A-Levels or IB for journalism?

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Brad387
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#1
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#1
As of September 2014, a nearby sixth-form will begin to offer the IB qualification (making my year the first with such an opportunity). Until now, I have always considered A-Levels (BTECs aren't as valued it seems or useful for my career path, after all) and even known which subjects I wish to study: English Literature, (MFL) French, (MFL) German and History.

My ideal career path, if I can make it, is journalism. I choose English Literature because one of the English subjects seems a necessity for a job focused upon writing and, out of the two, Literature is a slightly more respectable qualification which will impress universities. History shows analytical skills, which is useful in a number of careers, and I figure that a humanities subject is a necessity. After all, what do journalists typically write about? Religion, politics, the anniversary of a historical event, etc. Finally, because journalists often cover Europe (as you see always on the BBC and whatnot) and that I have also been studying it for a number of years, French seems a useful choice too. Meanwhile, as I simply like languages, German is my "fun" option and also allows me to study Modern Foreign Languages at a university level (I hear that they all want you to have studied two). Do these options seem sound, in your opinions?

The IB, however, will allow me to study all of these subjects and more in a qualification which - or so I have heard - is more recognised abroad. Is this true? I have, from a very young age, always said how I have wanted to spend a number of years travelling and, naturally as a result of this, also working abroad. If an IB is more internationally useful, then perhaps it is the better option for me. On the other hand, IBs are apparently more work. Can anyone here, who perhaps has studied an IB and passed or failed, vouch for their difficulty level? When they say that they are more demanding than A-Levels, by how much so are we talking?

My main concern is whether the individual subjects, on their own merit and not in the greater picture of the entire IB qualification, are equal to their A-Level counterparts? I know that the IB as a whole is roughly equal to three A2s and four ASs. But, individually, is IB French equivalently valued to A-Level French, and so on with the rest of my subjects?
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AquisM
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#2
(Original post by Brad387)
As of September 2014, a nearby sixth-form will begin to offer the IB qualification (making my year the first with such an opportunity). Until now, I have always considered A-Levels (BTECs aren't as valued it seems or useful for my career path, after all) and even known which subjects I wish to study: English Literature, (MFL) French, (MFL) German and History.

My ideal career path, if I can make it, is journalism. I choose English Literature because one of the English subjects seems a necessity for a job focused upon writing and, out of the two, Literature is a slightly more respectable qualification which will impress universities. History shows analytical skills, which is useful in a number of careers, and I figure that a humanities subject is a necessity. After all, what do journalists typically write about? Religion, politics, the anniversary of a historical event, etc. Finally, because journalists often cover Europe (as you see always on the BBC and whatnot) and that I have also been studying it for a number of years, French seems a useful choice too. Meanwhile, as I simply like languages, German is my "fun" option and also allows me to study Modern Foreign Languages at a university level (I hear that they all want you to have studied two). Do these options seem sound, in your opinions?

The IB, however, will allow me to study all of these subjects and more in a qualification which - or so I have heard - is more recognised abroad. Is this true? I have, from a very young age, always said how I have wanted to spend a number of years travelling and, naturally as a result of this, also working abroad. If an IB is more internationally useful, then perhaps it is the better option for me. On the other hand, IBs are apparently more work. Can anyone here, who perhaps has studied an IB and passed or failed, vouch for their difficulty level? When they say that they are more demanding than A-Levels, by how much so are we talking?

My main concern is whether the individual subjects, on their own merit and not in the greater picture of the entire IB qualification, are equal to their A-Level counterparts? I know that the IB as a whole is roughly equal to three A2s and four ASs. But, individually, is IB French equivalently valued to A-Level French, and so on with the rest of my subjects?
Hello. I'm a current second year IB student and I'll just share my own experiences with you.

There is indeed a increasing trend of IB being favoured abroad; whether this lowers the value of A Levels or not is debatable, but A Levels are certainly still respected elsewhere and anywhere you go A Levels will always be given the recognition they deserve. The question you should therefore be asking is which one suits your personality and future career.

