that there had to be extenuating circumstances, hope you get to where you want to go
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Phantom_X
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dw about these haters, IB retakes are NOT poorly regarded. I did retakes and got into 2 top 10 universities. agreed, some will disregard retakes, however not every school will do this.

if you really want st andrews, by all means go do it. However, it is costly and quite risky too.
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eviltimmehempire
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(Original post by Phantom_X)
IB retakes are NOT poorly regarded. I did retakes and got into 2 top 10 universities. agreed, some will disregard retakes, however not every school will do this.
i find that really hard to believe, name them? if they are actually top 10 universities, i will swallow my pride and take back everything i said in my last post.

Also, OP, carefully consider the fact that there is a high chance you will not improve your score by the 3/4 points necessary to reapply to st andrews or a uni of similar academic repute and will therefore have wasted a year. again, surely your insurance uni isn't bad enough to warrant that risk?
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tried
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just got my ib results...and am really confused right now..i am 3 pts short of the diplomma..any ideas what the best options are..
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Phantom_X
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(Original post by eviltimmehempire)
i find that really hard to believe, name them? if they are actually top 10 universities, i will swallow my pride and take back everything i said in my last post.

Also, OP, carefully consider the fact that there is a high chance you will not improve your score by the 3/4 points necessary to reapply to st andrews or a uni of similar academic repute and will therefore have wasted a year. again, surely your insurance uni isn't bad enough to warrant that risk?
I got offers from

-Warwick, York, Birmingham, Liverpool and Exeter.

Granted I didn't meet my warwick offer (they wanted 37) but I did get to York instead (36). One can argue that York isn't a top 10 uni (however imo it is, and solidly so) but i got in for History which they have always been in the top 10 for.

the second point i will agree. i had to pretty much shut myself out of the world in order to boost my score up to 4 points. however, it is possible if he or she works hard.
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eviltimmehempire
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(Original post by Phantom_X)
I got offers from

-Warwick, York, Birmingham, Liverpool and Exeter.

Fair enough then, it may be possible to up your score, but it'll require a serious amount of effort + you probably won't get into st andrews
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trm90
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They're only useful for people who are absolutely desperate to get into better universities and were thinking of taking a gap year anyway. But remember that retakes are still a LOT of work and that it's still easy to mess up. I really think you're better off sticking to your score, lowering your standards and not spending a ******** of time studying for some of the hardest exams you'll do in your entire life. (For example, uni level physics exams are a tad easier than HL physics exams...)
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AnonymousPenguin
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(Original post by trm90)
They're only useful for people who are absolutely desperate to get into better universities and were thinking of taking a gap year anyway. But remember that retakes are still a LOT of work and that it's still easy to mess up. I really think you're better off sticking to your score, lowering your standards and not spending a ******** of time studying for some of the hardest exams you'll do in your entire life. (For example, uni level physics exams are a tad easier than HL physics exams...)
That has to be one very simple uni. They've stripped out all difficult quantitative content from IB Physics and they aren't even allowed to include derivatives so that Math Studies students can take it. Then there's the gems like these two questions I got in May 09:

- Name 2 fossil fuels
- CO2 is a green house gas, name another one
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eviltimmehempire
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(Original post by trm90)
They're only useful for people who are absolutely desperate to get into better universities and were thinking of taking a gap year anyway. But remember that retakes are still a LOT of work and that it's still easy to mess up. I really think you're better off sticking to your score, lowering your standards and not spending a ******** of time studying for some of the hardest exams you'll do in your entire life. (For example, uni level physics exams are a tad easier than HL physics exams...)
on that note, it's probably also good to remember that IB retakes aren't like A levels where you can just pick your best score, your retake score does end up becoming your final score (i'm 99% sure about that) so if you get sick or **** up in any other way, you might well be stuck with a lower score
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trm90
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(Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
That has to be one very simple uni. They've stripped out all difficult quantitative content from IB Physics and they aren't even allowed to include derivatives so that Math Studies students can take it. Then there's the gems like these two questions I got in May 09:

- Name 2 fossil fuels
- CO2 is a green house gas, name another one
It's not a simple uni - in fact, I've compared Leicester's examination papers to other universities and it's either similar or very slightly harder difficulty (of course, Oxbridge and Imperial are harder, but hey, that's expected :o: ).

The two things that make IB Physics exams harder are

a) The fact it's an IB exam, which is full of stupid tricks (MCQs anyone?)and is full of very wishywashy definitions with strict markschemes. At university, you are marked purely for what you know and not for giving exactly what the markscheme wants. Our department also drilled it into us that there really aren't any tricks to the exam papers. It is purely about knowledge, whereas IB exams are a big test of examination skill.

b) The fact that the maths is stripped down, as you describe. Having come to uni, everything I have learned that I learned at IB is significantly easier to understand with the extra mathematical rigour. It makes it much easier to understand, derive and explain equations. Even if IB physicists derive Snell's Law or the path difference formulae etc., at uni you are doing maths every day and you just get used to it really.

