User1738621
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Hi,

I was just wondering
1) if it is possible to take 4 HL subjects for IB, as I am struggling to decide which to do - I think it would be more interesting for me, but I am worried about the workload if this is possible.

2) if starting with 4 HL subjects and dropping one to SL is a good idea or often done, when I have decided which I prefer.

Thanks for any guidance you an offer!




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pbunny
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(Original post by AVW0403)
Hi,

I was just wondering
1) if it is possible to take 4 HL subjects for IB, as I am struggling to decide which to do - I think it would be more interesting for me, but I am worried about the workload if this is possible.

2) if starting with 4 HL subjects and dropping one to SL is a good idea or often done, when I have decided which I prefer.

Thanks for any guidance you an offer!

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Yes, you can definitely take 4 higher levels - however, your IB coordinator may refuse to let you take 4 highers if they think you can't cope or aren't academically strong. The workload is definitely going to be higher, you won't feel it through out most of the IB course but you definitely will during exam revision and exam time as you'll have to learn more than students that take the traditional combo of 3 HLs and 3 SLs. Plus, I seriously am against taking 4 highers as universities don't give you any credit for it so why go through all that? Of course, if you want to take 4 HLs because you really are interested in your 4th higher then it may not be such a bad idea, especially if its a subject where there is little difference between HL and SL (e.g. usually language A, group 3 subjects).

Its definitely common to start off with 4 higher levels and to drop one of them later on in the year. I know people who did that. It'll allow you to gauge which higher level subject is your weakest and which you're the least interested in - after identifying that you can choose to drop the one that least appeals to you.
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User1738621
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(Original post by pbunny)
Yes, you can definitely take 4 higher levels - however, your IB coordinator may refuse to let you take 4 highers if they think you can't cope or aren't academically strong. The workload is definitely going to be higher, you won't feel it through out most of the IB course but you definitely will during exam revision and exam time as you'll have to learn more than students that take the traditional combo of 3 HLs and 3 SLs. Plus, I seriously am against taking 4 highers as universities don't give you any credit for it so why go through all that? Of course, if you want to take 4 HLs because you really are interested in your 4th higher then it may not be such a bad idea, especially if its a subject where there is little difference between HL and SL (e.g. usually language A, group 3 subjects).

Its definitely common to start off with 4 higher levels and to drop one of them later on in the year. I know people who did that. It'll allow you to gauge which higher level subject is your weakest and which you're the least interested in - after identifying that you can choose to drop the one that least appeals to you.
Thanks for your reply - I think I could cope with doing 4 HL subjects academically, as I am a straight A* student and I love to learn (as cheesy as that may sound) but if universities do not recognise the extra work and effort that this takes, I can see that it may not be worth it.

I am not keen on dropping subjects, even to the six that the IB requires, so I thought that by doing 4 HL subjects, I could further explore my interests in my subjects and learn more than would be possible with 3. I am reluctant, however to do 4 HLs knowing that it could jeopardise my overall score at the end of the two years.

I think I will speak to my school's IB coordinator to find out if it would be possible for me to start with 4 and see how it goes. Thank you very much for your help!


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pbunny
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(Original post by AVW0403)
Thanks for your reply - I think I could cope with doing 4 HL subjects academically, as I am a straight A* student and I love to learn (as cheesy as that may sound) but if universities do not recognise the extra work and effort that this takes, I can see that it may not be worth it.

I am not keen on dropping subjects, even to the six that the IB requires, so I thought that by doing 4 HL subjects, I could further explore my interests in my subjects and learn more than would be possible with 3. I am reluctant, however to do 4 HLs knowing that it could jeopardise my overall score at the end of the two years.

I think I will speak to my school's IB coordinator to find out if it would be possible for me to start with 4 and see how it goes. Thank you very much for your help!

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You make a good point - forgot to mention that taking 4 higher level subjects will likely reduce your overall IB score. You'll probably want a higher overall score for competitive universities as it'll likely increase your chances of getting an offer especially if you think the highest score you can get with 4 HLs is the minimum/cut off score for the course/unis your most interested in.

And yes, do talk to your IB coordinator about whether you'd be allowed to start off with 4 higher level subjects and drop one higher later on in the year. You most probably will be allowed to if it won't cause any scheduling conflicts - usually works with higher levels subject such as English, group 3/4/6 subjects where HL and SL students are mixed.
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