I assume that you understand the basic mechanics of the IB Diploma, that you must choose six subjects from six different subject groups to ensure that you get a varied and holistic education. This is very different to A Levels where you have much more freedom of choice. It is thus not possible study all of literature, history, religion and two languages as it is not a valid combination (it would be a valid combination if you studied only one foreign language, but you would also have to sstudy maths and a science). If you are dead set on journalism or certainly towards just the humanities and arts, then perhaps the diversity of IB is not for you.

As for your second question, the value of the IB is in the rigour set by the large amount of subjects and the diversity that one needs to complete it. While it is possible to not do the full diploma and only take exams in certain subjects for a certificate, it is understood there are close to no universities that give these standalone certificates the same recognition as the full diploma. So while IB HL French might be at the same level as A Level French, without the full IB diploma, it will not be recognised as such. With the diploma, however, then yes, they will be treated as equivalents.

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Brad387
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#3
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#3
(Original post by AquisM)
Hello. I'm a current second year IB student and I'll just share my own experiences with you.

There is indeed a increasing trend of IB being favoured abroad; whether this lowers the value of A Levels or not is debatable, but A Levels are certainly still respected elsewhere and anywhere you go A Levels will always be given the recognition they deserve. The question you should therefore be asking is which one suits your personality and future career.

I assume that you understand the basic mechanics of the IB Diploma, that you must choose six subjects from six different subject groups to ensure that you get a varied and holistic education. This is very different to A Levels where you have much more freedom of choice. It is thus not possible study all of literature, history, religion and two languages as it is not a valid combination (it would be a valid combination if you studied only one foreign language, but you would also have to sstudy maths and a science). If you are dead set on journalism or certainly towards just the humanities and arts, then perhaps the diversity of IB is not for you.

As for your second question, the value of the IB is in the rigour set by the large amount of subjects and the diversity that one needs to complete it. While it is possible to not do the full diploma and only take exams in certain subjects for a certificate, it is understood there are close to no universities that give these standalone certificates the same recognition as the full diploma. So while IB HL French might be at the same level as A Level French, without the full IB diploma, it will not be recognised as such. With the diploma, however, then yes, they will be treated as equivalents.

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Thanks for the information. Taking German and French, however, is indeed a viable option. I spoke personally to the speaker, who attended my school today to discuss its workings, and verified online that Group 6 of the IB (the creative arts one) can be supplemented with a subject from another group, such as a language from Group 2.

Even the Wikipedia page says so...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IB_Grou...subject_groups

I mean, although I understand that an IB would be much harder than GCSE, I would say that I'm a pretty diverse student academically. Besides Religion Studies, which I wouldn't pick anyway, there aren't any subjects which I would regard myself to be failing at. I'm a little bit weak at Science, but that is the combined sciences of Chemistry, Biology and Physics to create one overall grade. If I was doing IB, I would naturally just pick Physics, which is the one I'm good at.

I'm not really sure what you mean, unfortunately, about that last paragraph. So, if I'm right in understanding, the individual subject certificates are worthless unless I pass the overall course and get the actual IB diploma? What I want to know, to put it more basically, is whether employers and universities will view me taking these subjects at IB as equivalent to me taking them at A-Level. So, if (hypothetically speaking, of course) I were to write on my CV or tell in an interview to a potential employer that I studied French at IB, would they view me then as equal to someone who studied French at A-Level? What I'm getting at, in other words, is whether the subjects in IB and A-Level are of equal academic ability. Put as simply as possible, does passing IB French mean you are equally as good as someone who passed A-Level French? Are they of equal difficulty and thus requiring equal ability with the subject?

The reason I am considering the IB, after being so set upon A-Levels, is its international value and also flexibility. The problem with A-Levels is that they can close doors and focus you down a specific path too much. Whilst as of this moment I want to do journalism, I know that it is a hard career path and that in a number of years my views may differ. At least with an IB, I can say: "Okay. I don't want to go into MFL or journalism after all, but since that was only 2 out of 6 subjects it isn't such a big deal. I still studied Maths and Science."

