Hi, I have a theory to present about IB students who do well. I claim that the students who do well
are those who take science subjects. While I have the greatest respect for people doing these
subjects, I think it is much easier to do well in these subjects, as there are "definite" answers to
all questions, and therefore it would be easier to learn (via rote learning). Whilst all those who
get high marks obviously do reasonably well in their other subjects, they do them at SL level and
are therefore given 7s, and do HL Sciences and Maths where all answers are definite, so they can get
easy marks in those subjects. EE and TOK aside, by doing HL sciences you can get easier marks than
by doing HL essay subjects.
Alright, you might not agree with me, but I claim that it is easier to learn maths than a foreign
language or a history subject.
And if you still don't believe me, think about this:
How many people do you know who got in the 41+ and did not do HL sciences, and did language or
humanities subjects at Higher Level? Even if you do know some, there wouldn't be as many as science
subject people... I guarantee it.
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- 16-03-2002 11:06
- 19-03-2002 19:06
Hmmm... contentious. Yet from what I have seen your evidence does have a valid basis. I am yet
to meet someone who didn't do all Maths and Sciences HLs and got over 41. Meeting myself is
Robert Smith wrote:
[q1]> Hi, I have a theory to present about IB students who do well. I claim that the students who do[/q1]
[q1]> well are those who take science subjects. While I have the greatest respect for people doing these[/q1]
[q1]> subjects, I think it is much easier to do well in these subjects, as there are "definite" answers[/q1]
[q1]> to all questions, and therefore it would be easier to learn (via rote learning). Whilst all those[/q1]
[q1]> who get high marks obviously do reasonably well in their other subjects, they do them at SL level[/q1]
[q1]> and are therefore given 7s, and do HL Sciences and Maths where all answers are definite, so they[/q1]
[q1]> can get easy marks in those subjects. EE and TOK aside, by doing HL sciences you can get easier[/q1]
[q1]> marks than by doing HL essay subjects.[/q1]
[q1]> Alright, you might not agree with me, but I claim that it is easier to learn maths than a foreign[/q1]
[q1]> language or a history subject.[/q1]
[q1]> And if you still don't believe me, think about this:[/q1]
[q1]> How many people do you know who got in the 41+ and did not do HL sciences, and did language or[/q1]
[q1]> humanities subjects at Higher Level? Even if you do know some, there wouldn't be as many as[/q1]
[q1]> science subject people... I guarantee it.[/q1]
- 20-03-2002 11:06
Well, here's a thought to consider. Students at my school always do much better at "the other"
subjects than in science (math is sort of in between). Multiple 6's and 7's are scored every year in
the other subjects, but in the 6 or so years we've had IB, only one person has gotten above a 5 on
any science exam. Of course, this could also be attributed to poor science programs at my school and
feeder schools. From what I've seen, the past biology exams are SO EASY compared to other past
exams, but even some of our best science students last year didn't do that well on them.
- 20-03-2002 11:06
What I think Mr Smith here was getting at was that the students who do well OVERALL are usually
those who take sciences. Certainly HL Sciences are hard subjects (including maths), but due to the
definiteness of these subjects it is much more straightforward than getting a 7 in an essay-based
subject. The potential for rote-learning your stuff would also be high. Perhaps they know their work
but are unable to fully explain it? \
I am just repeating what he said, this is not necessarily a view that I subscribe to, though I am
yet (in schools in my State and other states that I have heard of) to hear of a brilliant IB student
who did not study sciences and maths as their HLs.
[q1]> Well, here's a thought to consider. Students at my school always do much better at "the other"[/q1]
[q1]> subjects than in science (math is sort of in between). Multiple 6's and 7's are scored every[/q1]
[q1]> year in the other subjects, but in the 6 or so years we've had IB, only one person has gotten[/q1]
[q1]> above a 5 on any science exam. Of course, this could also be attributed to poor science programs[/q1]
[q1]> at my school and feeder schools. From what I've seen, the past biology exams are SO EASY[/q1]
[q1]> compared to other past exams, but even some of our best science students last year didn't do[/q1]
[q1]> that well on them.[/q1]
- 21-03-2002 11:10
Alrighty, let me tell you this: we have 3 students who have maintained straight A's since entering
the Pre-IB program <we are the first class and in 10th grade> Yes, I understand that we are not
technically in IB classes yet, but they have made it quite difficult for us in preparation for these
classes. <My English teacher is making us tie one of the books we read to European History... and I
don't wanna. AT ALL.>
Oddly enough, all three of these students are taking HL Music. BUT, here's the weird part, One of
them, my friend Carl, is taking HL Chemistry and the highest level Math that we offer <SL Math that
is AP Calc BC In Senior year>. So, he does fit with your crazy theory thing. He excels at the
Sciences and maths, but he maintains A's in other classes because he is a smart guy. <and he has a
beautiful voice *swoons*>
Now, there is Michelle. She is in band and taking HL Math, BUT she is taking HL Bio and.. I dunno
which math, but not the high one. She claims Math and Science to be her WEAKEST classes. Hmmm... The
only reason she is taking an HL Science is because she wants to have our Bio teacher, <Mr. Campbell
is the best science teacher... EVER> and our school offers Bio as ONLY HL.
