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How do people manage to get more than 45 IB points?

Hi,
Ive seen a few people over the years take 5HLs andor achieve 52 IB points somehow, and this really confuses me as pretty much everywhere on the internet it states that you can only do 4HLs and get a max of 45 IB points. Im currently in year 11 doing a mix of igcses and gcses, after which i plan on doing the IBDP (hopefully with an extra subject for 52 points?) Does anyone know how this is possible and how to register/how to prepare?
Original post by stemguy
Hi,
Ive seen a few people over the years take 5HLs andor achieve 52 IB points somehow, and this really confuses me as pretty much everywhere on the internet it states that you can only do 4HLs and get a max of 45 IB points. Im currently in year 11 doing a mix of igcses and gcses, after which i plan on doing the IBDP (hopefully with an extra subject for 52 points?) Does anyone know how this is possible and how to register/how to prepare?

The maximum score for the IBDP is 45 points, and you can't receive the diploma with more than 4 HLs. They're probably talking about taking extra IB courses, and adding the points on to their overall score. This doesn't mean they're actually achieving 50 points, and it's very unlikely that universities will consider them as having achieved "more" than 45. Getting 40 points in the DP with 6 subjects is far more impressive than getting 40 points because you got a 2 in 20 IB courses.

Ultimately it will depend on where you're going to university, but for the UK and most other countries, it's better to just focus on the IBDP. It's a rigorous program already, and adding more work for yourself will just reduce your final score. There's a reason people don't take six A levels.
Original post by emilyalexandria
The maximum score for the IBDP is 45 points, and you can't receive the diploma with more than 4 HLs. They're probably talking about taking extra IB courses, and adding the points on to their overall score. This doesn't mean they're actually achieving 50 points, and it's very unlikely that universities will consider them as having achieved "more" than 45. Getting 40 points in the DP with 6 subjects is far more impressive than getting 40 points because you got a 2 in 20 IB courses.

Ultimately it will depend on where you're going to university, but for the UK and most other countries, it's better to just focus on the IBDP. It's a rigorous program already, and adding more work for yourself will just reduce your final score. There's a reason people don't take six A levels.


Great post. Nothing for me to add :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by emilyalexandria
The maximum score for the IBDP is 45 points, and you can't receive the diploma with more than 4 HLs. They're probably talking about taking extra IB courses, and adding the points on to their overall score. This doesn't mean they're actually achieving 50 points, and it's very unlikely that universities will consider them as having achieved "more" than 45. Getting 40 points in the DP with 6 subjects is far more impressive than getting 40 points because you got a 2 in 20 IB courses.

Ultimately it will depend on where you're going to university, but for the UK and most other countries, it's better to just focus on the IBDP. It's a rigorous program already, and adding more work for yourself will just reduce your final score. There's a reason people don't take six A levels.

I see. As someone who would be aiming for US universities, with the UK as my second choice, I'd rather focus my time on more ECs/volunteering. Also, for someone interested in engineering and physics, what IB subjects would you recommend?
So far, I've chosen to take Math AA HL, Physics HL, Chemistry HL, and Computer Science HL, with geography or global politics as my humanities subject. I am a bit divided here, as I really want to take IB Design Technology, however, I'm not allowed to take that many experimental sciences and so I'm stuck deciding between which HLs would benefit me the most. Any advice?
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by stemguy
I see. As someone who would be aiming for US universities, with the UK as my second choice, I'd rather focus my time on more ECs/volunteering. Also, for someone interested in engineering and physics, what IB subjects would you recommend?
So far, I've chosen to take Math AA HL, Physics HL, Chemistry HL, and Computer Science HL, with geography or global politics as my humanities subject. I am a bit divided here, as I really want to take IB Design Technology, however, I'm not allowed to take that many experimental sciences and so I'm stuck deciding between which HLs would benefit me the most. Any advice?

Math AA HL and Physics HL will be the most important subjects for you in that case. Chemistry HL is another good choice. I don't think any other subjects would help your application particularly, so I'd advise just picking whatever you're interested in. It makes the IB a lot easier.

Have you discussed these choices with your school yet? To meet the regular diploma requirements, you can't take more than two science subjects, as you need at least one subject from groups 1-5. To continue with these choices, then, you would need to apply to the IBO for an "irregular diploma". They usually only give permission for this in special cases, when taking certain subjects is vital for the student's university aspirations. You might not qualify for this.
Reply 5
Original post by emilyalexandria
Math AA HL and Physics HL will be the most important subjects for you in that case. Chemistry HL is another good choice. I don't think any other subjects would help your application particularly, so I'd advise just picking whatever you're interested in. It makes the IB a lot easier.

Have you discussed these choices with your school yet? To meet the regular diploma requirements, you can't take more than two science subjects, as you need at least one subject from groups 1-5. To continue with these choices, then, you would need to apply to the IBO for an "irregular diploma". They usually only give permission for this in special cases, when taking certain subjects is vital for the student's university aspirations. You might not qualify for this.

Multiple people from my school have taken physics+chem+cs at HL, and i was encouraged by teachers to do so. Ill check with my counselor to explore the possibility of this option.

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