Now that I know the basics about taking an IB, would you mind if I ask you a few more questions? I'm trying to decide which subjects to take a Standard or Higher at. I know that SL means they're easier, but by how much so are we talking? Is an SL IB thus less than an A-Level equivalent?So far, for my application for an IB sixth-form (I may as well put an application in, I have decided, even if I should later decide against the idea and opt for A-Levels instead), I have chosen...

Higher Level:
English Literature
French

Standard Level:
Maths
Physics

I cannot decide whether to take German as my HL and History as my SL, or the other way around. Do you have any advice? Also, the speaker at my school said that there isn't much difference in the overall value of the qualification between Maths Studies and Maths SL, so consequently many take Maths Studies. Is this true? Since Maths isn't one of the subjects I am the most interested in, I'd be quite happy taking Studies so long as I knew it was still valued. I have heard mixed things though, such as that Studies is seen as worthless by the top universities here in the UK.

The other thing which, coming from learning the GCSE and A-Level system, seems weird is the "coursework". The speaker only had twenty minutes, so explained things rather briefly. How does the Theory of Knowledge actually work? There was also the mention of a creativity task, in which you would have to do some form of volunteer work. Once again, can you enlighten me any more on this? Lastly, there is an extended piece of writing on a topic of your choice, right? Am I right in thinking I can write this on any topic within the subjects I have taken? I really don't want to go in blind, but it seems that some of the information online isn't entirely clear (neither is it always on A-Levels, for that matter).

Finally, if you are in your final year, then you may know a little bit more about this. The speaker said that universities love the IB as much, or perhaps even greater than, A-Levels. Is this really true? Could I go anywhere with an IB that I could go with A-Levels, including the very top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge? To conclude (finally finally), do you enjoy the IB? Yes: I want to get the qualifications to progress my life and reach my goals. But, to me, I'd also like to enjoy my time at college or sixth-form.
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nimrod100
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#4
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#4
Hi I hope I can help you with some of your questions, firstly I work in an IB school and my daughter is in IB1.

(Original post by Brad387)
Thanks for the information. Taking German and French, however, is indeed a viable option. I spoke personally to the speaker, who attended my school today to discuss its workings, and verified online that Group 6 of the IB (the creative arts one) can be supplemented with a subject from another group, such as a language from Group 2.

Yes you can certainly take both French and German


I mean, although I understand that an IB would be much harder than GCSE, I would say that I'm a pretty diverse student academically. Besides Religion Studies, which I wouldn't pick anyway, there aren't any subjects which I would regard myself to be failing at. I'm a little bit weak at Science, but that is the combined sciences of Chemistry, Biology and Physics to create one overall grade. If I was doing IB, I would naturally just pick Physics, which is the one I'm good at.

I'm not really sure what you mean, unfortunately, about that last paragraph. So, if I'm right in understanding, the individual subject certificates are worthless unless I pass the overall course and get the actual IB diploma? What I want to know, to put it more basically, is whether employers and universities will view me taking these subjects at IB as equivalent to me taking them at A-Level. So, if (hypothetically speaking, of course) I were to write on my CV or tell in an interview to a potential employer that I studied French at IB, would they view me then as equal to someone who studied French at A-Level? What I'm getting at, in other words, is whether the subjects in IB and A-Level are of equal academic ability. Put as simply as possible, does passing IB French mean you are equally as good as someone who passed A-Level French? Are they of equal difficulty and thus requiring equal ability with the subject?

The only place that does really recognise certificate candidates is the USA but they are strange with the IB as they don't really understand the concept of 2 year courses. Employers would understand the level of French needed for the IB, talking of which the level for IB is much higher than for GCSE's. For example my daughter did iGCSE, and is coping with French BHL, but her friend who got an A at GCSE is really struggling, the other new student with GCSE's(A*) left after 1 lesson. This is not said to put you off, but be prepared to work very hard at the 2 languages. If you do this course you will not need to explain the system as you should be able to demonstrate your ability by speaking very good German/French.

