A levels vs IB Watch

Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
Hi there, I know this might be old fashioned but I'm still curious.

Is it true that the IB programme is more challenging and difficult to score than A levels? Because I'm considering both of these before I take my degree in the UK
0
reply
Xabier
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
Unless you're unsure about your degree choice for uni, go for the A-levels most relevant to your desired course. If you're unsure, do the IB as it has a wider range of subjects (so possibly more work?) leaving you more options open.
0
reply
Neverme
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
I am currently in my first year of IB, and my sister is in her AS year. So far, I have definitely had more work than her, although it hasn't been overwhelming. In terms of the subjects we take in common, so far the level is pretty similar. I, personally, am really glad that I chose to do IB. While my sister only studies Bio, Chem, Maths and Business, I get to study bio, chem, maths, english, french and history. My school days are more varied and I find this more interesting. CAS is also challenging me to try new things outside of my comfort zone. Everyone complains about the IB but it brings us together more than the A level students.
However, my sister is glad she chose to take A levels, so to each their own, I guess.
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by KingKumar)
Unless you're unsure about your degree choice for uni, go for the A-levels most relevant to your desired course. If you're unsure, do the IB as it has a wider range of subjects (so possibly more work?) leaving you more options open.
Well I know what I want to take for degree, but I am quite interested in the IB system and what they do during their entire course. Because A Levels is like more examinations based as what I heard from my seniors
0
reply
Yuanqii
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#5
(Original post by Neverme)
I am currently in my first year of IB, and my sister is in her AS year. So far, I have definitely had more work than her, although it hasn't been overwhelming. In terms of the subjects we take in common, so far the level is pretty similar. I, personally, am really glad that I chose to do IB. While my sister only studies Bio, Chem, Maths and Business, I get to study bio, chem, maths, english, french and history. My school days are more varied and I find this more interesting. CAS is also challenging me to try new things outside of my comfort zone. Everyone complains about the IB but it brings us together more than the A level students.
However, my sister is glad she chose to take A levels, so to each their own, I guess.
Yeah I'm actually interested about the IB system like you guys are exposed to many more stuffs, like community work and others, which I guess makes u a all rounded student? But the problem is I'm actually quite weak in my science n mathematics, I'm strong in humanities, that's why I'm afraid I might not score well if I take the IB coz it's compulsory to take science and mathematics rite?
0
reply
AquisM
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Yeah I'm actually interested about the IB system like you guys are exposed to many more stuffs, like community work and others, which I guess makes u a all rounded student? But the problem is I'm actually quite weak in my science n mathematics, I'm strong in humanities, that's why I'm afraid I might not score well if I take the IB coz it's compulsory to take science and mathematics rite?
It is true that you have to take maths and a science for IB, but it's actually a bit more flexible than it sounds. For maths, there are three levels to choose from - Higher Level, Standard Level and Maths Studies (not sure what the A-Level equivalents are since it's hard to compare the two, but I've heard that Higher is like AS-A Level Further Maths, Standard is A Level Maths, Studies is like AS Maths), so you don't have to go way beyond your ability to get a diploma.

For science, IB includes a lot of things, including some that aren't traditionally considered a science, like DT, Computer Science and Sports and Health Science. There is also an IB-unique course called Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS), which is like a cross between Bio and Geo, so there is a lot of choice beyond Bio, Phys and Chem. If you're interested, you might want to ask your teacher/Head of Year/IB Coordinator whether these courses are available at your school and find out more before you decide on IB or A-Levels. Whichever one you decide to take, good luck!
0
reply
Neverme
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
(Original post by Yuanqii)
Yeah I'm actually interested about the IB system like you guys are exposed to many more stuffs, like community work and others, which I guess makes u a all rounded student? But the problem is I'm actually quite weak in my science n mathematics, I'm strong in humanities, that's why I'm afraid I might not score well if I take the IB coz it's compulsory to take science and mathematics rite?
Like AquisM said, there is a course called Maths Studies for students who are not very strong at Maths. I don't think it's comparable to AS level maths, as it focuses more on practical maths like household finance and statistics.
0
reply
Chiseph
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 years ago
#8
I did one year of AS, and then moved countries and had to start the IB.

I would say that IB is more challenging in terms of timing - especially the second year (which I'm in now) - but if you gauge each it against A Levels for each separate subject, you could probably argue that A Levels go into further depth (it depends on the subject - Maths wise, Higher Level Maths is the equivalent to Further Maths at A Level, so I can't even imagine what IB Further Maths would be like).

IB is good preparation for uni, as long as keep up the work from early on. It's not like you don't have free time at all (I still go out every weekend at least), but you sorting out your workload can become difficult. Everyone finds their own solution in the end, really. By the way, mine's that I average out on 4 hours of sleep from Monday to Friday, but don't follow that!

