IB students at an unfair disadvantage to A-levels? Watch

robawalsh
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The course I want to apply for is Neuroscience at Bristol. They have recently reviewed their entry requirements, and they now ask for 6,6,6 at HL, yet only AAB-ABB for A-levels.

Looking at the UCAS points awarded, that would mean that an IB student would need 330 points in HL alone, plus 40 points or so for each SL subject, so that's 450 points plus the additional requirements (TOK, EE, CAS).

If universities went on UCAS points alone, then IB students would be at an advantage, however, they ask for "35 points with 6,6,6 at Higher level".

35 IB points = 501 UCAS points.
So assuming you got 6,6,6 at HL (330 UCAS points), in order to get that 35, you'd also need at least 5,5,4 at SL - and that's assuming you get all 3 points for TOK, EE and CAS). So what they're asking for equates to at least around 650 points total. That's NOT 501, as stated for a 35.

For A-level, they ask for AAB = 340 UCAS points.

Statistically, the amount of students that get 6,6,6 is a lot lower than those that get AAA, assuming that a 6 equates to an A (which in fact it doesn't, a 6 is slightly harder to achieve than an A).

If my calculations are wrong somewhere, or I have missed something, please let me know.

It does not seem fair that IB students, who have chosen to take a more challenging course, are expected more of and are given harder offers than A-level students, who are given lower offers.
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Pride
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(Original post by robawalsh)
The course I want to apply for is Neuroscience at Bristol. They have recently reviewed their entry requirements, and they now ask for 6,6,6 at HL, yet only AAB-ABB for A-levels.

Looking at the UCAS points awarded, that would mean that an IB student would need 330 points in HL alone, plus 40 points or so for each SL subject, so that's 450 points plus the additional requirements (TOK, EE, CAS).

If universities went on UCAS points alone, then IB students would be at an advantage, however, they ask for "35 points with 6,6,6 at Higher level".

35 IB points = 501 UCAS points.
So assuming you got 6,6,6 at HL (330 UCAS points), in order to get that 35, you'd also need at least 5,5,4 at SL - and that's assuming you get all 3 points for TOK, EE and CAS). So what they're asking for equates to at least around 650 points total. That's NOT 501, as stated for a 35.

For A-level, they ask for AAB = 340 UCAS points.

If my calculations are wrong somewhere, or I have missed something, please let me know.

It does not seem fair that IB students, who have chosen to take a more challenging course, are expected more of and are given harder offers than A-level students, who are given lower offers.
well you're the one who chose IB... :rolleyes:

well you're right, it is a lot harder to get the IB requirements. Especially with the need to take six subjects, IB shouldn't be taken lightly unless you're sure it's right for you. It's too late now, but good luck all the same eh?
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robawalsh
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(Original post by Pride)
well you're the one who chose IB... :rolleyes:

but I dunno, I don't think it's that much of a disadvantage in practice.
I wasn't told about this when I applied. I was merely one of the students foolish enough to be persuaded by the college to take IB, so that they could appear more "prestigious".

Not to mention that my college has messed up with the IB and has now dropped it after only 2 years...
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Pride
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(Original post by robawalsh)
I wasn't told about this when I applied. I was merely one of the students foolish enough to be persuaded by the college to take IB, so that they could appear more "prestigious".

Not to mention that my college has messed up with the IB and has now dropped it after only 2 years...
so many schools do this... :sigh:
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robawalsh
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Is it worth writing to the admissions tutor about this?
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StacFace
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Just one of many reasons you should do A level instead of IB. I switched to A levels last year (in A2 year now) and am glad I did as I'm able to realistically apply to much better unis.