The reason I am considering the IB, after being so set upon A-Levels, is its international value and also flexibility. The problem with A-Levels is that they can close doors and focus you down a specific path too much. Whilst as of this moment I want to do journalism, I know that it is a hard career path and that in a number of years my views may differ. At least with an IB, I can say: "Okay. I don't want to go into MFL or journalism after all, but since that was only 2 out of 6 subjects it isn't such a big deal. I still studied Maths and Science."

This true, if you get a good enough mark in either HL French or German you will be able to go to Uni in those countries and learn in that language.

Now that I know the basics about taking an IB, would you mind if I ask you a few more questions? I'm trying to decide which subjects to take a Standard or Higher at. I know that SL means they're easier, but by how much so are we talking? Is an SL IB thus less than an A-Level equivalent?So far, for my application for an IB sixth-form (I may as well put an application in, I have decided, even if I should later decide against the idea and opt for A-Levels instead), I have chosen...

Higher Level:
English Literature
French

Standard Level:
Maths
Physics


OK I can break down the level differences for the subjects you are looking at, also google IB syllabus + subject and you should find the info.

English Lit - not a huge difference, 2 more books to read in HL and the marking is stricter.
French /German - HL there is a literature component, 2 books which need to be analysed and these make up your coursework, the rest of the course is similar for both levels, so it depends on how comfortable you are reading lit in a foreign language.
History - similar courses, but 1 more exam and again the marking is the big difference.
Maths - Take maths SL, Maths studies is very easy and boring
Physics - SL is a lot easier than HL (Physics HL is HARD, all my daughters friends are struggling with it)

I cannot decide whether to take German as my HL and History as my SL, or the other way around. Do you have any advice? Also, the speaker at my school said that there isn't much difference in the overall value of the qualification between Maths Studies and Maths SL, so consequently many take Maths Studies. Is this true? Since Maths isn't one of the subjects I am the most interested in, I'd be quite happy taking Studies so long as I knew it was still valued. I have heard mixed things though, such as that Studies is seen as worthless by the top universities here in the UK.

The other thing which, coming from learning the GCSE and A-Level system, seems weird is the "coursework". The speaker only had twenty minutes, so explained things rather briefly. How does the Theory of Knowledge actually work? There was also the mention of a creativity task, in which you would have to do some form of volunteer work. Once again, can you enlighten me any more on this? Lastly, there is an extended piece of writing on a topic of your choice, right? Am I right in thinking I can write this on any topic within the subjects I have taken? I really don't want to go in blind, but it seems that some of the information online isn't entirely clear (neither is it always on A-Levels, for that matter).

Theory of Knowledge - questioning what you have been taught and looking at different ways of knowing things.
Extended Essay - 4,000 word research paper on any topic on any subject you are taking but it must pertain to only that suject, it is not as straightforward as it sounds.
CAS - this is Creativity, Action and Service, you need to complete about 50 for each category.


Finally, if you are in your final year, then you may know a little bit more about this. The speaker said that universities love the IB as much, or perhaps even greater than, A-Levels. Is this really true? Could I go anywhere with an IB that I could go with A-Levels, including the very top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge? To conclude (finally finally), do you enjoy the IB? Yes: I want to get the qualifications to progress my life and reach my goals. But, to me, I'd also like to enjoy my time at college or sixth-form.
Unis understand the IB and make fairly realistic offers.

Finally my daughter said yes she does enjoy the IB
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Brad387
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(Original post by nimrod100)
Hi I hope I can help you with some of your questions, firstly I work in an IB school and my daughter is in IB1.



Unis understand the IB and make fairly realistic offers.

Finally my daughter said yes she does enjoy the IB
Thanks for the reply. So far, although I am naturally keeping an open-mind, I am leaning towards A-Levels. It seems pretty universally accepted that the IB is a harder qualification than A-Levels, but yet it also seems that an IB is no more beneficial than an A-Level. If I'm willing to specialise as A-Levels demand, which I indeed am, then why not take the slightly easier route?
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AquisM
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(Original post by Brad387)
Thanks for the information. Taking German and French, however, is indeed a viable option. I spoke personally to the speaker, who attended my school today to discuss its workings, and verified online that Group 6 of the IB (the creative arts one) can be supplemented with a subject from another group, such as a language from Group 2.

