IB or a level? Watch

musiciem
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Sorry, I know this has been asked a ridiculous amount times, but I really like the look of the IB course and want to ask some questions about it compared to a levels. I am planning to stay in the UK to study music at uni or if I work extremely hard, a conservetoire (I only started music when I was 10 and I am now 15). I have heard that IB is more work than A levels: is this true? I would be participating in many extra curricular music activities (I would be a music scholar) and be wanting to practice a couple of hours per day. Thankfully I would be a boarder at the school I am considering. Do you think this could be possible whilst doing the IB? It also seems like the IB develops 'skills' better than A Levels do. I was told analysis in a level music is more learning about the pieces beforehand whereas the IB is more about learning to how to analyse the pieces on the spot, which I would prefer. I also like look of the variation in the higher level e lit course. How else does IB music differ from a level music? If I took a levels I will most likely take music, English lit and geography. With IB I would take those same subjects to higher level and also take maths studies (just to make life a tiny bit easier), environmental systems + societies and spanish ab initio. I would be doing the EPQ anyway with a levels so the extended essay with the IB wouldn't be any extra work to what I would have with a levels. If anyone could tell me more about any of the courses I have suggested, more about the ToK and CAS, or just answer my ramble of questions, I would be very grateful!
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BobBobson
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In general, A Levels are more academic and IB is for more well-rounded people. Many people like the choice that A Level provides. The difficulty of the IB is quite subjective but I don't think it's any more harder than A Level. In general the IB forces you to do stuff, while the A Level gives you the choice. So for example IB forces you to do the EE and TOK stuff, while that's something that you can choose to do as the EPQ and Critical thinking AS. Also with the IB, you have to take 6 different subjects, compared to the 3 or 4 at A Level. A lot of people do say that the IB is more skills-based but I think that varies a lot with subject to subject. Just look at the different syllabi and see which one appeals to you the most.
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username1444816
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I do think IB is more challenging than A levels. It certainly teaches you to manage your time efficiently. The first term of year 13 is renown to be the most difficult as you complete internal assessments for all 6 subjects, as well as having mocks and completing applications for university. Each subject also manages to go into quite a lot of depth, despite the fact that you take 6 subjects, which can be good/bad depending on whether you like the subject or not! If you're unsure what you want to study at university, the IB is great because it offers flexibility and leaves options open. I personally didn't find the first year too difficult, but I am struggling this term.
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tory88
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IB is definitely more challenging. My view is that the IB produces much more motivated, knowledgeable and capable students. If you get through the IB, you are much better prepared for university, however that is a real if (whereas A-level is much more straightforward to get through). For strong students, the IB is the best course to choose.

In terms of music, it is perfectly possible to practice at a top level and balance the IB curriculum. Indeed, you will be credited for this work in your CAS experience.

Note: To say that A-levels are more academic is a fundamental misunderstanding. I've taught both A-level and IB physics, and the IB course is far and away more involved and more demanding (although the gap has narrowed with the new A-level syllabuses), but also more interesting.
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