The "Which IB subjects should I choose" Thread

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    Doesn't look that difficult, I know people who did Math, Physics, and Chemistry all at HL, and they did just fine. And languages should also be easy, not much work there.
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    I'm currently stuck between choosing HL English or HL History. I'm taking Bio HL and Chem HL, and I know that these 2 subjects are challenging so I'd like to choose the easier option between English or History.

    I like history more, but because I took my english IGCSES a year early, I'll be doing a quasi-IB course this year. However, I'm not great at literature.

    Any comments would be appreciated!
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    First of all:
    I've tried looking for threads like this but I haven't beean able to find any so please don't snipe (which seems to be a habit on here)
    Also I have looked at lots of university entry requirements but most of them only talk about A-Levels which pisses me off.

    Right so basically next term I will be starting the IB next year and since I wish to study Economics in uni, I have decided to take HL maths. However, I am fully aware of how difficulty it is and so I know there is a chance that I might end up dropping down to SL Maths. So I was wondering if there are any good Universities which accept SL maths and alternatively if there areany universities which give low offers as regards to HL maths.

    Thanks in advance
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    Yes some unis do accept maths SL, but they most of them are all below rank 10 in british universities (cant recall any uni in top 10 that does). I know U of Manchester accept maths SL (ard 34 pts overall) For USA, it depends actually, they might access your application thru other ways (SATs, personal essays, reference etc).
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    (Original post by jc_bach)
    Yes some unis do accept maths SL, but they most of them are all below rank 10 in british universities (cant recall any uni in top 10 that does). I know U of Manchester accept maths SL (ard 34 pts overall) For USA, it depends actually, they might access your application thru other ways (SATs, personal essays, reference etc).
    What about unis such as Durham and Bristol?
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    Well Durham doesnt say you need A in maths (in A level) so i guess thats not a must, but its better if you do.
    But bristol you need Maths HL and get a 6 but they accept SL maths if you get a 7.
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    The better unis will definitely have HL Math as a requirement. And mostly in the 6-7 range.
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    Personally I find English HL easier than History HL but I'm not sure whether that's because of the nature of the two subjects or because one HL is necessarily harder than the other. I don't know about the actual exams though...
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    Hello there,

    A little confused here. Which should I take for Higher Level - English A1 or History? I am already taking HL Chemistry and HL Biology, along with SL Maths, Spanish B and either English A1/History.

    Which is easier to get a 7 in? I am aiming to get into medical school and therefore it won't matter which I take for HL - what matters is the grade I get for that subject.

    I did First Language English IGCSEs and got an A*. However, I did NOT do English Literature. I also did History IGCSE and got an A*. I enjoy learning History very much as to me it is very interesting. However, I am also aware of the amount of work you have to put in for this subject and I am worried if it will take too much of my time, so much that I cannot concentrate on my Chemistry and Biology.

    However, I am more confident in doing HL History than HL English A1, as I have not done English Literature in my IGCSEs. I have heard however that HL English requires less work than HL History.

    Which subject do you think, based on your personal experience and teh information I provided above, I should take at HL? Thank you very much for your time!
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    (Original post by la.polista)
    Hello there,

    A little confused here. Which should I take for Higher Level - English A1 or History? I am already taking HL Chemistry and HL Biology, along with SL Maths, Spanish B and either English A1/History.

    Which is easier to get a 7 in? I am aiming to get into medical school and therefore it won't matter which I take for HL - what matters is the grade I get for that subject.

    I did First Language English IGCSEs and got an A*. However, I did NOT do English Literature. I also did History IGCSE and got an A*. I enjoy learning History very much as to me it is very interesting. However, I am also aware of the amount of work you have to put in for this subject and I am worried if it will take too much of my time, so much that I cannot concentrate on my Chemistry and Biology.

    However, I am more confident in doing HL History than HL English A1, as I have not done English Literature in my IGCSEs. I have heard however that HL English requires less work than HL History.

    Which subject do you think, based on your personal experience and teh information I provided above, I should take at HL? Thank you very much for your time!
    I can't speak for history, but to get a 7 in HL English A1 is statistically very unlikely. I think if you enjoy History, do History. There's no way of telling whether English will work out for you since you didn't do literature for IGCSE.
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    I did both History and English HL...both are extremely difficult to get a 7 in, but if you look at the exams, i would say History is more difficult to do very well in. This is because you have to be good at analytical essay writing (which you also have to be for English HL), you have to write like 3 essays in like 1 and a half hours for one of the papers, and the examiners can easily take points off if they don't find it analytical enough....my teacher, when advising me how to get from my 6 to a 7, said "there is nothing concrete i can tell you to get there...you just need to find that special analytical spark".... :p: so yeh, that gave me lots of hope...for english, however, you just really need to know the books well. Its difficult to judge which one is more difficult, but in my opinion, i spent more time studying and writing essays for history than english. But then again, im studying History in Uni, so it was more important for me :p:
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    Glasgow University, Coventry, Essex .... and yeah, UCL and Warwick I think
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    they mostly accept you if you have a 7 in SL but be sure to check. also, if you are doing a combined course like politics and economics they probably prefer but dont require HL.
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    Hi,
    I've checked with LSE, KCL, UCL and Manchester for both economics and actuarial science and wa told by all of them that SL+A level maths (as in taking both, dont ask why) or HL are the only way forwards. My college wasn't offering HL Maths until recently, but this combined with other people's issues managed to persuade them. It's about the same as Maths+FM at A level, it's harder in some parts and easier in others from what I've read. I wouldn't be too worried about the difficulty. I know I wouldn't risk SL, personally.
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    Hi I'm Peter

