3 vs. 4 HLs Watch

Bongo
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
i'm currently in first year of IB, my subjects are
chem-hl
bio-hl
French-hl
english-sl
maths-sl
History- Hl/Sl

I was wandering, in terms of applying to a UK uni, if unis care if you have four HL subjects, or if they just look at your overall score out of 45?
So in my case, it worth doing HL history, and probably getting a lower score than at SL, in order to have a 4th HL?
0
reply
ilovecheer
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#2
Report 8 years ago
#2
Do not, i repeat DO NOT subject yourself to anymore pain that you need to. (Revising for mock exams which is probably why I'm so bitter but no, they don't care as long as you get the points)
1
reply
lalilou
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#3
Report 8 years ago
#3
Universities are generally quite clueless about the difficulty of the IB.

They don't understand how much work has to go into it, and won't appreciate, or even acknowledge you taking 4 HL subjects (though I, being a sorry victim of the IB for a year and half, would take my hat off to you)

Stick to 3 HL subjects, preferably the ones you find easiest, because you'll be tearing your hair out next year as it is.

And if you look at it in terms of offers, all universities request an overall total of points, and often subject specific conditions as well. So whether you took 3 or 4 HL subjects, they'd still expect you to get, say, 38 points in both cases, even though, it is obvious to us, that it's unreasonable. So just save yourself the trouble. And get some rest while you can.

I haven't had a good night's sleep in months.
2
reply
FiniteMr
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#4
Report 8 years ago
#4
It is kind of worth it - universities tend to only look at your HL subjects, thinking "well, the HL subjects are the <<A LEVELS>> this student is taking, and SL subjects are just supplementary interest". This is of course a mistake! The skills you gain in your SL subjects are just as high as those taking the HL equivalent, the only difference is that you learn less content. But I do not recommend taking all 4 HL subjects unless you strictly need each one.
1
reply
arrowhead
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 8 years ago
#5
Seeing as your HLs are Chemistry and Biology, I'm assuming you plan on taking Science at Uni. History at HL isn't exactly worth your time.

Also History HL is much harder than History SL because you have an entire extra module to cover for your Paper 3. You'd rather avoid doing that unless you absolutely need History at HL for Uni applications.

Also it makes it infinitely more difficult to get a good overall score in IB when you have 4 HLs. Unis care for your overall scores.
0
reply
k3ro
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report 8 years ago
#6
Universities seem to care very little about the subjects you do, and focus more on your overall points. So optimize your subjects and HLs/SLs so that you get the maximum number of points you possibly can, and you'll be able to get into a better university.

Of course, check universities to see if they have any required subjects for the course you want to do, first.
0
reply
tealandtaup
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report 8 years ago
#7
Do 3. Or you will regret
0
reply
derexel
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 8 years ago
#8
(Original post by tealandtaup)
Do 3. Or you will regret
Why so? Wouldn't 4 HL be manageable at all?
0
reply
CZephyr
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#9
Report 8 years ago
#9
(Original post by arrowhead)
Seeing as your HLs are Chemistry and Biology, I'm assuming you plan on taking Science at Uni. History at HL isn't exactly worth your time.

Also History HL is much harder than History SL because you have an entire extra module to cover for your Paper 3. You'd rather avoid doing that unless you absolutely need History at HL for Uni applications.

Also it makes it infinitely more difficult to get a good overall score in IB when you have 4 HLs. Unis care for your overall scores.
I would beg to differ I took HL chemistry, biology and history without taking history ever before in my life. I found history relatively simple to revise for in comparison to the other two. But then again, this depends on the person and his/her aptitude/interests. University entrance isn't everything. I actually loved the balance between the humanities (history) and the sciences (chem and bio). It was definitely worth my time to learn about my past. For my historical investigation, I was also able to pick a topic within the realms of "medical history" section which was helpful to my chosen career path (medicine). If OP is considering a degree in the sciences then history can equip him with essential reading skills, essay writing skills, analytical/critical thinking skills... etc etc. Doesn't this incapsulate the essence of the IB?

But I would have to agree with you on this one - HL history is a BIG JUMP from SL history. You have to write 3 extra essays and the amount of information you need to remember is vast.

When I was selecting my HL subjects, I chose the subjects I loved the most. e.g I avoided maths HL because the thought of maths irked me :P :P :P

Like the other posters said, I would not recommend taking 4 HLs UNLESS you are applying for college credit at a US university (US unis only recognise HL subjects). As we are talking about UK unis here, then doing 4 HLs is not worth all the trouble. Sure, if you manage to score 44/45 points with 4 HLs then it may look impessive to the admission officers but your offer will still be the standard offer that only takes 3 HLs into consideration. By limiting yourself to 3 HLs you are giving yourself more time to properly prepare for exams.

Good luck!
0
reply
theultimateplu
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#10
Report 8 years ago
#10
I know several people who took 4 HL's as opposed to the 3 that the majority of my year did. I can safely say that the little extra distinction you /might/ receive from uni's isn't worth the extra work and pain. Especially if History is your extra HL.
0
reply
nica.gorbounova
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#11
Report 8 years ago
#11
Well I was mad and took 5 HLs for a whole year including Math and Physics (my other ones were History, French B and Econ). Along with this I had 7 and at one point 8 subjects (unofficially). Now I have 7 subjects but 3 HLs as for law HL Math and Physics are not needed and going through the pain of studying for them made no sense.
I would say stick to 3 HLs and get 7s than take 4 and get 6s. Plus Unis do not care at all.
0
reply
chilie543
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#12
Report 4 weeks ago
#12
A bit late, but for anyone else wondering this might be helpful. I took 4 HLs and would credit this for my weirdly low offer for Cambridge (the average offer for my course was 43, but my offer was 41), as well as for getting me into 4 of the top 10 unis in the world (American unis understand IB and so are much more impressed by 4 HLs) so definitely worth it if you're applying America or Oxbridge. It's manageable, as long as you have good time management (something learned the hard way!) and I still got 45 in the IB (admittedly after a remark). However, I'd say choose your 4th HL carefully! My first 3 that I was always going to keep were Maths, Chemistry and Physics, my fourth being Philosophy. The good thing about philosophy is that there is very little difference between SL and HL, and so it was completely manageable as a fourth HL. The same goes for languages (including English) and Econ as far as I can tell. Something like Geography or Art however are far less manageable as they take up a lot of time. As long as you choose carefully and enjoy working hard, 4 HLs are fine!
1
reply
hannah429
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#13
Report 3 weeks ago
#13
I just read chillie543's advice and it is spot on!
i did 4 highers and my fourth one was in French. The difference between SL and HL languages is tiny, especially with the new syllabus. But a fourth HL in History doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
It's definitely possible if you're genuinely passionate, but don't do it to impress people or because you want to do 4 highers.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts

All the exam results help you need

2,284

people online now

225,530

students helped last year

University open days

  • University of Dundee
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Mon, 26 Aug '19
  • University of Aberdeen
    General Open Day Undergraduate
    Tue, 27 Aug '19
  • Norwich University of the Arts
    Postgraduate (MA) Open Day Postgraduate
    Sat, 31 Aug '19

How are you feeling about GCSE Results Day?

Hopeful (211)
12.76%
Excited (147)
8.89%
Worried (301)
18.2%
Terrified (374)
22.61%
Meh (151)
9.13%
Confused (36)
2.18%
Putting on a brave face (226)
13.66%
Impatient (208)
12.58%

Watched Threads

View All