jwf13
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It seems that everyone seems to have an idea of which A-Level subjects are considered 'soft' or as not as good preperation for some university courses. However, I can't find any such lists for the IB and I was wondering are there any subjects in each group that are less respected than the others, or some that will cut off some careers, degrees etc. Thanks
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saachi
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Depends on which degree you plan on applying for. I, for example, have Math Studies and would've been rejected outright if I had been applying for Engineering or even Econ. But, I'm applying for English. I also have EVSS (generally considered a 'soft' subject, but isn't really, considering the world average last year- 3.9!). Despite Math Studies and EVSS, I still have offers from Durham, Edinburgh and Exeter, and that's because English doesn't require Maths in the least. So no, I don't think your subject choice will affect your preparation for uni.

That said, just make sure the subject you want to study are your HLs- Bio and Chem for Medicine, Maths and Physics for Engineering, English for English... You get the picture
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danny28
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maths studies... gcse maths all over again
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Fuzzy12345
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Agree with saachi - Spanish ab inito if I applied for languages I guess :P But if you have required subjects at HL for what you want to study, I don't really think your other subjects would matter
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chickenonsteroids
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ESS, maths studies and i guess a foreign language if that's actually your native tongue ... if that makes sense lol

ab initio subjects aren't really soft but they aren't regarded as highly as normal SL languages.
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jwf13
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Is there a 'soft' subject in every group, and is there one course in group that is less respected than the others?

What is ESS actually about, only I've heard about it but no-one has ever explained it. Is it ecosystems and different habitats (so basically a bit of biology/physical geography)?

Many questions...
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saachi
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(Original post by jwf13)
Is there a 'soft' subject in every group, and is there one course in group that is less respected than the others?

What is ESS actually about, only I've heard about it but no-one has ever explained it. Is it ecosystems and different habitats (so basically a bit of biology/physical geography)?

Many questions...
EVSS is environmental studies, basically. It's a combination of much- simplified Geography and Biology, and how human interactions with the environment affect it. So you'll be studying all the regular things like global warming (the controversy surrounding it), ecosystems, framework of systems, biodiversity (there's A LOT of this), etc. Pretty general, actually, but that's what makes it dangerous- the exam questions are rather vague, and not easy to answer. People often take it lightly and end up getting 5's where they expected easy 7's. You also do labs and such, which are more like biology, really.
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jwf13
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(Original post by saachi)
EVSS is environmental studies, basically. It's a combination of much- simplified Geography and Biology, and how human interactions with the environment affect it. So you'll be studying all the regular things like global warming (the controversy surrounding it), ecosystems, framework of systems, biodiversity (there's A LOT of this), etc. Pretty general, actually, but that's what makes it dangerous- the exam questions are rather vague, and not easy to answer. People often take it lightly and end up getting 5's where they expected easy 7's. You also do labs and such, which are more like biology, really.
So would it be a good SL (as I think it can only be taken at SL) for someone who likes geography, or has it at HL?
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chickenonsteroids
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(Original post by jwf13)
So would it be a good SL (as I think it can only be taken at SL) for someone who likes geography, or has it at HL?
Yes
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saachi
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(Original post by jwf13)
So would it be a good SL (as I think it can only be taken at SL) for someone who likes geography, or has it at HL?
Yes, I have Geography HL, and it's nice to be able to use the same case studies and stuff sometimes.
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projectleda
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also interested in english or possibly law in some of the universities you mentioned, may i know what your score was and whether that was sufficient in getting you into uni? how did u fare in IB? i'm not very good with organization and time management and tend to procrastinate a lot. also find it hard to concentrate on a subject i dislike. (i.e math)
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iJoyce
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To be honest with you, there won't be any soft subject unless you are good at it. The choice depends on what you planning to do with you life ( career) For example, I really recommend you doing Biology if science are in your choices, this course can be a little stressful if you don't do lab reports, or take notes but if you do so, then it will be so easy for you because the finals are a multiply choice test (the questions are almost the same but in a different way) then another is like the multiply choice one but you have to write it instead of mark it, and the last one is the easiest exam ever, you will be so pleased with it, so repetitive if you look through lasts years' exams. Then there's ITGS, that I can really say it is a "soft subject" if you have a good teacher then go for it.
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honeybadgerkid
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Different courses and universities and even just people will consider different subjects soft. From my experience, the following are generally perceived (note the word perceived, whether or not it's an accurate perception is debatable) as 'soft':

Geography
Business and Management
Math Studies
Any foreign language taken as Language B when it's your mother tongue
ESS
Theatre Arts

But of course it will depend on what you want to do - if you want to take geography at uni, then obviously Geography HL will not hinder you! However I had a friend whose rejection from LSE was explicitly stated to be based on the fact that she took both Math Studies and Theatre Arts.
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projectleda
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(Original post by honeybadgerkid)
Different courses and universities and even just people will consider different subjects soft. From my experience, the following are generally perceived (note the word perceived, whether or not it's an accurate perception is debatable) as 'soft':

Geography
Business and Management
Math Studies
Any foreign language taken as Language B when it's your mother tongue
ESS
Theatre Arts

But of course it will depend on what you want to do - if you want to take geography at uni, then obviously Geography HL will not hinder you! However I had a friend whose rejection from LSE was explicitly stated to be based on the fact that she took both Math Studies and Theatre Arts.
In that case, if I were to take the following IB subjects, would my chances of getting into law school be reduced?

