Do colleges care about things like going from Physics HL to SL on transcript Watch

reyenreyen
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So I am planning to study Computer Science in the United States and I have heard that Physics HL is not super 'necessary' and dropping down to Physics SL will suffice as long as I STILL have Math HL which is much more important. I know maybe there's a slight help in being competitive in admissions, but from what I've heard not really.

I am going to be a senior in high school and we've completed most of the SL syllabus in Physics last school-year, so now all the SL students have study halla which is helpful

My only concerns for dropping down to SL are
1. I've heard colleges notice, but to what extent would they care when my proposed major will be Computer Science? Is this only for extremely selective colleges?
2. Maybe I'm making a big mistake. Maybe being in Physics HL is as necessary as being in Math HL for CS. Like if I was applying for CS and I didn't have Physics HL, but INSTEAD SL would that be a shock/deal breaker whether its for more or less selective unis?
(please don't just say "Oh, no class is necessary for a major". That's not entirely true I feel.
and please don't say Physics HL will help me later on in my CS career.. I am focusing on the scope of college admissions here and I don't know to what extent I will be doing CS in the future... so please don't make those your replies )

I am wondering what's better: Slogging myself in Physics HL when its not going to help me as much (this is what I assume) VS being in the Physics SL study hall where maybe I can prepare for Math HL, study for SATs and maybe SAT Physics/Math subject test, and continue perhaps even honing my already acquired physics SL knowledge.

NOTE: Also after completing all the Physics SL syllabus this year I am a predicted 6.9... the only reason I'm not a 7 is because I messed up an HL topic.. So basically if I drop down to Physics SL I have a good chance of 7. If I drop down to HL.. who knows.
NOTE: Don't worry about what class I will bump up if I am am bumping down Physics from HL to SL. I've got it covered there if it is agreed that I should bump down to Physics SL.

So.. the answers I am looking for are:
1. Are the statements and thoughts I have elaborated true?
2. In conclusion, shall I go from Physics HL to SL then based on this.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
So I am planning to study Computer Science in the United States and I have heard that Physics HL is not super 'necessary' and dropping down to Physics SL will suffice as long as I STILL have Math HL which is much more important. I know maybe there's a slight help in being competitive in admissions, but from what I've heard not really.

I am going to be a senior in high school and we've completed most of the SL syllabus in Physics last school-year, so now all the SL students have study halla which is helpful

My only concerns for dropping down to SL are
1. I've heard colleges notice, but to what extent would they care when my proposed major will be Computer Science? Is this only for extremely selective colleges?
2. Maybe I'm making a big mistake. Maybe being in Physics HL is as necessary as being in Math HL for CS. Like if I was applying for CS and I didn't have Physics HL, but INSTEAD SL would that be a shock/deal breaker whether its for more or less selective unis?
(please don't just say "Oh, no class is necessary for a major". That's not entirely true I feel.
and please don't say Physics HL will help me later on in my CS career.. I am focusing on the scope of college admissions here and I don't know to what extent I will be doing CS in the future... so please don't make those your replies )

I am wondering what's better: Slogging myself in Physics HL when its not going to help me as much (this is what I assume) VS being in the Physics SL study hall where maybe I can prepare for Math HL, study for SATs and maybe SAT Physics/Math subject test, and continue perhaps even honing my already acquired physics SL knowledge.

NOTE: Also after completing all the Physics SL syllabus this year I am a predicted 6.9... the only reason I'm not a 7 is because I messed up an HL topic.. So basically if I drop down to Physics SL I have a good chance of 7. If I drop down to HL.. who knows.
NOTE: Don't worry about what class I will bump up if I am am bumping down Physics from HL to SL. I've got it covered there if it is agreed that I should bump down to Physics SL.

