Will not doing Maths HL be a disadvantage for medicine?

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gideonn
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Hi

I’m thinking about moving school to do the IB- and I’m strongly considering doing medicine at Uni (I’ve looked at the grades Oxbridge needs since they’re usually the most challenging- it seems to he 41-42). I’m trying to figure out what subjects I should do, but I’m having trouble deciding whether or not to do Maths SL or HL.

I know that with A Levels, and with entry requirements for IB, Maths/Maths HL is strongly recommended for medicine (but only Cambridge requires 3 sciences at HL). I find maths interesting (I’m doing Maths and Ad Maths for GCSE) but I’m not sure that I want to study it at HL. Somebody told me it was a lot like A Level Further Maths which is not something that I’m interested in doing. I’m worried that if I take HL Maths, I’ll struggle and not get the grades needed to get into the uni’s I want to or I’ll end up resenting the class and find it difficult to do revision (on top of Bio and Chem HL which I’ve been told can be difficult).

What I’m thinking of doing is Bio, Chem and Classical Greek at HL and then do SL Maths since I really enjoy Greek and it’d be a nice break from the sciences at HL. I’m pretty good at Maths so I think I could get a 6/7 at SL without struggling loads and still finding the course relatively enjoyable. But I’m worried that in this case I’d be at a disadvantage compared to A Level students who did Maths/Further Maths (or 4 all STEM A Levels) or other IB students who did HL maths.

So I guess my question is: How important is it to do Maths at HL/A Level in order to get into somewhere like Oxbridge for medicine and would I be at a big disadvantage if I didn’t do it?

Thanks!
Last edited by gideonn; 1 month ago
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VanillaCream
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(Original post by gideonn)
Hi

I’m thinking about moving school to do the IB- and I’m strongly considering doing medicine at Uni (possibly Oxbridge?). I’m trying to figure out what subjects I should do, but I’m having trouble deciding whether or not to do Maths SL or HL.

I know that with A Levels, and with entry requirements for IB, Maths/Maths HL is strongly recommended for medicine (but only Cambridge requires 3 sciences at HL). I find maths interesting (I’m doing Maths and Ad Maths for GCSE) but I’m not sure that I want to study it at HL. Somebody told me it was a lot like A Level Further Maths which is not something that I’m interested in doing. I’m worried that if I take HL Maths, I’ll struggle and not get the grades needed to get into the uni’s I want to (which seem to need grades of 41-42) or I’ll end up resenting the class and find it difficult to do revision (on top of Bio and Chem HL which I’ve been told can be difficult).

What I’m thinking of doing is Bio, Chem and Classical Greek at HL and then do SL Maths since I really enjoy Greek and it’d be a nice break from the sciences at HL. I’m pretty good at Maths so I think I could get a 6/7 at SL without struggling loads and still finding the course relatively enjoyable. But I’m worried that in this case I’d be at a disadvantage compared to A Level students who did Maths/Further Maths (or 4 all STEM A Levels) or other IB students who did HL maths.

So I guess my question is: How important is it to do Maths at HL/A Level in order to get into somewhere like Oxbridge for medicine and would I be at a big disadvantage if I didn’t do it?

Thanks!
Hey!

The only uni that would care about Maths HL is really Cambridge and bear in mind that Maths HL is much more than A level Maths, I'm doing SL myself, but recently thought that I would want to go into something Maths-related so I thought of doing Maths HL/A level extra and tbh there is not much I would have to do to go from SL to A level and there would be A LOT to go up to HL. Even if you're good at Maths, it's really hard to get a 7 at HL because it's virtually one of the hardest HL subjects and for medicine, you have to have at least 666 at HL for some unis 667 so it's really not worth it if it meant you'd spent less time on other subjects (to try and get this 6 at Maths HL), unless you really want to go to Cambridge, then Maths HL would be very recommended (although it's still possible to get in without it), then you could possibly take all 4 HLs (Bio, Chem, Maths and Greek) and after e.g. the first term decide which of Maths or Greek to drop.
For all other unis, it doesn't matter what your 3rd subject is since you already have the required ones (Bio and Chem) and some really value the predicted grades so it's better if you can e.g. get 777 for Bio, Chem and Greek than 776 for Bio, Chem and Maths.
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A_J_B
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(Original post by gideonn)
Hi

I’m thinking about moving school to do the IB- and I’m strongly considering doing medicine at Uni (possibly Oxbridge?). I’m trying to figure out what subjects I should do, but I’m having trouble deciding whether or not to do Maths SL or HL.