However, I miss A Levels and wish I could have carried on with them because I was doing a combination of languages and I already was ready to specialise early on. If you want to study a few more subjects yet still narrow it down for yourself, take IB. Also, find out which subjects are offered - that's really important.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Enigma Machine
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
Depends on the sort of person you are. IB is more challenging, you need to be organised etc. but it's better preparation for life and university. And more subjects does not necessarily mean less depth. In IB HL Chemistry we cover some university topics for example... I heard it's the same in HL Maths.
0
reply
Mike_123
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#10
Report 5 years ago
#10
Take A levels it's easier
0
reply
North Wolf
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 years ago
#11
A levels is easier, in IB time management is tough, you have loads of work to do IA's and EE. You can check on this : http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/2627...ls#entry200801

If you think you can work hard and can cope up with subjects, IB is for you.
0
reply
chickenonsteroids
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 years ago
#12
The IB is stupid. It offers no advantage over A levels. Don't bother with it.
1
reply
rebeccalrose
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
I'm in the 2nd year of IB, and although the IB is more varied, there is scope to choose your specialisms. I am more of a humanities/ English student, and so took English, Philosophy and History at higher. If you can cope with maths GCSE, maths studies is only a little more difficult, and you can go for the 'soft' science option of environmental systems and societies. it's worth checking the options offered at your prospective college though, as some places don't offer some subjects. The IB is great, but hard work, so think hard before choosing it, but don't let it put you off!
1
reply
EarthlingM
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#14
Report 5 years ago
#14
I would say only do the IB if you think you can do well in it and/or you want that breadth of subject that most schools do not offer with A-Levels.

I wanted to do the IB as well (I'm doing A-levels now), but the nearest state school that offered it was about 3 hours commute each way, so I didn't think I would be able to handle the workload given the commute time. My sister did the IB and she kept telling me it's really not worth putting yourself through it when you can do the A-Levels instead, especially if you can do them at a good school.

I still think the IB is a great course that helps you learn how to manage your time and makes you a well rounded person, but if you're someone who works hard and does a lot of extra curricular activities anyway, I don't think doing A-Levels will hinder you in any way.
0
reply
frogs r everywhere
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#15
Report 5 years ago
#15
(Original post by chickenonsteroids)
The IB is stupid. It offers no advantage over A levels. Don't bother with it.
The skills you may acquire whilst completing an IB, which you might not get from studying A-levels, doesn't make it stupid. I've done A-levels, and believe that an IB qualification would have given me a variety of skills that just can't be developed by just studying A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. The ability to form coherent arguments or to simply write a structured essay had to be done outside of the curriculum.
0
reply
chickenonsteroids
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#16
Report 5 years ago
#16
(Original post by frogs r everywhere)
The skills you may acquire whilst completing an IB, which you might not get from studying A-levels, doesn't make it stupid. I've done A-levels, and believe that an IB qualification would have given me a variety of skills that just can't be developed by just studying A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. The ability to form coherent arguments or to simply write a structured essay had to be done outside of the curriculum.
I've done the IB. You could always take essay based A level subjects if you intially cared about it. You still have flexibility in your choices. It's an unnecessary program. Plus, they charge for past papers. So that makes me dislike them even more.
0
reply
frogs r everywhere
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#17
Report 5 years ago
#17
(Original post by chickenonsteroids)
I've done the IB. You could always take essay based A level subjects if you intially cared about it. You still have flexibility in your choices. It's an unnecessary program. Plus, they charge for past papers. So that makes me dislike them even more.
I would assume that those studying A-levels would view IB more favourably and vice versa.
But with all honesty, the A-levels that I have done (sciences) didn't require any "thinking skills" at all. It was all based on memory and rote learning, memorising mark schemes and key words, and trying to decipher what the examiner may look out for. Nothing intellectually difficult for those who have a good memory.
1
reply
chickenonsteroids
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#18
Report 5 years ago
#18
(Original post by frogs r everywhere)
I would assume that those studying A-levels would view IB more favourably and vice versa.
But with all honesty, the A-levels that I have done (sciences) didn't require any "thinking skills" at all. It was all based on memory and rote learning, memorising mark schemes and key words, and trying to decipher what the examiner may look out for. Nothing intellectually difficult for those who have a good memory.
There was nothing really different about doing IB sciences.

The main difference is how the essay subjects worked. I found they were more based on argument than description.
0
reply
frogs r everywhere
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#19
Report 5 years ago
#19
(Original post by chickenonsteroids)
There was nothing really different about doing IB sciences.

The main difference is how the essay subjects worked. I found they were more based on argument than description.
I would have thought it would be different. However, if this comes from a student who studied IB, then that just adds to the failure of the British education system.
0
reply
chickenonsteroids
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#20
Report 5 years ago
#20
(Original post by frogs r everywhere)
I would have thought it would be different. However, if this comes from a student who studied IB, then that just adds to the failure of the British education system.
I'd take my opinion lightly though. I'm quite negative towards the IB so it may not represent it in a completely fair manner.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • SOAS University of London
    Postgraduate Open Day Postgraduate
    Wed, 29 May '19
  • University of Exeter
    Undergraduate Open Day - Penryn Campus Undergraduate
    Thu, 30 May '19
  • Cranfield University
    Cranfield Forensic MSc Programme Open Day Postgraduate
    Fri, 31 May '19

How did your AQA A-level Business Paper 1 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (188)
23.01%
The paper was reasonable (377)
46.14%
Not feeling great about that exam... (149)
18.24%
It was TERRIBLE (103)
12.61%

Watched Threads

View All