Then again I may be biased as the 6th form I went to had no idea what they were teaching for the first year and a half, and have been completely in denial about how bad their results are the past two years. Half the year group get 25 points or less and they call the results 'outstanding', after refusing to enter people they predicted less than 24 for any exams.
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robawalsh
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"Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to apply for BSc Neuroscience. I have noticed recently that the entry requirements have been reviewed.
For the IB Diploma, Bristol now asks for "35 points with 6,6,6 at Higher level", yet for A-level, "AAB-ABB including two sciences" is asked.
Statistically, and by UCAS point conversion, 6,6,6 at IB is slightly harder to achieve than AAA at A-level. This also does not take into consideration that in order to achieve 35 points, an IB student must also achieve at least 5,5,4 in their SL subjects, plus all three TOK, EE and CAS points.

I am seeing repeatedly, no matter where I go, that IB students, who have chosen to take a more challenging course, are being asked more of than A-level students.

I am not insinuating that any changes be made, I am merely bringing the matter to light, as I am sure many other IB students would be inclined to.

Regards,
Another disgruntled IB student. "
I wrote this e-mail to the admissions office. Worth a shot.
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k3ro
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(Original post by robawalsh)
I wrote this e-mail to the admissions office. Worth a shot.
Good luck.

I think the problem is that universities don't seem to understand the IB; the amount of points they ask for is waaaay out of proportion. It's a shame, because after going to university I can see how much more prepared I am than all of the other A level students.
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chickenonsteroids
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I agree... I'm just another person fooled into taking the IB

oxford ask for 39 at IB but only AAA at A level for ppe

38 - 40 or AAA for philosophy

hmmm
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supernova92
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(Original post by robawalsh)
I wrote this e-mail to the admissions office. Worth a shot.
You probably feel annoyed etc. but tbh, think rationally. They are not thick. They do know the difference between A levels and the IB. They don't just randomly decide "oh lets make the grade requirement 35.. "
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robawalsh
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(Original post by supernova92)
You probably feel annoyed etc. but tbh, think rationally. They are not thick. They do know the difference between A levels and the IB. They don't just randomly decide "oh lets make the grade requirement 35.. "
I am pretty sure there is some widespread lack of understanding regarding the IB against A-levels.

They only recently changed their entry requirements "in light of recent government reforms". I think perhaps they don't fully realise just how much they have increased their expectations.

That's not the point though; the point is the unfairness of A-level and IB students.
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cloudcatcher
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I emailed Imperial asking about this and they sent me a really snotty email saying some total bull about how the reason we IB kids get higher offers is because we do more subjects and that 38 points is the same as AAA which, you know, it blatently isn't. If I hadn't fallen so hard for Imperial I wouldn't apply because they clearly don't understand IB (and also as a 'if your going to be such idiots then I won't apply there so ha!' kind of thing) but I'm still applying and getting revenge by reporting them to the IBO mwahahaha
(Original post by robawalsh)

Not to mention that my college has messed up with the IB and has now dropped it after only 2 years...
story of my life
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robawalsh
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(Original post by cloudcatcher)
I emailed Imperial asking about this and they sent me a really snotty email saying some total bull about how the reason we IB kids get higher offers is because we do more subjects and that 38 points is the same as AAA which, you know, it blatently isn't. If I hadn't fallen so hard for Imperial I wouldn't apply because they clearly don't understand IB (and also as a 'if your going to be such idiots then I won't apply there so ha!' kind of thing) but I'm still applying and getting revenge by reporting them to the IBO mwahahaha


story of my life
Haha! You do that!
I never got a reply from Bristol. I didn't really expect them to tbh...
Besides, I can't apply there anyway because of my predicted grades
Good luck with Imperial.
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Historophilia
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It might be that Universities expect higher results from IB applicants as you go into less depth in your subjects than you do at A level simply because of the fact that you do more subjects and so don't have the time to.

Also, A levels are designed for entry to the UK University system whereas the IB isn't. Therefore they may reason that you need higher results to be adequately prepared for them (in there view).

Just my thoughts, but it might explain this attitude, whether it is fair or not.
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stac4321
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(Original post by Historophilia)
It might be that Universities expect higher results from IB applicants as you go into less depth in your subjects than you do at A level simply because of the fact that you do more subjects and so don't have the time to.