Then, there is me. Let me tell you. I HATE SCIENCE WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS. Also, I HATE
HISTORY WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS. That being said, I am taking HL History and HL Biology. Of
course, you have to ask the question of how definitive BIOLOGY is as a science... right?
I guess the whole point of that was to say that our strongest students are across the board. One
math/science, one english/history, and one English/Math <I love English and Math... woo>. We are
also all taking 4 HLs... oddly enough. Now, there is also my friend Allen who is just good at
EVERYTHING... but I maintain that he is an English/History person...
~Kelly ~~~Trying to disprove your theory.
- 28-03-2002 19:12
I agree with the original poster on this point but i think this is true of any qualification. If
most of the people taking the exam are good at revising etc. (wehich they are) then the less iffy
subjects with more specific syllabae (e.g.: maths, science) are going to get far more top marks
(e.g.: 7's) than the vaguer subjects like art, history, languages etc.
- 01-04-2002 11:08
There are a few problems with the original arguement. I graduated high school in '98. My higher
level exams were bio, chem, english and history. My sub levels (i guess they call them standard
level now) were math and modern greek. I also took higher physics as a separate exam (I forgot what
they used to call those...certificates?). The only reason I took sub math was because I had to take
something sub. To offset this, I took the AP Calculus BC exam. I got a 7 on every exam, except for a
6 in chemistry. I got a 5 on the AP calc exam. I never planned to go to school in Europe, and I
didn't end up going into the sciences. I am a Liberal Arts and Sciences major now. The fact that
there is a definite answer to a math/science problem does not make it any easier to obtain that
answer. If you argue that you can learn the math/science by rote, then I counter that you can read
all the books for the english exam 14 times each, until you can quote passages and passages. You can
then read the major works of crticism for each author. You will then walk your way to a 7. You may
not be able to relate to the authors, and you may not even have the tiniest bit of a poet in you,
but you will absolutely thrash the crap out of the english exam. What about history you ask? Simple.
You read the book. You read it again. You *memorize* the dates. You *memorize* the details, and the
order of events. If you want to talk about the causes of WWI, and you want to quote the Faye Thesis,
then you must have spent enough time studying to memorize that the Treaty of Frankfurt was ratified
in 1871. Fine you say. You must memorize certain dates for history. But you must have some inherent
skill to join these facts into a coherent essay. There must be some "thing" that a humanities person
has, that enables them to do this. It just is; it can't be learned. Of course this is utter
bullcrap. I remember being taught *exactly* what it takes to get a 7 in history. My teacher went
over past exams, showed us the evaluation sheets that IB graders used, made us go over and over the
critera for a 7. All I had to do was go to class, and not be a moron. Granted, you need some basic
skill to write an essay. But this is no different from the basic skill needed for math and science.
If you want to insist that some people are just good with math and science, then you admit to skill
being introduced. There is no basic skill available to all, just varying levels of talent. These
levels of talent are cross-disciplinary, in that there are english skills, french skills, chemistry
skills, ad nauseum. Someone with good math skills will do well on the math exam. Well, this is
obvious. But is it? Someone with good math skills that *studies* will do well on the math exam. All
the natural writing talent in the world won't get you a 7 in history without the facts you *need*
from rote memorization. None of the exams are inherently harder than the others. It's a sliding
scale. Anyone with a really good memory, and a strong writing style will waltz through the history
exam. The same person that has no head for figures, and can never remember the difference between
adhesion and cohesion will also forget the exact dates for German unification. It doesn't matter how
badly they want to be a history major; without dates and facts, you will do poorly on the exam. QED.
