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    (Original post by SandipM ;))
    Thanks arrowhead,

    If I make the enquiry a bit clearer. If I was to choose one of the options and my school are introducing theIB for the first time at my school, and so if I were to buy recourses OSC guides and course companion books which subject would I more likely get a 7 in (like what's the IAs like?) Cos I will put a tremendouis effort in either subject. Its just I'm not sure whether I should do history cos I prefer it or economics :s and is history at HL more preferred over eonomics? Sorry if it doesn't make sense cos I'm on my phone rushing to write this down
    Well since you mention all those details, they do change things. Well, seeing as this is your school's first year with the IB, your batch is going to be the unfortunate guinea pigs and many of you will suffer tremendously as a result, through no fault of your own.

    The OSC guides are good, but don't consider them bibles because they aren't very conclusive. I went for two OSC courses, the mid-IB course between 11th and 12th grade and the Exam Revision course in April the month before the finals. Of the two (and also the third which is the Pre-IB course that some of my friends at OSC went for), the final Prep course in April is the most intense and most useful. Basically at that point nobody is in the mood to goof off and everybody is giving it their all.

    The OSC guides (to get back on track) are only useful insofar as they're coupled with actually attending the classes/lectures at the OSC courses. The History one is alright, nothing terribly impressive and you don't get a well rounded view of things, the Economics one I didn't even bother with because it looked useless from the start.

    As far as IAs are concerned, you have one History IA which is worth 20% of your overall grade. It is extremely important you get this right. I don't know if all schools have the same format but in my school we divided this 2,000-word essay into 5 sections: Topic (100 words) where you briefly summarise your topic and explain your objectives in your historical investigation; Summary of Evidence (500 words), where you go through the facts of the investigation that you have gathered and present all your data without any interpretation of what it all means. Its just a section of quotation after quotation from different sources; Analysis (800 words), which is your most important section as it should have the least quotations. This is your spin on all the different evidence you've gathered and the sources you've read. What you've made of them through the course of this research and how it relates to the topic of your investigation and a clear narration of what your view through it al is; Evaluation (400 words): origin, purpose(s), value(s), and limitation(s) of two sources that you've used primarily and/or extensively in your research. These sources should be actual books and not internet resources because though officially it shouldn't make a difference, for whatever reason, our teacher insisted on us finding the actual books and using them; and finally Conclusion (200 words) which is obvious.

    Also you have to choose the topic for your IA and its pretty much like the EE in that you have complete freedom to investigate any aspect of History. But remember that it has to be really narrow with a very focussed question for investigation. Mine was "Were Gandhi's movements of Non-cooperation and Civil Disobedience based on his principle of ahimsa (non-violence) or was it just a cover for the underlying violence?" You should try and pick something that interests you (because you have to do a lot of research on the topic on your own time and you best like it). A friend of mine did hers on the effect of apartheid on women in south africa and she actually interviewed various women who were affected by it (she lived in Cape Town and before that Johannesburg).

    Everyone is my class wrote their IAs in this manner and we all ended up with really good grades as far as I know.

    For Economics HL we submitted in 4 IAs or commentaries, each 1,500 words long and that concentrated on a difference module in the syllabus. So, for example, my first commentary was about negative externalities of production using an article about the effect of harmful acid rain caused primarily by the Mathura oil refinery and how it was turning the Taj Mahal yellow, which is a module 2 topic; my second was about a German stimulus package for the old, retired, and incapacitated despite the recession which was a Macroeconomic topic from Module 3; my third was about a recent decision on trade practices between Mercosur and Sacu and concentrated on Preferential Trade Areas (PTAs) from module 4, and my last one was about the infrastructural development in Mumbai, India with the Bandra-Worli Sealink from Module 5. Each commentary, as per our teacher's direction, was divided into three categories: Summary (of article) (50-100 words); Analysis (1,000 words), this included a very standardised procedure where first you defined the key economic terms of the commentary, then you had the graphs (the words used to label the graph also count in your word count), then you explain the graphs in painful detail and how it relates to the article; and finally you come to the Evaluation (400-450 words) where you discuss the pros and cons of the decision in the article: was the Sealink in India good or bad overall? Can externality affecting the Taj Mahal be effectively curbed or not? Should it be so? Etc. etc.

    Its really a prescribed formula to get through it for either subject.

    When it comes to revision before the IB exams, History has a very set formula for questions. For example: I knew which questions I wanted to answer in Paper 2, I referred to past papers and saw the pattern and a few key questions turned up again and again. The first being a question of wars in Topic 1, comparing and contrasting either nature, causes, or consequences of two wars. So I studied the First, Second, Vietnam, and Korean Wars thoroughly (the latter two because my Paper 3 option was American History). I also studied the Cold War development, escalation, peak, and détente because the first question in Topic 4 always, and I mean always, questioned the origin of the Cold War. This part initially was really hard, but it got easier once I put everything in a timeline and memorised important events. I finished memorising all of the elements necessary for this essay question in one day of gruelling work.

    For Paper 3, I had American History, and again by observing the patterns of question in the past papers, I determined what I wanted to study. There were always two questions on the American Civil War exclusively and we had covered that in class. So I revised that. There were always two questions on Presidents, so I covered American Presidents' reigns, domestic, and foreign policies from Truman (1945) until Reagan (1989).

    As you can see, there is a definite boundary for everything you have to study in History and the answers that are expected can be practised so that you can get a very high grade no matter what.