    I'm a GCSE student and got my results recently (12A*!) which I'm really happy about. But my decisions in my IB subjects are really worrying me.

    I really enjoy the science and do well in them, especially Biology which I have chosen for Higher Level. I've been advised to take another science to make sure I open all doors for a career in the sciences so I have decided to take Higher Chemistry

    I'm also interested in finance and look forward to a career with a kind of business like surrounding and lifestyle. So I have chosen to take Maths Higher with Economics Standard.

    So overall I'm taking:

    Higher Level
    Maths
    Chemistry
    Biology

    Standard Level
    German
    English
    Economics

    I understand that the subjects I have chosen are really hard, and I'm wondering if I should switch economics with geography which is a subject I do well at and could boost my overall IB score? Would it give me less options in the future for a career in finance? I've also heard that standard levels aren't that important?

    Sorry, Its a bit long winded xD
    I'm grateful for any replies
    Thanks =D
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    Any respectable number-crunching or problem solving type of degree can get you into finance. Also, it is unheard of for someone to study one of their standard level subjects at university. Choose the subject you enjoy more.
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    Maths HL will keep that finance route open with any number of mathematical degrees being open to you, which are just as viable as economics degrees for a career in finance. If you enjoy learning about Geography more than Economics, then don't be afraid of cutting economics out and doing Geography instead - it adds a broad, interdisciplinary subject to your repertoire that will let you see the bigger picture of what you study in Biology and Chemistry.
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    Economics SL is very easy, and probably requires less work than geography if you're bright (which you seem to be!). Overall that's a good combination of subjects and definitely achievable.
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    I've heard Economics SL is very easy, but I've also heard that Geography SL is really easy and common sense.
    My school doesn't offer Bio HL, but I've heard SL is by far the easiest science. Chem HL can be tough if you have a terrible teacher, but otherwise, it's not too bad. Math HL is apparently a *****, but otherwise, don't worry about it.

    And yeah, your SLs don't matter much.
    But if you want to do finance, I suggest swapping Economics SL with one of your sciences. If you've got 12A* at GCSE, you've got a chance at a really good university, and they only really care about your HLs, so you should take what you think is related to what you are going to be studying.
    I understand you want to keep doors open for a future in science, but for that, taking math and one science HL is adequate, especially if you have another science at SL (for example I'm going into physics, and I'm taking Math and Phys at HL with Chem at SL)

    So yeah, I suggest swapping a science with economics.
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    I had my first IB Psychology lesson today and LOVED IT. The teacher is brilliant, the syllabus looks interesting and I was really into it. I originally chose it as a SL subject but I think I'd like to take it as Higher instead of English.
    Even though I haven't had an English lesson yet, I've had a look through the reading list and it doesn't interest me in the slightest =/ I usually have a passion for reading and LOVE English, but WW1 poetry? Not so much.
    Furthermore, it's extremely difficult to score highly in HL English, with getting a 7 damn near impossible, and after all, IB is all about getting as many points as possible, right? I'd still carry on taking English of course, so I'll continue my passion for it, just with less of a risk factor. Also, I only got an A at GCSE English Lit. and although I hate to say it, my teacher basically spoon-fed us for the 2 years, pointing and writing out every annotation in every novel/poem etc. so I don't know if I'll be able to cope with all the 'independant reading' required at HL. I adore reading novels, but not to be examined on them! Which is why I think I'd do better at Psychology, and as there's only like 2 people in the class, and previous results have been 5-7, hopefully I should do well.


    However, my problem is this - Psychology is widely regarded as a 'soft' subject at A Level, and whether this may or may not be the case for IB, I have hopes of getting into a prestigious London uni (Imperial, UCL, KCL) etc. and I'm worried that it'll hamper my chances, as that is the perception. & it's well known that UK unis don't really understand the IB fully. Even though I'm taking 2 science Highers, I don't want to take a "soft" subject alongside them in case that gives a negative impression and I've heard it's good to take a contrasting subject (at least, for A Levels)

    So I'm really confused. I'll be going to a couple of HL English lessons to see how it goes, before I make a decision but I wanted everybody's opinion.


    Thanks so much
 
 
 
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