So.. the answers I am looking for are:
1. Are the statements and thoughts I have elaborated true?
2. In conclusion, shall I go from Physics HL to SL then based on this.
Are you a full diploma candidate?
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reyenreyen
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Yes
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
Are you a full diploma candidate?
wolfmoon88 Yes.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
wolfmoon88 Yes.
You should be fine then... just may not be able to use your SL Physics score to skip general credits or skip to the next level of physics in university (wouldn't suggest doing the latter in most cases anyways).
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
You should be fine then... just may not be able to use your SL Physics score to skip general credits or skip to the next level of physics in university (wouldn't suggest doing the latter in most cases anyways).
wolfmoon88 what is your reasoning behind this? Are any of the thoughts I have elaborated true / false?
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dona6842
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I´m going to study computer science this september and I didn´t even have physics in IB, only HL chem and bio. So in my case I didn´t even need physics to get accepted. They only cared about my math result.
HL math is hard enough, it´s much better to study physics at standard level and get the highest score you can. Exactly which universities are you thinking of? I really don´t think they would care about the level as much as what grade you got.
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by dona6842)
I´m going to study computer science this september and I didn´t even have physics in IB, only HL chem and bio. So in my case I didn´t even need physics to get accepted. They only cared about my math result.
HL math is hard enough, it´s much better to study physics at standard level and get the highest score you can. Exactly which universities are you thinking of? I really don´t think they would care about the level as much as what grade you got.
@dona6842 remember this is the united states i'm talking about. They really do care about course rigor too!
I mean from my understanding C.S major does have physics classes and if I'm doing a Bachelor of Sciences if they find out i dropped from hl to sl in physics won't they find it fishy?
I'm not taking chem at all.. U.S unis dont mind because they know that IB chem is a 2 yr commitment not just some class you can take for a semester to get some 'chemistry credits'
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dona6842
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
@dona6842 remember this is the united states i'm talking about. They really do care about course rigor too!
I mean from my understanding C.S major does have physics classes and if I'm doing a Bachelor of Sciences if they find out i dropped from hl to sl in physics won't they find it fishy?
I'm not taking chem at all.. U.S unis dont mind because they know that IB chem is a 2 yr commitment not just some class you can take for a semester to get some 'chemistry credits'
Sorry but how would they know if you dropped from HL to SL? After all they would only be seeing the final mark on your diploma.
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by dona6842)
Sorry but how would they know if you dropped from HL to SL? After all they would only be seeing the final mark on your diploma.
@dona6842 U.S admission officers have keen eye. It's a given fact they will notice on my transcript that I went from Physics H.L in 11th grade to Physics S.L in grade 12
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
wolfmoon88 what is your reasoning behind this? Are any of the thoughts I have elaborated true / false?
They care about course rigour but in the long scheme if all ther other parts of your application is great, this will only be a small part. It's not like HL to SL is a huge jump in level (in their eyes) especially if you are doing full diploma which already displays significant enough academic aptitude and course rigour. It's better to be all round and excel than have HL Physics tank your GPA (or make it so that you can't do as well in other parts of your application like extracurriculars or standardised testing).
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reyenreyen
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wolfmoon88 dona6842 Also one thing how is each side compare to eachother. This is really important.

*referring to predicted grades
Is Physics SL 7 = Physics HL 6
Is Physics SL 7 > Physics HL 5
Is Physics SL 6 = Physics HL 6
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
wolfmoon88 dona6842 Also one thing how is each side compare to eachother. This is really important.

*referring to predicted grades
Is Physics SL 7 = Physics HL 6
Is Physics SL 7 > Physics HL 5
Is Physics SL 6 = Physics HL 6
Are you converting to GPA?
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
Are you converting to GPA?
wolfmoon88 I dont think its just just gpa that matters for american universities. Thats why a 7 in math sl does not mean a 6 in math hl usually in terms of "VALUE".. but physics might be different.. just tell me based on the value of predicted grade which statements are wrong or correct don't just look at the grade, but also if the hl course adds that extra value to that predicted score
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
wolfmoon88 I dont think its just just gpa that matters for american universities. Thats why a 7 in math sl does not mean a 6 in math hl usually in terms of "VALUE".. but physics might be different.. just tell me based on the value of predicted grade which statements are wrong or correct don't just look at the grade, but also if the hl course adds that extra value to that predicted score
It is not just your grades that matter but I'm asking about GPA because of weighting.

Each uni understands grades in different ways... a lot of elite unis take unweighted gpa into account so reality is as long as you have other challenging classes (which your other HLs in an IB diploma will count for that + most unis consider SLs as challenging as well), the better grades you get the better it is. If you are basically just submitting predicteds and not really converting to GPA then that is different.

HL classes may be considered a higher weight than SL classes for certain universities... others that just classify both as honours which in that case SL 6 would pretty much equal HL 6 in weighting.

Based on your statements: SL 7 in Physics would be equal to HL 5 in Physics if the US uni understands IB (most elite unis are slowly getting it and this statement should hold). SL is like Honours in the US and HL will be like AP/College Credit.

For most sciences... the valuing will be like maths... check the uni to see how much you need to perhaps take credits off or skip to the next level (afaik like duke you need 6 in HL Bio to skip to next level and they don't accept SL Bio so then you know that duke doesn't value SL 7 as HL 6 for Bio) to get a better indication...

Again if you do well in your other HLs... (a 6 is generally A-/A if you want the US conversion), then really having Physics changed to SL shouldn't be a huge issue anyways... For US education system, each class is one year and the final exam is at the end of that year... so switching from SL to HL would just be honours to honours cuz you aren't taking the final exam until your final year anyways. As long as you had good scores in HL year 1 if GPA is converted then it is completely explainable. Would focus more on extracurriculars, standardised testing scores, and your application essays.
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
It is not just your grades that matter but I'm asking about GPA because of weighting.

Each uni understands grades in different ways... a lot of elite unis take unweighted gpa into account so reality is as long as you have other challenging classes (which your other HLs in an IB diploma will count for that + most unis consider SLs as challenging as well), the better grades you get the better it is. If you are basically just submitting predicteds and not really converting to GPA then that is different.