I know that with A Levels, and with entry requirements for IB, Maths/Maths HL is strongly recommended for medicine (but only Cambridge requires 3 sciences at HL). I find maths interesting (I’m doing Maths and Ad Maths for GCSE) but I’m not sure that I want to study it at HL. Somebody told me it was a lot like A Level Further Maths which is not something that I’m interested in doing. I’m worried that if I take HL Maths, I’ll struggle and not get the grades needed to get into the uni’s I want to (which seem to need grades of 41-42) or I’ll end up resenting the class and find it difficult to do revision (on top of Bio and Chem HL which I’ve been told can be difficult).

What I’m thinking of doing is Bio, Chem and Classical Greek at HL and then do SL Maths since I really enjoy Greek and it’d be a nice break from the sciences at HL. I’m pretty good at Maths so I think I could get a 6/7 at SL without struggling loads and still finding the course relatively enjoyable. But I’m worried that in this case I’d be at a disadvantage compared to A Level students who did Maths/Further Maths (or 4 all STEM A Levels) or other IB students who did HL maths.

So I guess my question is: How important is it to do Maths at HL/A Level in order to get into somewhere like Oxbridge for medicine and would I be at a big disadvantage if I didn’t do it?

Thanks!
I'm not that aware about IB requirements. GANFYD?
Please note that for medicine a degree from oxford/cambridge is not going to be any different to a medicine degree from Hull York Medical School for example. Uni "prestige"/ranking does not matter as the majority of med schools are GMC accredited.
Instead choose based on course structure, location.etc.
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gideonn
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(Original post by A_J_B)
I'm not that aware about IB requirements. GANFYD?
Please note that for medicine a degree from oxford/cambridge is not going to be any different to a medicine degree from Hull York Medical School for example. Uni "prestige"/ranking does not matter as the majority of med schools are GMC accredited.
Instead choose based on course structure, location.etc.
I don’t know where I want to go to uni- I just used Oxbridge as the example in terms of points needed (I talked to a teacher who used to teach the IB and they said that those were usually the most challenging offers that would realistically be given). I’m more interested in knowing whether not doing Maths HL would put me at a disadvantage regardless of the uni. Thank you for the advice though 😊
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gideonn
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(Original post by VanillaCream)
Hey!

The only uni that would care about Maths HL is really Cambridge and bear in mind that Maths HL is much more than A level Maths, I'm doing SL myself, but recently thought that I would want to go into something Maths-related so I thought of doing Maths HL/A level extra and tbh there is not much I would have to do to go from SL to A level and there would be A LOT to go up to HL. Even if you're good at Maths, it's really hard to get a 7 at HL because it's virtually one of the hardest HL subjects and for medicine, you have to have at least 666 at HL for some unis 667 so it's really not worth it if it meant you'd spent less time on other subjects (to try and get this 6 at Maths HL), unless you really want to go to Cambridge, then Maths HL would be very recommended (although it's still possible to get in without it), then you could possibly take all 4 HLs (Bio, Chem, Maths and Greek) and after e.g. the first term decide which of Maths or Greek to drop.
For all other unis, it doesn't matter what your 3rd subject is since you already have the required ones (Bio and Chem) and some really value the predicted grades so it's better if you can e.g. get 777 for Bio, Chem and Greek than 776 for Bio, Chem and Maths.
Thank you so much!
This is really helpful. I don’t really have any plans to go to Cambridge 😂 so I think I’ll be alright without Maths HL. I’m trying to avoid the 4 HLs if I can- the IBDP seems time consuming enough as it is 🙃
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GANFYD
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(Original post by A_J_B)
I'm not that aware about IB requirements. GANFYD?
Please note that for medicine a degree from oxford/cambridge is not going to be any different to a medicine degree from Hull York Medical School for example. Uni "prestige"/ranking does not matter as the majority of med schools are GMC accredited.
Instead choose based on course structure, location.etc.
Not an IB expert, I'm afraid. Nothing to add to the excellent advice from VanillaCream
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