lucyxkim
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Hey
I'm gonna take HL Physics, Chem and Math, and SL mandarin B, Econ and English A langlit (not my real mother tongue)
Can anyone tell me if it is extremely difficult?

My second option is HL Econ, physics and Math, and SL Mandarin B, chem and English A langlit.

which one is easier to cope with?

I want to take molecular physics (which requires chem HL) in uni but my goal is to get into a good uni in the first place which is why I'm considering taking a safer path with Econ HL. I'm thinking about applying to unis in the UK, so can anyone tell me if I can take chem to compensate for not taking chem HL?
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lucyxkim
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Hey
I'm gonna take HL Physics, Chem and Math, and SL mandarin B, Econ and English A langlit (not my "real" mother tongue)
Can anyone tell me if it is extremely difficult?
My second option is HL Econ, physics and Math, and SL Mandarin B, chem and English A langlit.
Which one is easier to cope with?

I want to take molecular physics (which requires chem HL) in uni but my goal is to get into a good uni in the first place which is why I'm considering taking a safer path with Econ HL.
I'm thinking about applying to unis in the UK (oxbridge, imperial, UCL, etc) so can anyone tell me if I can take chem in Uni instead to compensate for not taking chem HL?
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Rohan77642
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Chem HL will be more useful if you wanna study something that involves as specialized as "molecular physics".
Neither oxford nor cambridge offer any course that is so specialised, and so if you wanna study at say cambridge you would probably have to go down the natsci route. For this chem HL is going to be much more helpful that econ hl.

Coming to the question of difficulty, Maths, Physics and chem HL is hard. Personally (having done maths, physics and chem at HL at econ at SL) I wished everyday I had done econ HL compared to chem HL because I didnt need to do chem HL for my course (Math at uni). However, having said that it is definitely doable. You just have to study more.
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lucyxkim
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(Original post by Rohan77642)
Coming to the question of difficulty, Maths, Physics and chem HL is hard.
Which out of PCM did you think was the hardest? Is there a way (mentioned before) I can compensate for not taking chem HL for example taking it in uni or smth? Sorry, I really am not experienced with how unis work
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meimiao
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Considering you want to take a course which requires HL Chem, you should most definitely take HL Chem !!!!

I would strongly advise you against not taking HL Chem — my classmate (who took SL Maths) applied to schools which had an HL Maths requirement, thinking they would give her an exception for having a predicted 7, and she was basically almost immediately rejected from most of her choices.

Mandarin B, Econ and English A Lang & Lit sound like solid SL choices; however, the combination of HL Physics, Chem and Maths is typically known to be extremely difficult. I would say you should only take the particular combination of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics if they are required HL subjects for the unis you're applying to. It might be worth taking a look at the universities you want to apply to first to look at what their entry requirements are before making a decision.

Hope this helped!!
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lucyxkim
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(Original post by meimiao)
I would say you should only take the particular combination of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics if they are required HL subjects for the unis you're applying to.
Thank you so much for the help!!
I've already looked into unis that I want to apply to, and they mostly require 776 at HL. If I were to take the PCM combination, I would have to get 776, but I'm not too confident that I can successfully see the end of this risky path. After all, even if I have the "perfect" combination, if I don't get a good score, it's not very meaningful. My parents believe in getting a good IB score to get into a good uni in the first place. I'm struggling making this decision because I really don't know what to expect
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artful_lounger
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As above, entry criteria, especially at the "top end", are largely non-negotiable. SL subjects won't substitute for HL subjects (and certainly not subject A for subject B e.g. Chemistry vs Economics), unless they specifically say so. While HL Maths has apparently lost some of it's teeth, I get the impressions it's still not an easy exam. Additionally, about 7 years ago when I was in school, someone I knew who did HL Chem (who also went to the A-level classes in a gap year to prep for interviews/etc) commented that (at that time anyway) IB Chem was harder than A-level.

A-levels may be an easier alternative that satisfy the entry criteria just as well; whether this is better for you once you're on the course, I can't say. Although A-level does have the distinct advantage of being able to offer Further Maths as well, particularly relevant since matrices are no longer on the IB syllabus...
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Rohan77642
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(Original post by lucyxkim)
Which out of PCM did you think was the hardest? Is there a way (mentioned before) I can compensate for not taking chem HL for example taking it in uni or smth? Sorry, I really am not experienced with how unis work
Physics HL.
Chem HL is not that hard. The only hard topic would be organic but even that can be mastered easily with practice. HL Maths is no longer that hard as mentioned by artful_lounger. I mean this year's HL math exam (especially paper 1 was a joke in comparison to previous years). However, physics HL seems to be getting progressively difficult as the years go by.