HL:
Eng Lit
Economics
History

SL:
ESS
Math Studies
Chinese B

I've just completed my IGCSE's. I did 10 subjects and was predicted all A's/A*s apart from C's in Coordinated Science and Math, of which I am absolutely terrible at and despise. (Just not a math person)

If the IB subjects I take for Science and Math are less respected but not required for Law school, would I be better off taking A-Levels in the following?
Eng Lit
Geography
Economics
History

Especially since, though they have a reputation for being "soft" and "easy", Math Studies and ESS/Chinese B still require quite a bit of work and IA's?

I'm extremely conflicted between IB and A levels as I'm not sure which one would give me a better shot at getting into a decent UK university.

Right now, I'm quite interested in studying Law at LSE, but seeing as it requires a 38 in IB or a A*AA and a forth subject, I'm not sure which would be better at getting me into a good university considering my abilities.
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pbunny
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(Original post by projectleda)
In that case, if I were to take the following IB subjects, would my chances of getting into law school be reduced?

HL:
Eng Lit
Economics
History

SL:
ESS
Math Studies
Chinese B

I've just completed my IGCSE's. I did 10 subjects and was predicted all A's/A*s apart from C's in Coordinated Science and Math, of which I am absolutely terrible at and despise. (Just not a math person)

If the IB subjects I take for Science and Math are less respected but not required for Law school, would I be better off taking A-Levels in the following?
Eng Lit
Geography
Economics
History

Especially since, though they have a reputation for being "soft" and "easy", Math Studies and ESS/Chinese B still require quite a bit of work and IA's?

I'm extremely conflicted between IB and A levels as I'm not sure which one would give me a better shot at getting into a decent UK university.

Right now, I'm quite interested in studying Law at LSE, but seeing as it requires a 38 in IB or a A*AA and a forth subject, I'm not sure which would be better at getting me into a good university considering my abilities.
Regarding your IB subjects. Taking maths studies and ESS won't hinder your chances at getting into law courses because they have no relation to law. Universities give offers based on your higher level subjects which means they don't care about your standard level subjects! Take whatever standard level subjects you are interested in and know will boost your overall score.

Search up threads on here that compare a level to IB, there are tons! Also, read through this: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/cont...hould-I-go-for
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honeybadgerkid
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(Original post by projectleda)
In that case, if I were to take the following IB subjects, would my chances of getting into law school be reduced?

HL:
Eng Lit
Economics
History

SL:
ESS
Math Studies
Chinese B

I've just completed my IGCSE's. I did 10 subjects and was predicted all A's/A*s apart from C's in Coordinated Science and Math, of which I am absolutely terrible at and despise. (Just not a math person)

If the IB subjects I take for Science and Math are less respected but not required for Law school, would I be better off taking A-Levels in the following?
Eng Lit
Geography
Economics
History

Especially since, though they have a reputation for being "soft" and "easy", Math Studies and ESS/Chinese B still require quite a bit of work and IA's?

I'm extremely conflicted between IB and A levels as I'm not sure which one would give me a better shot at getting into a decent UK university.

Right now, I'm quite interested in studying Law at LSE, but seeing as it requires a 38 in IB or a A*AA and a forth subject, I'm not sure which would be better at getting me into a good university considering my abilities.
Bear in mind that this is just based on my own experience and advice received from counsellors/university admissions officers but:

For the most part, no. Your HLs are the far more relevant subjects unis will look at, and they are what your conditions will specify (e.g. for me to study Law at Oxford I had to get 6,6,6 at HL) along with your overall score. As far as your IB choices are concerned, I'd say your HL combination is almost ideal for law - I took exactly those 3 HL subjects and by happy coincidence (since I had no clue what I wanted to study when I chose them) was told they supported a Law application brilliantly. I also did Math Studies and it didn't hinder my application. So basically, don't worry too much about your SL subjects as they pertain to your uni course choice. As long as you can use them to get a good overall score, go for it.

That being said, you mentioned LSE, and from my experience with them they're kind of…odd. For Law they don't use the LNAT, so there is a lot more emphasis placed on your Personal Statement - make sure it's good. And as I said, they can be picky about which subjects they deem 'hard' or 'worthwhile.' But I would suggest talking to an admissions officer there/your careers counsellor.

As for IB vs. A-level, ultimately whichever one you think you'd do best in will be the one that will be better for you to take. IB students claim superiority over A-levels because we're repeatedly told how much harder IB is than A-levels, but that's obviously subjective. Some universities, such as King's College London, have started recognising the difficulty of the IB and therefore will only ask for a maximum of 35 points; however, other schools will see the two as equal.

At the end of the day if you think you'd get anything less than 6s and 7s at HL in IB, A-levels may be better for you. Also if you excel in only certain areas, such as essay-based subjects, then IB may not be for you as it focuses on creating 'well-rounded global citizens,' and therefore if you hate math and science and get low grades in them even at SL, that could drag your whole overall score down, whereas A-levels will allow you to focus only on areas of strength. Speak to people at your school, your teachers, IB/A-level coordinators, etc, and see what they think.
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