Although wtf, those are crazy easy questions! Lucky ! Was that a Paper 2 question!? I do hear the syllabus includes Environmental Physics to keep up with the whole 'global warming trend' :rolleyes:

EDIT: Although I have just realised, I have significantly improved at physics since I did IB Physics, so it could be that I'm just way way way better at the subject now. But I dunno, I still feel like IB HL Physics is 'harder'
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trm90
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(Original post by eviltimmehempire)
on that note, it's probably also good to remember that IB retakes aren't like A levels where you can just pick your best score, your retake score does end up becoming your final score (i'm 99% sure about that) so if you get sick or **** up in any other way, you might well be stuck with a lower score
Yeah, exactly.

Retakes are really something you should only do if you genuinely feel like you need the higher score, or were seriously ill during the actual exams or something. The IB take retakes very very seriously unlike A-level specs, and it's clear that the way they structure them means they really really discourage it.
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AnonymousPenguin
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(Original post by trm90)
It's not a simple uni - in fact, I've compared Leicester's examination papers to other universities and it's either similar or very slightly harder difficulty (of course, Oxbridge and Imperial are harder, but hey, that's expected :o: ).

The two things that make IB Physics exams harder are

a) The fact it's an IB exam, which is full of stupid tricks (MCQs anyone?)and is full of very wishywashy definitions with strict markschemes. At university, you are marked purely for what you know and not for giving exactly what the markscheme wants. Our department also drilled it into us that there really aren't any tricks to the exam papers. It is purely about knowledge, whereas IB exams are a big test of examination skill.

b) The fact that the maths is stripped down, as you describe. Having come to uni, everything I have learned that I learned at IB is significantly easier to understand with the extra mathematical rigour. It makes it much easier to understand, derive and explain equations. Even if IB physicists derive Snell's Law or the path difference formulae etc., at uni you are doing maths every day and you just get used to it really.

Although wtf, those are crazy easy questions! Lucky ! Was that a Paper 2 question!? I do hear the syllabus includes Environmental Physics to keep up with the whole 'global warming trend' :rolleyes:

EDIT: Although I have just realised, I have significantly improved at physics since I did IB Physics, so it could be that I'm just way way way better at the subject now. But I dunno, I still feel like IB HL Physics is 'harder'
Yeah there's some tricks, but you pick those up pretty quickly by looking at past papers. MCQs can be tricky, but anything above 31/40 was a 7 when I took it. Getting 31 is not hard. As for the maths - well I guess it makes things easier for you, but for most it'd be harder. As it stands you only need to know perhaps 3 derivations and all the formulae are in the booklet. No need to understand them really, although they're simple enough to quickly understand anyway.

Yes that was a paper 2 question, it was paired with some atom decay stuff that was a bit trickier than standard IB questions. Still I don't think there's any place for those kinds of questions :/ .

Taking into account how low grade boundaries are for IB Physics it must have been the easiest subject I took. A 7 usually starts at 70% overall for Physics, while for Chemistry it's usually around the 85% mark.
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SuicidalLemming
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I've spoken to quite a few unis (mainly the ones I want to go to next year so Exeter etc) and they've got no problem with the retakes that I'm planning on doing in November.

I do have extenuating (I cannot spell this word to save my life) circs though...
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eviltimmehempire
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(Original post by SuicidalLemming)
I've spoken to quite a few unis (mainly the ones I want to go to next year so Exeter etc) and they've got no problem with the retakes that I'm planning on doing in November.

I do have extenuating (I cannot spell this word to save my life) circs though...
If you have serious extenuating (hey you spelt it right!) circumstances (death of a relative, serious illness, etc.), and i'm not talking about you saying something about how you were stranded cause of the icelandic volcano and couldn't revise, then yes, retakes are ALWAYS an option and even accepted by the likes of oxbridge.

On the otherhand if you got a mediocre score with no extenuating circumstances and proceeded to retake, not even leicester will accept you let alone anything in the top 30. all unis might not expressly forbid retakes but given the competition for places nowadays the admissions tutor is likely to trash your application upon reading the words IB and retake in the same application.

EDIT: just to be clear, this response is aimed at the OP, not attempting to belittle suicidallemming's circumstances or anything!
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AnonymousPenguin
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(Original post by eviltimmehempire)
If you have serious extenuating (hey you spelt it right!) circumstances (death of a relative, serious illness, etc.), and i'm not talking about you saying something about how you were stranded cause of the icelandic volcano and couldn't revise, then yes, retakes are ALWAYS an option and even accepted by the likes of oxbridge.

On the otherhand if you got a mediocre score with no extenuating circumstances and proceeded to retake, not even leicester will accept you let alone anything in the top 30. all unis might not expressly forbid retakes but given the competition for places nowadays the admissions tutor is likely to trash your application upon reading the words IB and retake in the same application.

EDIT: just to be clear, this response is aimed at the OP, not attempting to belittle suicidallemming's circumstances or anything!
I don't think you're entirely right. You'd need to e-mail unis, but I don't think unis outside LSE/Imperial/Oxbridge are that strict.
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