You cannot compensate for a requirement. Judging by the fact that you have written your uni needs 776 at HL I am pretty sure that you are talking about Cambridge, and for Cambridge natsci, you really must do HL chem.

Big advice on my behalf. Do A levels if you wanna go to oxbridge or other top unis in UK. The IB is excessive work with very little yield in terms of getting admitted into top uk unis.
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lucyxkim
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(Original post by Rohan77642)
Big advice on my behalf. Do A levels if you wanna go to oxbridge or other top unis in UK. The IB is excessive work with very little yield in terms of getting admitted into top uk unis.
I really wish I could since the unis that I want to apply to are in the UK, but I'm studying @ an international school that teaches AP & IB.

I mean, if chem SL requires as much attention as chem HL (I know physics SL requires as much attention as physics HL according to my teacher) I guess I would do chem HL. But I heard that the gap between chem SL and HL is big compared to other subjects.

I also heard you'll basically have zero social life and no sleep if I take PCM HL so I want to know to what extent you would consider it a true statement xD

Do unis in the UK look at co-curricular activities?

I know I have so many questions, but if anyone could please answer whichever one, I'd really appreciate it
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meimiao
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(Original post by lucyxkim)
Thank you so much for the help!!
If I were to take the PCM combination, I would have to get 776, but I'm not too confident that I can successfully see the end of this risky path. After all, even if I have the "perfect" combination, if I don't get a good score, it's not very meaningful.
Do the schools you want to apply to require you to have HL Maths as well? I'd say you could switch out HL Maths for HL Econ if HL Maths is not a must for your schools, just to lighten your workload a bit

(Original post by lucyxkim)
Do unis in the UK look at co-curricular activities?
In my (limited) experience, they do, but not in the same way the US does. If I recall correctly there wasn't anywhere on the UCAS application for me to list my activities, and from what I've heard the UK pretty much only cares in that you can link whatever you do in your personal statement to the subject you want to apply for. I just skimmed my personal statement and I didn't even mention a single co-curricular or extracurricular activity. That's not to say you should just not do any of them, though you'll probably end up doing something anyway because of CAS, but in case you're looking for which activities you should be doing, be smart in your choices and pick the ones more relevant to your subject to participate in/mention in your personal statement.
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Rohan77642
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(Original post by lucyxkim)
I also heard you'll basically have zero social life and no sleep if I take PCM HL so I want to know to what extent you would consider it a true statement xD

Do unis in the UK look at co-curricular activities?
I got a lot of sleep (7hrs regularly) but didn't have much of a social life.
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lucyxkim
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(Original post by meimiao)
Do the schools you want to apply to require you to have HL Maths as well?
Unfortunately, all the courses require Math HL
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lucyxkim
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(Original post by Rohan77642)
I got a lot of sleep (7hrs regularly) but didn't have much of a social life.
I guess you really have to use most if not every small bit of free time you have for PCM HL...
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Rohan77642
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(Original post by lucyxkim)
I guess you really have to use most if not every small bit of free time you have for PCM HL...
It's not that dreadful. I was a major procrastinator. If I worked regularly I might have had a social life also.
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BioOx
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I took English Maths Chem and Bio HL it is manageable
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seasoncolors
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To answer your question straight up, your second option is much more easier to cope with. Chem HL is known to be the second most grueling science course in IB (second to, of course, Physics HL), while Econ is considered one of the easier HL's.

That being said, I'd really recommend putting your preferred major as a priority rather than a good uni, because you're reeeally likely to regret not taking a required course for your preferred major by the time you reach your second year in IB. You can't compensate a required HL course with a SL course.
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Katarinanokat
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I took chem HL and honestly I thought it was way easier than my bio HL class, and a lot of my other classes. I think it's one of those classes that people either hate or love. I've never seen anyone in between. That's why it's known as a gruelling class. So I'd suggest trying it out and see which area you fall into.

However, I biggest suggestion would be taking both HL econ and HL chemistry to start off with. If your school allows this, you can have an easier feel for the classes and make a better judgement for your future. For example, if you end up hating chemistry because of HL chem, it may be useful for you to re-consider your specialisation to make yourself happier in the long run.

I know I did this with taking both pscyh HL and maths HL when I started, despite wanting to go into psychology. I dropped psychology halfway through the year. I hated my psychology class and am now incredibly happy to be getting ready to start studying Natural Sciences at uni next year.

Also, what do you mean by "top unis." If it's a place like Cambridge, then you'd be going into Natural Sciences where it is beneficial to have 3 science HLs as it widens your options for the modules you can take, which is important for specialisations. If it's imperial, who have a molecular psychics course, they require you to take HL maths, psychics, and chemistry, and achieve a 7 in chemistry. The required classes are non-negotiable and you will be rejected if you don't take them, as many of my friends have been.
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nail_ib
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