Is it hard to get a 7 in HL Maths AA?

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imloki
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#1
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#1
Is it possible for someone who didn't do add maths and only got a 7 in GCSE maths to get a 6 or 7 in IB HL Maths AA?
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elisazhang
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I just finished IB and I used to study Maths HL A&I, which is said to be easier than A&A. I got an 8 in Maths GCSEs without studying much so I thought that Maths HL A&I should have been fine to keep up with. However, by year 13 I had to drop to Maths SL because of the predicted grade that was limiting my university choices. As HL subjects I had 7 in Business, 6 in Global Politics, and the only one was 5 in Maths.

I am not trying demotivate you, but even in my class Maths HL A&I getting a 7 is really difficult. I have a friend doing Maths HL A&A and she has to study maths every day for a minimum of 2/3 hours and still struggling for a 7.

If you feel quite motivated to study hard for Maths, you could start your IB with Maths HL A&A but either have an SL subject that you know you could change to HL in case you want to drop Maths to SL or have four HL subjects which eventually you will drop the one you don't like.

In my case, I just had 3 HL subjects but luckily I improved so much my essay writing in year 12 to the point in which I felt safer having english HL rather than Maths HL.
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artful_lounger
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#3
The old HL Maths was pretty hard to get a 7 in, so the new AA version (which is similar to the old HL Maths) is probably similar. The people I know who did HL Maths (the old version) said it was harder than A-level (although not so hard as A-level FM), not only in terms of covering some of the FM topics (although these I think have been dropped from it now anyway) but the exam questions themselves were harder than questions on the same topic(s) on the A-level Maths papers. Of course, the new format is different so this may not be true anymore! It sounds like it might be a similar situation though.

Generally unless you need HL Maths AA for the degree you want to do at uni (i.e. you are planning to do maths/CS/physics/engineering/economics/other physical sciences) it's probably not worth it, is my perspective. IB is hard enough without making it harder unnecessarily! If you do want to do one of those degrees then yes, it's probably going to be hard, but consider that you will need to know that content before starting your degree, and having done a more difficult version of it with harder questions will just make you better prepared for when you start the degree in the end.
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viennas
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#4
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#4
(Original post by imloki)
Is it possible for someone who didn't do add maths and only got a 7 in GCSE maths to get a 6 or 7 in IB HL Maths AA?
I also got a 7 in GCSE maths and didn't do admaths. HL AA was like a Mike Tyson suckerpunch. It's possible if you're very committed, but you rarely have much time to spare when studying IB, and having not done admaths, most of your time would be spent on catch-up (calculus ,etc). I'd recommend taking A level maths instead if it's required by your university.
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ursulaa
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#5
Report 10 months ago
#5
(Original post by imloki)
Is it possible for someone who didn't do add maths and only got a 7 in GCSE maths to get a 6 or 7 in IB HL Maths AA?
I got 9 in GCSE maths and yet I only managed a 5 in HL maths AA. It's incredibly challenging I really don't recommend it unless it's absolutely necessary for your course. If you do take it you are going to need to do extensive amounts of practice (which i wasn't familiar with as gcses were a breeze for me, partly why I did so poorly in the subject) daily from the beginning, and not to mention the IA which is also incredibly difficult to do.
I don't mean to scare you at all, but realistically speaking it's a very challenging course to take so make a well-informed decision. I personally wouldn't recommend it unless you absolutely need it for your uni course
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iblover123
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#6
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Let me tell you one thing, in GCSE maths you could pretty much memorize a method for almost all types of questions and get a 9 that way. So just because someone got a 9 doesn't necessarily mean they're actually amazing at maths. Of course there'll be some people with 9s who are mathematically gifted but most people and their school just think they're smart in maths when they're not and only do loads of past paper questions, go over the same method multiple times sub-consciously and then regurgitate it in the exam with same recycled style of questions.

So now talking about IB, HL AA is extremely hard even if you were top of your maths class at GCSE. And the reason is because it actually requires intense critical thinking and CONCEPTUAL understanding, which GCSEs just doesn't examine. So no-one aged 15-16 can truly predict how they will handle HL maths regardless of their maths ability. Neither can their teachers. Now obviously I don't know you personally, but there is a chance that you are able to synthesise a method constructing a rational thought process when given a difficult, multi-step problem even if you didn't get a 9 in GCSE.

That's the difference between GCSE/A-Levels and IB. In the former, you are taught to memorise methods to solve a style of question. In IB, you learn to CONSTRUCT a method, because IB is very creative with their style of questions. Many questions are novel and wordy year on year.

If you're good at thinking outside the box and applying concepts, then it's for you. And anyway, you get follow through marks even if you get the answer wrong.

I didn't mean for this to be a philosophical speech or anything (although looking back it kind of is), but to conclude, HL maths is extremely tough and requires a gargantuan amount of hard work and patience to sit down and etch those concepts into your brain so you can apply them to any question, even if you haven't done that style of question before. You getting a 7 in GCSE maths actually tells me very limited info about your true mathematical ability but if you are willing to make a HUGE effort to get so and so grade, then you will!
Last edited by iblover123; 10 months ago
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