Which is harder - an A level or an IB? Watch

Da Mouse
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hiya guys! I have a cousin who wants to know which is easier - A level or an IB?
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steve2006
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afaik from mates who do IB, its supposed to be slightly harder than A levels and so IB qualifications are given a higher rating than A2s. 38 points which is a 6 point in 6 subjects + 2 bonus points is equivalent to a AAA at A2 which most students get. Over 2 years u must do 4 subjects with English and Maths and must also do an extended essay. I would prefer A2s
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blue bubbles
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Well I've started the IB just two weeks ago.

Its ok I'm the standard 3 highers and 3 standard. Maybe because weve just started the work isnt that hard but it seems ok. I'd personally say though that the IB might or will be harder than the AS mainly because of the 6 subjects, CAS and then the EE. But it depends how much harder you make it for yourself really.
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Absinth
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I think the IB is generally perceived to be harder, though not many people have done both, so can't compare them. In a way, IB is more challenging in that it gives you a more varied and broader education than A levels (where you could effectively pick Maths, Physics, Further Maths and Critical Thinking as your subject combination, which is a lot easier than doing well overall in both arts and science subjects).

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hermaphrodite
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http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...er#post9210756
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Glutamic Acid
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I *think* the IB is harder, mainly because of the breadth of work needed to be done rather than the depth (ie individual subjects).
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Good bloke
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(Original post by steve2006)
38 points which is a 6 point in 6 subjects + 2 bonus points is equivalent to a AAA at A2 which most students get.
Hardly. Only a small percentage get AAA at A2. In a previous debate I seem to remember that we established that about 20,000 got AAA or better out of about 800,000 entrants this summer.
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Cool.Zero
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Umm for IB you do 6 subjects: 3 at higher level and 3 at standard level.

At least according to my teacher in school:

38 points = AAA
36 points = AAB
33 points = ABB
30 points = BBB

And in IB you have to do a science, english, maths and a foreign language. So much for freedom of choice...

Oh yeah you also must pass the TOK (theory of knowledge) course, pass the EE and gain 150 hours in creativity, action and service (50 hours each).

Hope that helps!

And yeah IB is probably harder cos there are more subjects.
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thats_attractive
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But for HL Maths, (A level maths and half of further) individual IB subjects are (mostly) less in-depth than A level subjects.
However overall I think IB is more strenuous, and a more balanced qualification - due to TOK and EE and whatnot.
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ash_moo
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IB is not harder!
I know this friend who isn't the brightest of sparks and barely got into the IB, and shes absolutely breezing through it.
A Levels are better in the sense that you go into depth so you come out knowing a lot more about a subject than a random person in the IB who hasnt done as much on it, but has all these fancy CAS stuff to show it off to.
Best thing, so 5/6 A levels, do some volunteer work, and extra-curricular activities.
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Annaconda
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I think it depend what your looking for in a qualification,
becuase for A levels they go deeper into the subject and give you more understanding about it, But the IB Goes less into more subjects, and with the extra stuff it gives a broader range of skills and education.
For some people who dont know what they want to do or are just "good" at everything then the IB is better, but for people like me who are better at sciences (or humanities/ englishes etc) it is easier to specialise in the subjects you want without having ot do english (or maths... etc)

The IB is marked out of 45 isnt it?
if it is then i would say that
38 points = AAA
36 points = AAB
33 points = ABB
30 points = BBB
is roughly right, and then you have the grades of the additional AS level between the grades.

The IB is igven more UCAS point i think because it shows you are a more rounded person and have a wide range of skills which is what unis look for so it may seem better in their eyes

Opps that went on a bit long, didnt think i had so much to say on the issue!
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Cool.Zero)


And yeah IB is probably harder cos there are more subjects.
If that were a relevant and valid argument then clearly you would end up concluding that GCSEs are harder still!!!
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trm90
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I posted this somewhere else, but it was recently confirmed that an AAA is a 33 in the IB, which takes a medium amount of effort to achieve. A 38 is about AAAAA . I'll try and see if I can find the e-mail my dad sent me!
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Hodan
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(Original post by trm90)
I posted this somewhere else, but it was recently confirmed that an AAA is a 33 in the IB, which takes a medium amount of effort to achieve. A 38 is about AAAAA . I'll try and see if I can find the e-mail my dad sent me!
i think thats rather inaccurate since cambridge require a score of between 38 and 42 at IB, where as A-level students are required to get AAA.

i think 38 points being equal to AAA is more plausible.
International Baccalaureate
Offers are regularly made on the International Baccalaureate, at a level of between 7,6,6 and 7,7,7 in the Higher Level subjects, with overall scores between 38 and 42 points out of 45 . For matriculation purposes, grade 5 or above in the Standard Level of the IB is considered equivalent to GCSE grades A, B or C. For advice about suitable subject choices see course requirements.
interestingly, the standard level is considered equivalent to GCSE. i guess its not really that difficult then.
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Cool.Zero
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(Original post by Good bloke)
If that were a relevant and valid argument then clearly you would end up concluding that GCSEs are harder still!!!
Doesn't take a genius to get my point... =.=

And IB HL subjects don't always have less depth than A-level subjects. E.g. for HL Physics we study the whole syllabus of AS AND A2, AND a bit of the IB syllabus in the first year, then do most of the IB syllabus in the second year.
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barmy_army008
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I have little knowledge of the IB myself, but had been told that the difficulty of the work takes into consideration that you are doing lots of subjects. So its not the equivalent of doing 6 A Levels.

One thing I do find frustrating is this scale thats been produced between the two, with say 33 IB points being shown as equal to 4 A's at A Level. Thats 33/45 possible points, whilst, although some will obviously get more, 4 A's is what would be considered as a top score at A Level.

When I heard this comparison, I really felt like my results (I didn't get 4 A's but still had good grades) were being devalued. In addition to the general devaluing of A Levels that goes on every year anyway and makes you feel like what you've achieved isn't actually that good.
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Toiletpaper8
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According to the UCAS point allocations, IB is probably harder as it's awarded more points. Full marks on IB = 6As at A level and a B at AS which is pretty impressive.

However, most schools that offer IB are boarding schools, they're very time consuming!
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trm90
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Bleh, can't find the table. :mad: I'll ask my dad to send it to me again though.
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haoxiangta
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I would say that you can't compare the IB and the As like this. They are both different courses and have their strengths and weaknesses. You get thousands and thousands of students going through each course every year, with a wide variety of results. It's also really up to the individual which one they find easier. Plus hardly anyone would have done both IB and As before, so really its not quite a fair comparison. They're both unique courses, especially the IB. (LOL. I admit, I'm an IB student. Haha.)
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.ACS.
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Both are very different qualifications, and so it is difficult to compare, although I would say that it is somewhat misguided to view the IB as harder than A-Levels.

Generally speaking, with A-Levels you’ll do four subjects and go into great depth within each subject. With the IB, you’ll have a much broader education, although won’t study as in-depth as you would with A-Levels.

It’s more a case of whether you’re better at certain specific subjects, or whether you want a broader education.
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