Even the Wikipedia page says so...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IB_Grou...subject_groups
That is true. I meant that you cannot do two languages as well as history PLUS religion, as both of these choices require substituting Group 6. Should have said that in a less convoluted way. :P

I mean, although I understand that an IB would be much harder than GCSE, I would say that I'm a pretty diverse student academically. Besides Religion Studies, which I wouldn't pick anyway, there aren't any subjects which I would regard myself to be failing at. I'm a little bit weak at Science, but that is the combined sciences of Chemistry, Biology and Physics to create one overall grade. If I was doing IB, I would naturally just pick Physics, which is the one I'm good at.
Then you have more choice. The reason I pointed this point out is that the diversity has been called the pro and con of IB, and many students have disliked/failed the IB because they did not enjoy doing such a wide range of subjects and would have much preferred to solely focus on sciences/arts in A Levels. If you think you can handle having to do maths and science along with you major subjects, then by all means try out the IB.

I'm not really sure what you mean, unfortunately, about that last paragraph. So, if I'm right in understanding, the individual subject certificates are worthless unless I pass the overall course and get the actual IB diploma? What I want to know, to put it more basically, is whether employers and universities will view me taking these subjects at IB as equivalent to me taking them at A-Level. So, if (hypothetically speaking, of course) I were to write on my CV or tell in an interview to a potential employer that I studied French at IB, would they view me then as equal to someone who studied French at A-Level? What I'm getting at, in other words, is whether the subjects in IB and A-Level are of equal academic ability. Put as simply as possible, does passing IB French mean you are equally as good as someone who passed A-Level French? Are they of equal difficulty and thus requiring equal ability with the subject?
Yes, that was the point I'm trying to make. Basically without the diploma the IB isn't worth much. Now as for what you're concerned about, most IB subjects are divided into Higher Level and Standard Level, which are broadly comparable to A Level and AS Level respectively. Unis respect this (I don't know about employers though, but I would assume they do too.), so if they require A Level French on a course, they will normally ask for IB HL French.

The reason I am considering the IB, after being so set upon A-Levels, is its international value and also flexibility. The problem with A-Levels is that they can close doors and focus you down a specific path too much. Whilst as of this moment I want to do journalism, I know that it is a hard career path and that in a number of years my views may differ. At least with an IB, I can say: "Okay. I don't want to go into MFL or journalism after all, but since that was only 2 out of 6 subjects it isn't such a big deal. I still studied Maths and Science."
This is purely your decision. Like I said, to many the flexibility is a curse. If you aren't daunted by it, then I'd say you should give it a try.

Now that I know the basics about taking an IB, would you mind if I ask you a few more questions? I'm trying to decide which subjects to take a Standard or Higher at. I know that SL means they're easier, but by how much so are we talking? Is an SL IB thus less than an A-Level equivalent?So far, for my application for an IB sixth-form (I may as well put an application in, I have decided, even if I should later decide against the idea and opt for A-Levels instead), I have chosen...

Higher Level:
English Literature
French

Standard Level:
Maths
Physics

I cannot decide whether to take German as my HL and History as my SL, or the other way around. Do you have any advice? Also, the speaker at my school said that there isn't much difference in the overall value of the qualification between Maths Studies and Maths SL, so consequently many take Maths Studies. Is this true? Since Maths isn't one of the subjects I am the most interested in, I'd be quite happy taking Studies so long as I knew it was still valued. I have heard mixed things though, such as that Studies is seen as worthless by the top universities here in the UK.
Like I've said, HL is A Level and SL is AS Level. The difference between HL and SL really depends on the subject. In some, like Econ, the difference is simply a few extra topics and an extra paper in the exam, whereas for Maths, the difference in terms of difficulty and volume of content is so large that usually a 7 in SL Maths can only guarantee you a 4/5 in HL Maths.

