gideonn
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Hi!
I’m not sure what I want to do at uni but I’m strongly considering doing Medicine. I’m thinking about moving schools in order to do the IB but I’m wondering if doing 4 A Levels is a better choice. If I did IB I’d do:

HL
Biology
Chemistry
Greek/Latin

SL
Maths
English
Philosophy

And if I did 4 A Levels I’d do:
Biology
Chemistry
Maths
Greek/Latin

If I do the IB, I’m doing the same subjects + English and philosophy (which sound interesting but I wouldn’t consider doing them for A Level) which I’m worried will be too much. But the A Level course is usually structured for 3 subjects, so I don’t know if that would be worse.

I realise that most uni’s ignore the 4th A level but I really want to do a Classics post GCSE and I’m looking for the best way to do that. I also realise that with the IB I’d write an EE but if I did 4 A Levels then I wouldn’t have an EPQ. Would that be a disadvantage?

Could I have some advice as to which would be the better choice?
Thanks!
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Xeryxer
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The IB will prepare you more for uni and gives you more skills but is a lot more work

A levels will be easier but the jump to uni will be harder

Both are similar for uni admissions ( maybe the IB edges that slightly)
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VanillaCream
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I think A levels go more into detail with subjects like Bio and Chem (not sure about that tho) but Maths (I said in some other thread of yours haha) has definitely less content in A level than in HL (it's probably because there is Further Maths in A level), so what I mean is that A levels seem to be easier overall but you will still need to study for your subjects, maybe even more than for IB? but in IB you have other things to do

I think for some unis for medicine (don't know about other courses) if you do an EPQ and get a good grade in it like A* I think, you can have a lower offer (I don't remember the unis that do that, but they were mentioned many times on the medicine thread on TSR, so you can look for it if you're interested) and there is nothing like this with EE (since it's compulsory), so then it would be kind of a disadvantage (but tbh only if you're considering those unis)
Also when it comes to the EE, I'd say if you choose a subject and topic you're truly interested in, it is an enjoyable process and even if you're applying for medicine, you don't have to do your EE in bio/chem necessarily, when it comes to the Personal Statement, you can easily mention your e.g. bio IA in it if you do it on a topic connected to medicine and e.g. do your EE in Greek, and languages EEs if you're fluent in the language are pretty easy to get a good grade in

Overall, I'd say that IB really gives you a better preparation for uni in terms of workload, stress and working on your own, but it does require a lot from you to get good grades, not really in terms of studying as, as I said, the content even in bio/chem HL isn't very difficult, but in terms of working on your IAs/EE etc.

So I'd encourage you to choose IB if you're interested in something more than bio/chem and medicine (as you said you like English and Philosophy as well). One important thing to bear in mind is that the IAs and EE deadlines quite overlap with the medicine application dates, like UCAS deadline, BMAT and UCAT so remmeber about that when planning everything so that you have enough time to study for the admissions tests by doing e.g. your IAs earlier (working on them in summer between Y12 and Y13 is not uncommon hahah)
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gideonn
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(Original post by VanillaCream)
I think A levels go more into detail with subjects like Bio and Chem (not sure about that tho) but Maths (I said in some other thread of yours haha) has definitely less content in A level than in HL (it's probably because there is Further Maths in A level), so what I mean is that A levels seem to be easier overall but you will still need to study for your subjects, maybe even more than for IB? but in IB you have other things to do

I think for some unis for medicine (don't know about other courses) if you do an EPQ and get a good grade in it like A* I think, you can have a lower offer (I don't remember the unis that do that, but they were mentioned many times on the medicine thread on TSR, so you can look for it if you're interested) and there is nothing like this with EE (since it's compulsory), so then it would be kind of a disadvantage (but tbh only if you're considering those unis)
Also when it comes to the EE, I'd say if you choose a subject and topic you're truly interested in, it is an enjoyable process and even if you're applying for medicine, you don't have to do your EE in bio/chem necessarily, when it comes to the Personal Statement, you can easily mention your e.g. bio IA in it if you do it on a topic connected to medicine and e.g. do your EE in Greek, and languages EEs if you're fluent in the language are pretty easy to get a good grade in

Overall, I'd say that IB really gives you a better preparation for uni in terms of workload, stress and working on your own, but it does require a lot from you to get good grades, not really in terms of studying as, as I said, the content even in bio/chem HL isn't very difficult, but in terms of working on your IAs/EE etc.

So I'd encourage you to choose IB if you're interested in something more than bio/chem and medicine (as you said you like English and Philosophy as well). One important thing to bear in mind is that the IAs and EE deadlines quite overlap with the medicine application dates, like UCAS deadline, BMAT and UCAT so remmeber about that when planning everything so that you have enough time to study for the admissions tests by doing e.g. your IAs earlier (working on them in summer between Y12 and Y13 is not uncommon hahah)
Thanks for relying to my thread again (as you can see I’m trying to figure stuff out 😂).

Thanks for your advice- I’ve heard from a few other people that the deadlines overlap so I’ll definitely keep that in mind.
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artful_lounger
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Taking extra A-levels won't grant you "bonus points" when applying for medicine (except at Cardiff), and there is no advantage in doing four. If you can't decide between the proposed subjects just go with the IB, as then you'll cover a breadth of subjects but have a slightly more balanced programme.

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Arguably IB is also good preparation for medicine because you have a wide range of content to learn in a fairly intensive format, and you'll also develop essay writing and general critical thinking skills more than in a set of mostly or purely science A-levels. A friend of my sister's who did IB then went to do medicine at Cambridge apparently said she had to teach all her friends on the course how to properly structure/write an essay, because they did all STEM A-levels and didn't know how to write the essays involved in the medical degree.
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