Also, A levels are designed for entry to the UK University system whereas the IB isn't. Therefore they may reason that you need higher results to be adequately prepared for them (in there view).

Just my thoughts, but it might explain this attitude, whether it is fair or not.
Actually, most univiersities (especially the more competative ones) make offers in terms of higher level subjects. Higher levels go into just as much depth and breath as an A Level. Standards are different, they go onto as much depth, but as there is less time they have a more limited range of topics.

We were told (although this was by my own school, which is obviously biased haha) at the beginning of sixth form that universities liked the IB a lot because of the scope it gives you and the Extended Essay and TOK Elements which actually made students more prepared for university study
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robawalsh
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(Original post by Historophilia)
It might be that Universities expect higher results from IB applicants as you go into less depth in your subjects than you do at A level simply because of the fact that you do more subjects and so don't have the time to.

Also, A levels are designed for entry to the UK University system whereas the IB isn't. Therefore they may reason that you need higher results to be adequately prepared for them (in there view).

Just my thoughts, but it might explain this attitude, whether it is fair or not.
Well then, more should be done to address this.
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stac4321
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(Original post by robawalsh)
The course I want to apply for is Neuroscience at Bristol. They have recently reviewed their entry requirements, and they now ask for 6,6,6 at HL, yet only AAB-ABB for A-levels.

Looking at the UCAS points awarded, that would mean that an IB student would need 330 points in HL alone, plus 40 points or so for each SL subject, so that's 450 points plus the additional requirements (TOK, EE, CAS).

If universities went on UCAS points alone, then IB students would be at an advantage, however, they ask for "35 points with 6,6,6 at Higher level".

35 IB points = 501 UCAS points.
So assuming you got 6,6,6 at HL (330 UCAS points), in order to get that 35, you'd also need at least 5,5,4 at SL - and that's assuming you get all 3 points for TOK, EE and CAS). So what they're asking for equates to at least around 650 points total. That's NOT 501, as stated for a 35.

For A-level, they ask for AAB = 340 UCAS points.

Statistically, the amount of students that get 6,6,6 is a lot lower than those that get AAA, assuming that a 6 equates to an A (which in fact it doesn't, a 6 is slightly harder to achieve than an A).

If my calculations are wrong somewhere, or I have missed something, please let me know.

It does not seem fair that IB students, who have chosen to take a more challenging course, are expected more of and are given harder offers than A-level students, who are given lower offers.
Interestingly, as of next year, UCAS plans to lower the IB tariff, meaning that they will consider a 5 to be the equivalent to a C at A Level. Which personally I think is ridiculous! Luckily for me I will be done with UCAS by then, bit it really makes things tricky for 2013 applicants :/
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robawalsh
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(Original post by LauriC)
Actually, most univiersities (especially the more competative ones) make offers in terms of higher level subjects. Higher levels go into just as much depth and breath as an A Level. Standards are different, they go onto as much depth, but as there is less time they have a more limited range of topics.

We were told (although this was by my own school, which is obviously biased haha) at the beginning of sixth form that universities liked the IB a lot because of the scope it gives you and the Extended Essay and TOK Elements which actually made students more prepared for university study
We were all told this. It doesn't seem to be as true as we'd have liked.
But nonetheless, the grades and entry requirements are still unfair on IB students...
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robawalsh
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(Original post by LauriC)
Interestingly, as of next year, UCAS plans to lower the IB tariff, meaning that they will consider a 5 to be the equivalent to a C at A Level. Which personally I think is ridiculous! Luckily for me I will be done with UCAS by then, bit it really makes things tricky for 2013 applicants :/
That's ridiculous! And the IBO go along with this?
I definitely regret doing IB, and would encourage others against it.
Sure, it would be great if universities/UCAS understood and appreciated it, but as it stands, they don't.
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Xarren
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You chose to do IBs.

Whether your school convinced you to do so is not of matter. It is your education, you can't blame your school or anyone else for the qualifications you took, and for what you may not have known at the time you made that choice. If you are unhappy with IBs.. Don't take them. Problem solved.
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