Unfortunately your speaker is wrong and your suspicions are correct.Maths Studies and SL Maths are very different. Maths Studies is just slightly harder than GCSE, whereas Maths SL is about A Level Maths (Maths HL is A Level Further Maths). You're right in guessing that Studies is not valued too much. Many top unis regard it as a 'soft' subject.

The other thing which, coming from learning the GCSE and A-Level system, seems weird is the "coursework". The speaker only had twenty minutes, so explained things rather briefly. How does the Theory of Knowledge actually work? There was also the mention of a creativity task, in which you would have to do some form of volunteer work. Once again, can you enlighten me any more on this? Lastly, there is an extended piece of writing on a topic of your choice, right? Am I right in thinking I can write this on any topic within the subjects I have taken? I really don't want to go in blind, but it seems that some of the information online isn't entirely clear (neither is it always on A-Levels, for that matter).
There are three components to what we call the IB core: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE). TOK is a bit difficult to explain as it is an IB unique course, but it is a cross between critical thinking and philosophy. Essentially it aims to give you a framework to understand how you gain knowledge and understand what is knowledge (it all sounds very vague I know, but please believe me when I say it's difficult to explain). In the end you are examined by a presentation on a topic of your choice and an essay with prescribe titles to choose from.

CAS is an extracurricular program where you have to consistently and continuously do artistic (creativity), sports-related (action) and community service activities throughout the two year course. You must achieve the eight learning outcomes (can't remember them right now, it's on Wikipedia) through your activities and reflect upon your experiences. It is pass-fail, and if you fail CAS you fail the diploma.

EE is a research essay of 4000 words on any subject within the IB framework, not just those you have taken. You are assigned a supervisor and you come up with a topic (any topic) to research and write about. It is supposed to be like a mini thesis, mimicking what you will do in uni.

Finally, if you are in your final year, then you may know a little bit more about this. The speaker said that universities love the IB as much, or perhaps even greater than, A-Levels. Is this really true? Could I go anywhere with an IB that I could go with A-Levels, including the very top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge? To conclude (finally finally), do you enjoy the IB? Yes: I want to get the qualifications to progress my life and reach my goals. But, to me, I'd also like to enjoy my time at college or sixth-form.
You will hear many rumours that unis like A Levels more or IB more, and you will not find much evidence online. Of course, unis cannot publicly advertise that they like one qualification over the other, and as A Levels remain the dominant qualification, it is difficult to compare how unis view the two with respect to offers and conditions. What is definitely true is that you can go to anywhere with IB just as you can with A Levels. I've finished my applications and have received offers.

I personally really enjoy the IB. I value a holistic education and am grateful to be able to take all these different subjects. You will hear from many people that the workload for IB is impossible and that you can either choose sleep, grades or social life in IB. This is simply not true. Yes there is a high amount of workload, but if you remain organised and don't fall into the temptation of procrastination, you can have an amazing social life as well as stellar grades.

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Brad387
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#7
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#7
(Original post by AquisM)
That is true. I meant that you cannot do two languages as well as history PLUS religion, as both of these choices require substituting Group 6. Should have said that in a less convoluted way. :P


Then you have more choice. The reason I pointed this point out is that the diversity has been called the pro and con of IB, and many students have disliked/failed the IB because they did not enjoy doing such a wide range of subjects and would have much preferred to solely focus on sciences/arts in A Levels. If you think you can handle having to do maths and science along with you major subjects, then by all means try out the IB.


Yes, that was the point I'm trying to make. Basically without the diploma the IB isn't worth much. Now as for what you're concerned about, most IB subjects are divided into Higher Level and Standard Level, which are broadly comparable to A Level and AS Level respectively. Unis respect this (I don't know about employers though, but I would assume they do too.), so if they require A Level French on a course, they will normally ask for IB HL French.


This is purely your decision. Like I said, to many the flexibility is a curse. If you aren't daunted by it, then I'd say you should give it a try.


