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    Hi there, I could do with some advice from some current/former IB students.

    I am currently in IB1 and have yet to choose which subjects I'll be doing to HL/SL. I had been planning to do English Lit, French B and History to HL (and Psychology Biology and MS to SL) when my Psychology teacher threw a spanner in the works and suggested I do four highers as I have a real aptitude for Psychology (got a 7 this term and in my mock exam in December.)

    So, I have two questions for the kind IB students of TSR:
    1) Would doing Psychology as a fourth higher in addition to Eng Lit, French and History put me at any sort of advantage when applying to a Russell Group uni to do an anthropology/politics/history related degree?

    2) Would this HL combination be manageable in terms of workload and stress?! My gut instinct would be that it would be ok, but what do you guys think?

    thank you for your time!
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    (Original post by Kokopod)
    Hi there, I could do with some advice from some current/former IB students.

    I am currently in IB1 and have yet to choose which subjects I'll be doing to HL/SL. I had been planning to do English Lit, French B and History to HL (and Psychology Biology and MS to SL) when my Psychology teacher threw a spanner in the works and suggested I do four highers as I have a real aptitude for Psychology (got a 7 this term and in my mock exam in December.)

    So, I have two questions for the kind IB students of TSR:
    1) Would doing Psychology as a fourth higher in addition to Eng Lit, French and History put me at any sort of advantage when applying to a Russell Group uni to do an anthropology/politics/history related degree?

    2) Would this HL combination be manageable in terms of workload and stress?! My gut instinct would be that it would be ok, but what do you guys think?

    thank you for your time!
    I'll be starting IB next year so i can help out

    1) Taking Psychology as your fourth higher will definitely not help the slightest as it is completely unrelated to anthropology/politics etc. The only relevance of taking it as a higher level course is the fact that its a humanities course. British universities will only take account of the higher level subjects relevant to your career (if you take 4 highers), so the 3 higher level subjects that are most relevant to your degree will be taken into consideration by the universities and your offer will be based on those (e.g. 766/776/666). I'd definitely advise you to steer clear of doing 4 higher level subjects you'll be doing unnecessary work with no additional benefits. If you really want to take higher level psychology you could probably switch it out with french as french isn't directly linked to the career you want to pursue. Taking psychology higher level instead of french might be more beneficial to you if your scoring higher in psychology than french as it will boost your overall IB score - so keep that in mind.

    2) The only input i can give pertaining to your question is the relative difficulties of the subjects - history and english lit are really hard to score well in (6/7). I'm sure you'll manage well though!

    Hope i helped!
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    Hello! I'm a former IB student currently applying for university.

    I agree with pbunny with regard to university offers, which is based on your 3 HL grades.
    Similarly, I would recommend substituting Psychology with your French B for HL if you really want to take Psychology at HL.

    1) In my opinion, the most relevant subjects to your uni course would be History, followed by Lit.
    Thus, it is important to secure high grades for History and Lit at HL.
    Ultimately, as long as you have a humanities combination, the university will be looking at your HL grades and your overall IB grade.
    I am not familiar with Psychology and French B, so this is just my opinion, but I don't think either offers an advantage/disadvantage for uni consideration.
    Therefore, like pbunny mentioned, it's more important to choose the subject which you can do well in, and are most interested in (in this case, you mentioned Psychology) so that you can secure a 777 ideally.

    Nevertheless, I don't want to discourage you from taking 4 HLs if you're genuinely interested in both Psychology and French B because you can learn a lot more, and studying is not just about the grades
    You just have to be aware that it most likely will not affect your uni consideration much, consider the extra effort that you will have to make, and make an informed decision.

    2) I'll comment on the four subjects that I'm familiar with. I took Biology&History HL and Math&Lit SL

    Math Studies should be easy to handle as long as you're consistent with practice.
    Biology SL content is manageable. It does have lab reports/IAs to be done but if you're fine with sciences, it shouldn't be a problem.

    History is a content-heavy subject. You'll only have your Historical Investigation to do on the IA side, which is okay, but you'll have to write a lot of essays for exams and practice depending on your teacher.
    By the time you hit your IB exams, you'll be writing 6-8 sides of argumentative essays supported by evidence and historian's arguments, so you'll need to be able to memorize content as well as structure essays well.

    English Lit HL has its various assessments from Part 1 to 4 which is too long to go through but to keep it short: Reading, Analyzing, Consistency, Essay Writing, Oral Presentations. Once again, it's more about consistent work, close-reading and analysis. I must say that unless you have a flair for literature/work really hard/or both, getting a 7 isn't easy for Lit.

    *I have friends who took French B SL and they managed it well scoring 6/7s. I am unable to go into detail about workload but it should be fine if you work hard,

    Yup, so weigh these factors along with your other two subjects and see how it'll match up.
    In my opinion, your workload will be fine with either of the 3HL combinations. (be it Psychology HL French B SL or French B HL, Psychology SL)
    I cannot comment on the 4HL combination because I'm not familiar with Psychology HL's workload.

    What I would advise you to do (based on your other subjects) is to be consistent with your work (as with all other IB combinations). Both for your current humanities combination, and your future uni course, you'll have to memorize and practice essay-writing (a lot!) and the only way to become good at them is to practice, practice and practice.

    I hope I have helped and feel free to ask/contact me if you have any questions.
    All the best!
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    Thank you both very much for your advice! It is really valuable to me. I hadn't realised that unis only look at 3 HL scores even if you take 4 subjects, so I'll definitely bear that in mind when I come to make a decision. I'm inclined to do psychology SL and my original 3 highers to ease my second year workload slightly!
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    Unis, especially uk, usually make an offer based on your total IB points and 3HL scores (as listed in their prospectus. You may like to browse a few uni prospectuses to check). The only circumstance that 4HLs might give you an edge if you do extremely well for all your subjects e.g. 7777HL77SL would be better than 777HL777SL. Most people would advise you not to sacrifice a 7 at SL for a 6 at HL, because it affects your total IB score (and other subjects), and I stand by that.

    However, don't be afraid to pursue your 4HLS if you really want to. Follow your heart, and work crazy hard for IB!

    Regardless of your decision, I wish you all the best.
    Cheers!

    PS: Make sure you work hard for your SLs too! Don't neglect them. They are your easier 7s to get!
 
 
 
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