HL classes may be considered a higher weight than SL classes for certain universities... others that just classify both as honours which in that case SL 6 would pretty much equal HL 6 in weighting.

Based on your statements: SL 7 in Physics would be equal to HL 5 in Physics if the US uni understands IB (most elite unis are slowly getting it and this statement should hold). SL is like Honours in the US and HL will be like AP/College Credit.

For most sciences... the valuing will be like maths... check the uni to see how much you need to perhaps take credits off or skip to the next level (afaik like duke you need 6 in HL Bio to skip to next level and they don't accept SL Bio so then you know that duke doesn't value SL 7 as HL 6 for Bio) to get a better indication...

Again if you do well in your other HLs... (a 6 is generally A-/A if you want the US conversion), then really having Physics changed to SL shouldn't be a huge issue anyways... For US education system, each class is one year and the final exam is at the end of that year... so switching from SL to HL would just be honours to honours cuz you aren't taking the final exam until your finWhy would a Physics SL 7 be equal to a Physics HL 5. I thought a physics sl 7... would be above an HL 5 but below an HL 6.... I consider a 7 in anything an A or A+.. a 6 a B+ or A- and a 5 a B or B-..al year anyways. As long as you had good scores in HL year 1 if GPA is converted then it is completely explainable. Would focus more on extracurriculars, standardised testing scores, and your application essays.
wolfmoon88 Why would a Physics SL 7 be equal to a Physics HL 5? I thought a physics sl 7 would be above an HL 5 but below an HL 6....

I consider a 7 in anything an A or A+.. a 6 a B+ or A- and a 5 a B or B-..
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
wolfmoon88 Why would a Physics SL 7 be equal to a Physics HL 5? I thought a physics sl 7 would be above an HL 5 but below an HL 6....

I consider a 7 in anything an A or A+.. a 6 a B+ or A- and a 5 a B or B-..
I'm giving an approximate estimate... I don't think comparing these two classes like this is an exact science. I gave that estimate mostly because a 7 in Physics SL will not give you college credit whereas borderline 6 in HL would in a lot of cases because the university will not see your grade breakdown to know that you are a borderline 6.

Why I say 6 is is A or A- is because a 5 in AP, which is full score, is considered as the A range; most unis that offer credit deductions/skipping levels only allow you to do so if you have a 6 in IBHL or 5 in AP.
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)
I'm giving an approximate estimate... I don't think comparing these two classes like this is an exact science. I gave that estimate mostly because a 7 in Physics SL will not give you college credit whereas borderline 6 in HL would in a lot of cases because the university will not see your grade breakdown to know that you are a borderline 6.

Why I say 6 is is A or A- is because a 5 in AP, which is full score, is considered as the A range; most unis that offer credit deductions/skipping levels only allow you to do so if you have a 6 in IBHL or 5 in AP.
wolfmoon88 I'm not too concerned about college credits through the IB. My decision is now based upon the fact that with the amount of work I am to put in it will probably not be able to keep my Physics HL a solid 6 (and anyways throughout the first year we did SL topics only.. the only HL topic we had I messed up so my predicted grade for Physics HL was a solid 6) so it will go down to a 5. However, in an alternate world if I choose to go to SL then with whatever work I put in, its likely to go to a 7, while if i were to stay in physics HL it would most likely go down to 5 this year cuz my time is limited and HL topics are harder than the SL topics i did last year. So really i'm trying to look and see that these two alternate worlds: A physics solid 5 HL or a Physics borderline/solid 7 SL, which one would be better since i'm putting the same amount of work.
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by reyenreyen)
wolfmoon88 I'm not too concerned about college credits through the IB. My decision is now based upon the fact that with the amount of work I am to put in it will probably not be able to keep my Physics HL a solid 6 (and anyways throughout the first year we did SL topics only.. the only HL topic we had I messed up so my predicted grade for Physics HL was a solid 6) so it will go down to a 5. However, in an alternate world if I choose to go to SL then with whatever work I put in, its likely to go to a 7, while if i were to stay in physics HL it would most likely go down to 5 this year cuz my time is limited and HL topics are harder than the SL topics i did last year. So really i'm trying to look and see that these two alternate worlds: A physics solid 5 HL or a Physics borderline/solid 7 SL, which one would be better since i'm putting the same amount of work.
Solid 7 SL is better because I assume you'll do better in your other HL subjects (HL Maths, Computer Science?, and replacement for Physics).
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reyenreyen
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(Original post by wolfmoon88)Solid 7 SL is better because I assume you'll do better in your other HL subjects (HL Maths, Computer Science?, and replacement for Physics).

wolfmoon88
I'm working for a 6 in math HL (currently predicted 5), I working for 7 in econ HL (currently predicted 6), and if I make my ITGS HL that's a guaranteed predicted 7.

Does your reasoning still stand? a physics SL 7
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