Like I've said, HL is A Level and SL is AS Level. The difference between HL and SL really depends on the subject. In some, like Econ, the difference is simply a few extra topics and an extra paper in the exam, whereas for Maths, the difference in terms of difficulty and volume of content is so large that usually a 7 in SL Maths can only guarantee you a 4/5 in HL Maths.

Unfortunately your speaker is wrong and your suspicions are correct.Maths Studies and SL Maths are very different. Maths Studies is just slightly harder than GCSE, whereas Maths SL is about A Level Maths (Maths HL is A Level Further Maths). You're right in guessing that Studies is not valued too much. Many top unis regard it as a 'soft' subject.


There are three components to what we call the IB core: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE). TOK is a bit difficult to explain as it is an IB unique course, but it is a cross between critical thinking and philosophy. Essentially it aims to give you a framework to understand how you gain knowledge and understand what is knowledge (it all sounds very vague I know, but please believe me when I say it's difficult to explain). In the end you are examined by a presentation on a topic of your choice and an essay with prescribe titles to choose from.

CAS is an extracurricular program where you have to consistently and continuously do artistic (creativity), sports-related (action) and community service activities throughout the two year course. You must achieve the eight learning outcomes (can't remember them right now, it's on Wikipedia) through your activities and reflect upon your experiences. It is pass-fail, and if you fail CAS you fail the diploma.

EE is a research essay of 4000 words on any subject within the IB framework, not just those you have taken. You are assigned a supervisor and you come up with a topic (any topic) to research and write about. It is supposed to be like a mini thesis, mimicking what you will do in uni.


You will hear many rumours that unis like A Levels more or IB more, and you will not find much evidence online. Of course, unis cannot publicly advertise that they like one qualification over the other, and as A Levels remain the dominant qualification, it is difficult to compare how unis view the two with respect to offers and conditions. What is definitely true is that you can go to anywhere with IB just as you can with A Levels. I've finished my applications and have received offers.

I personally really enjoy the IB. I value a holistic education and am grateful to be able to take all these different subjects. You will hear from many people that the workload for IB is impossible and that you can either choose sleep, grades or social life in IB. This is simply not true. Yes there is a high amount of workload, but if you remain organised and don't fall into the temptation of procrastination, you can have an amazing social life as well as stellar grades.

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Thanks for the consistently useful advice. Whilst I have another week or two to think things through, I am as of this moment still leaning towards A-Levels. I am willing to specialise and, whilst the breadth and international recognition is nice, I'd rather focus in on just the four subjects that I enjoy. Also, since I know how A-Levels work and there are more colleges which offer A-Levels (IB is offered at only one local college, and said college is not rated very highly), I think I'll play it safe.
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AquisM
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Brad387)
Thanks for the consistently useful advice. Whilst I have another week or two to think things through, I am as of this moment still leaning towards A-Levels. I am willing to specialise and, whilst the breadth and international recognition is nice, I'd rather focus in on just the four subjects that I enjoy. Also, since I know how A-Levels work and there are more colleges which offer A-Levels (IB is offered at only one local college, and said college is not rated very highly), I think I'll play it safe.
I agree with your decision. Despite being rather pro IB, it seems that A levels are better in your case as you mentioned that the college has had little experience teaching the IB, which can be disastrous. All the best in your studies!

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Brad387
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#9
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#9
(Original post by AquisM)
I agree with your decision. Despite being rather pro IB, it seems that A levels are better in your case as you mentioned that the college has had little experience teaching the IB, which can be disastrous. All the best in your studies!

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I am always reluctant to take a "new" qualification (yes, I know the IB is actually rather old, but it is new to myself, my area and the sixth-form which will be teaching it). Also, considering how said sixth-form offering it was said by Ofsted to be failing its pupils academically at A-Levels, they'd likely do even more miserably at the harder IB qualification. Since I have ambitions of getting into one of the top universities, I really can't afford to take the gamble.
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nancyagarwal
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#10
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#10
Which subjects should I take for journalism? briefly
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