And the argument that math/science is exact and precise, and this makes the exams easier is weak to
say the least. There are very precise rules for getting a 7 in history and english. I don't care how
flowery your poetry is, or how focused your prose is. If you can't recognise the importance of
authorial voice in Joyce, you're screwed. If you want to write about Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberly,
but can't remember which Horace poem he alludes to, or what the Latin translates to, then you really
can't write much of an essay, now can you? The exams are as hard or as easy as you make them. If you
study some, you'll do well. If you study some, and also study what the IB graders want, you'll do
really well. There are plenty of science/math people that insist that the humanities exams are
easier. Most people also forget that the "geek" and "dork" sterotypes are usually reserved for
math/science people, meaning that they study more, and tend to be more driven. They study hard, and
their reward is getting a 7's on their exams. There is no reason to belittle their achievement.
- 24-04-2002 08:26
Maybe for the poster it is easier to get good marks in quantitative subjects, but not me. Last year I did anticipated SL BIOLOGY (taking the exam a year early) and I did ok, a 5 partially because I can't memorise things well rotely. Because I have been surrounded by different languages my entire life, they come easily to me and because I enjoy history, it comes more easily to me. I'm not sure where IB music falls into this because of all the different things you have to do for it. Any other IB music students HATE the Rite of Spring and that the IBO keeps changing its mind on how they want to test us on it?
- 25-04-2002 23:29
subject combination for optimal points score
Higher: english, geography, economics
Standard: maths, any language, chemistry
english higher, fair bit of work but if you're prepared to read a bit and can write well its a 6 at the very least
economics higher, 7 with realtively little effort for a higher
geography, well there's an easy 7 with a bit of practice and well written answers, nothing hard about it just learn it.
maths standard, if you can't get a 7 in this without testing your brain then you probably struggle counting
pick a language any language and you can graft a 6 if you put the effort in
chemistry well its not too advanced really should get a 7 if you've done any chemistry before
Add that to a 3 for the rest and you have 43 no worries
so there you go, all the best to those who have exams in may
oh yeh and another thing. work hard from day 1, make good notes and practice questions all the time, constantly recapping previous work to check you can still do it otherwise you'll have a shocker come exams! trust me its worth it.
- 09-05-2002 14:09
in response to chris, i don't think its fair to assume that if you don't get a 7 in sl maths or chemistry that you can't count or whatever. sl chem syllabus is huge, bigger than any higher subject i study, so big they had to cut half of it for next year. maths, grade boundaries are high.
i agree with the original theory that HL science students get more points overall. but what do overall points matter? if you're studying psychology at university and get a 7 in HL, they won't object to a 4 in chemistry.
BUT people should remember that a 7 at HL biology is only an A at A-level, whereas a 7 in HL German is beyond that.
i would also like to complain about HL languages - at my school, the only people to ever get 7 at HL french have been bilingual, even people with extra tuition don't get them. plus, universities that ask for a B at A level french ask for a 6 or 7 in HL, when in reality a 5 is closer to that. the same goes with german, although the difference between HL and SL German is bigger than the difference between the 2 frenchs.
and does anyone else get annoyerd by all the bilingual students who enter a language as B1 and not A2? we've got three german girls in my HL class who get straight 7s, which will push my 6 down to a 5 or even less.
- 17-01-2003 14:56
Hmmmm.... are you an Arts person, by any chance? Apparently the crazy people doing HL Biology cover some topics found on 2nd year degree papers - so I wouldn't suppose that getting >85% in this subject is exactly easy!
Although it's possibly harder to figure out exactly what a question wants you to think about in say, for example, History, as long as you have read around the syllabus a bit, its easy to ******** about something related to the topic at least. Also, it means less revision for subjects like English, French, Spanish, German, yadayadayada - aside from going to a reasonable number of lessons, reading the books and learning the grammar, there's not really much else you can do!
In response to the previous comment - yeah, it's not that common for non-bilingos to get a 7 in a HL language, but if you don't like it, take it SL! I wouldn't complain about people taking a language as B instead of A if they're biligual - being able to speak a language fluently doesn't give you an inherent knowledge of its literature! Besides, these German people in your school have to do their whole Diploma in what to them is a foreign language (presumably Engish?), obviously harder than it would be for an English person, right? So why deprive them of an easy 7?