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IB Subject choice for Bio/NatsSci or Economics

Hello
I am having to choose my IB subjects for next year. I am at an international school in Europe, no GCSEs, not UK system.
For university studies, I am undecided between Economics and Management degrees on one hand and Bio / Natural Sciences on the other. I am uncertain which direction I will want to go.
My current IB subject choices are: HL MAA, Chemistry and Biology. SL English A, Spanish B and Business.
* My school does not offer Economics.

This is a good choice for Sciences, I believe, but it may be making my life extra difficult if I finally choose to go the Economics route, where I could drop one science (which one, for the most competitive application?) and replace it with English A, German or Spanish B or Business HL (which would be better?)
Alternatively, I could also change one of the sciences to SL instead of HL and upgrade Business to HL. Or should I move a language up to HL? I hope this makes sense, apologies if I am rambling...

Another key question for me is understanding how much more accessible MAI may be instead of MAA. For context, I have an average of 9/10 in Maths throughout the 4 years of secondary school. Several UK universities will accept MAI for Biosciences, Biology and Natural Sciences (except Cambridge), ... "MAA Preferred, but both streams considered" in the case of Cambridge and Durham... Frankly, not sure if that really means MAA or bust...(views welcome!)
For Management and Economics degrees, Oxford included, MAI HL 7 or 6 seems to be accepted. No suggestion that MAA is required. I am aiming for top unis but not supernumerate economics degrees. Really, any views and inputs about the MAA/MAI question much appreciated.

My school has limited subject choices. The social subjects are Geography, no thanks, ESS, no thanks, and Business, which is what I have chosen so far. No Economics or Psychology.

Either way I would like to be able to apply to top unis, subject to achieving the right grades at IB. My grades up to now, in the above subjects, are 9 and 10 out of 10 in my school system. But the stage I am at now is planning subject choice.
I would really like to hear your thoughts and experience.
Thanks!
Your subject choices are actually perfect for what you want to do. The top universities in the UK will always have preference for academically rigorous subjects and both Chemistry and Biology fit the bill. Just put a side note somewhere to remind your school teachers who will be writing your UCAS application to say that your school does not offer Economics.

IMO, when you can handle HL Math AA, do HL Math AA. "preferred" must not be taken loosely. It usually means you better have it to remain competitive.

And no, do not take HL Business as replacement for HL Econs. These 2 subjects are not inter-changeable. Business can be regarded as soft by some universities.

Do investigate on the requirements of "super-curriculars". This may come as a surprise to students outside of the UK. But it essentially means reading around the subject outside of school, etc to demonstrate deep and genuine passion in the subject. So, the earlier you decide what you want to pursue, the better. There is not enough time to straddle between the two.
Reply 2
Original post by BubblesBB
Your subject choices are actually perfect for what you want to do. The top universities in the UK will always have preference for academically rigorous subjects and both Chemistry and Biology fit the bill. Just put a side note somewhere to remind your school teachers who will be writing your UCAS application to say that your school does not offer Economics.
IMO, when you can handle HL Math AA, do HL Math AA. "preferred" must not be taken loosely. It usually means you better have it to remain competitive.
And no, do not take HL Business as replacement for HL Econs. These 2 subjects are not inter-changeable. Business can be regarded as soft by some universities.
Do investigate on the requirements of "super-curriculars". This may come as a surprise to students outside of the UK. But it essentially means reading around the subject outside of school, etc to demonstrate deep and genuine passion in the subject. So, the earlier you decide what you want to pursue, the better. There is not enough time to straddle between the two.

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post. I really appreciate your comments and advice.
Original post by Torrades
Hello
I am having to choose my IB subjects for next year. I am at an international school in Europe, no GCSEs, not UK system.
For university studies, I am undecided between Economics and Management degrees on one hand and Bio / Natural Sciences on the other. I am uncertain which direction I will want to go.
My current IB subject choices are: HL MAA, Chemistry and Biology. SL English A, Spanish B and Business.
* My school does not offer Economics.

This is a good choice for Sciences, I believe, but it may be making my life extra difficult if I finally choose to go the Economics route, where I could drop one science (which one, for the most competitive application?) and replace it with English A, German or Spanish B or Business HL (which would be better?)
Alternatively, I could also change one of the sciences to SL instead of HL and upgrade Business to HL. Or should I move a language up to HL? I hope this makes sense, apologies if I am rambling...

Another key question for me is understanding how much more accessible MAI may be instead of MAA. For context, I have an average of 9/10 in Maths throughout the 4 years of secondary school. Several UK universities will accept MAI for Biosciences, Biology and Natural Sciences (except Cambridge), ... "MAA Preferred, but both streams considered" in the case of Cambridge and Durham... Frankly, not sure if that really means MAA or bust...(views welcome!)
For Management and Economics degrees, Oxford included, MAI HL 7 or 6 seems to be accepted. No suggestion that MAA is required. I am aiming for top unis but not supernumerate economics degrees. Really, any views and inputs about the MAA/MAI question much appreciated.

My school has limited subject choices. The social subjects are Geography, no thanks, ESS, no thanks, and Business, which is what I have chosen so far. No Economics or Psychology.

Either way I would like to be able to apply to top unis, subject to achieving the right grades at IB. My grades up to now, in the above subjects, are 9 and 10 out of 10 in my school system. But the stage I am at now is planning subject choice.
I would really like to hear your thoughts and experience.
Thanks!

Economics and/or management degrees in the UK will only require IB HL Maths. Biological sciences (including NatSci) would usually require biology, chemistry, and in some cases (e.g. Cambridge) maths at HL. So just take bio/chem/maths HL. Your SL subject choices are unimportant, just pick whichever subjects you'll get the best result in. You don't need to do SL (or HL) business or economics or any such thing for any degrees in that area.

I would suggest just doing the AA syllabus for maths as it's a better background for either route in terms of developing the relevant mathematical skills to succeed on those courses. Remember getting into the course is just the first step - you need to then actually complete it and do well in it. If you aren't adequately prepared from your school studies due to aiming for the lowest denominator to meet the requirements minimally, you may well struggle. If you don't think you can succeed in the AA syllabus I would at minimum strongly suggest reconsidering whether an economics degree is an appropriate aim.
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
Economics and/or management degrees in the UK will only require IB HL Maths. Biological sciences (including NatSci) would usually require biology, chemistry, and in some cases (e.g. Cambridge) maths at HL. So just take bio/chem/maths HL. Your SL subject choices are unimportant, just pick whichever subjects you'll get the best result in. You don't need to do SL (or HL) business or economics or any such thing for any degrees in that area.
I would suggest just doing the AA syllabus for maths as it's a better background for either route in terms of developing the relevant mathematical skills to succeed on those courses. Remember getting into the course is just the first step - you need to then actually complete it and do well in it. If you aren't adequately prepared from your school studies due to aiming for the lowest denominator to meet the requirements minimally, you may well struggle. If you don't think you can succeed in the AA syllabus I would at minimum strongly suggest reconsidering whether an economics degree is an appropriate aim.

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post and your helpful insights. I see your point about MAA and agree with your suggestions. Thanks

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