    Economics is very, very similar in that I actually worked on it for a week at a go and finished it. I only studied Modules 1,2,3 and bits and pieces of 4. Although Module 1 is just an Introduction and definition of key terms so I don't think it really counted. 2 and 3 covered Microeconomics and Macroeconomics which covered me for majority of the questions in Papers 1 and 2. Finally I saw what had been asked from Module 4 in the past papers and studied around it or really selectively. I completely disregarded Module 5 which was Developmental Economics, I didn't even read it, once before the exams.

    But I will concede that going for the OSC Exam Revision course, I went only for three subjects, English, Economics, and History (my HLs). Of them, English just reinforced my knowledge that I was as prepared as I was ever going to be, History I knew I would get a 7 in because it was my strong point. But the reason I got a 7 in Economics was purely and solely because of the OSC course. I was getting 6s throughout my two years in school, but at OSC I had this amazing teacher, Ms. Pereira, she was the IB Coordinator at some Portuguese IB school, anyway, she knew her stuff like nothing I've ever seen before. She actually was the head corrector for the European IB Economics under the head of the Economics Department. She taught us exam strategies, how-to-answer questions, the correct way of going about things, and probably, most valuable of all, she filled us to the brim with examples and relevant current affairs for each and every Economics topic we discussed. I basically doled out in my May exam, everything I learnt from her, right out from her notes, and I know that's why I got my 7.

    I can say that for my finals I maybe studied 60% of my total History portion and 70% of my total Economics portion, but what I did study I studied it very well, and it ended up excellently for me.

    Well that's all the advice I have to offer in a very, very long winded fashion.

    Best of luck,
    Arrowhead.
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    WOW thanks that's given me a deep insight into which subject I should do. :') You must be extremely bright judging by your style of writing too but I'm guessing having eco, hist and eng at HL allows you thay advantage too - anyways thanks loadssss
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    My advice:- try not to cram your HL subjects with the most demanding ones. OR... take subjects for SL that you know are easy for you so you can really focus on your HL subjects. Remember, Internal Assessments are in every subject and at times they're not all that fun.

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    I was hoping to get some of your opinions on which IB course to take. My school offers both Biology and Physics HL, but I can only choose one of them. Which one would be the easiest to get a 6 or 7 on? I'm a math person, so Physics wouldn't be a problem, but I also really like learning biology too.

    My current course load is:

    English A1 HL
    World History HL
    Either Bio or Physics HL

    Mandarin SL
    Mathematics SL
    Chemistry SL

    I heard Physics is the hardest science, so would taking Physics make the workload too much? Thanks in advance for your opinions.
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    (Original post by paperbox)
    I heard Physics is the hardest science, so would taking Physics make the workload too much? Thanks in advance for your opinions.
    Physics is undoubtedly one of the harder HLs, but it is generally taken in tandem with Maths HL, which is why the workload seems unbearable. You've taken Maths at SL and your other HL topics are History and English, which are admittedly, easier to handle. So you should be able to handle Physics just fine.

    Another important consideration though is what you want to study at Uni. If you want to take something like Law for example, then it doesn't matter if you've taken Biology or Physics at HL, what matters most is English and History. So depending on that choice, you could be advised either way.
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    Hi, I'm stuck between Chemistry HL and English HL. I know these are two completely different subjects but I am most likely going to the US for university where they don't have any specific subject requirements. Well at least they don't explicitly state any! I have been told that I should do Chemistry HL because it opens up doors for me and I am quite interested in the sciences. However, I also quite like English as well, though I understand that it is not specifically required for any course at all. Another thing is that I really like my English class and teacher for IB which is probably another one of the reasons I am a little reluctant to change. Any ideas/tips on what I should do? Thanks in advance!
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    (Original post by glimmerofhope)
    Hi, I'm stuck between Chemistry HL and English HL. I know these are two completely different subjects but I am most likely going to the US for university where they don't have any specific subject requirements. Well at least they don't explicitly state any! I have been told that I should do Chemistry HL because it opens up doors for me and I am quite interested in the sciences. However, I also quite like English as well, though I understand that it is not specifically required for any course at all. Another thing is that I really like my English class and teacher for IB which is probably another one of the reasons I am a little reluctant to change. Any ideas/tips on what I should do? Thanks in advance!
    Hi,

    I've now finished IB, got my results earlier this month. I had exactly the same dilemma and ended up taking 4 HLs so that I could do them both. Personally, I found the difference between Chemistry HL and SL to be much greater than that between English HL and SL. In terms of workload, I think you take a lot more on with Chemistry than you do with English, even though you're studying an extra text and writing another piece of coursework. The coursework should ideally be done well before your exams. In the actual exams, paper two (the one which tests your knowledge of the texts you have studied) asks you to write about two or three texts - my teacher suggested that doing three was inadvisable. This is the same for SL, I believe, and so the only difference is that the questions are a little more challenging. If you enjoy reading the texts, then memorable moments and quotes will stay in your mind anyway, and so the additional amount of information that you have to remember as you sit your exams isn't that great for English HL, from my experience.

    If you're after an easy life, I'd go for English HL over Chemistry HL, That said, if you like Maths, then a lot of the additional *core* content for Chemistry HL shouldn't be too hard to grasp, it is largely formulae. The additional content for the Chemistry options at HL I however found a lot more challenging. Sorry that wasn't very clear, I was trying to be balanced!
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    To add a little advice from my own experience for anyone who might need it; I have just passed my IB this summer.

    I would recommend English and History HLs, definitely. I felt that for the relatively small jump between SL and HL these two subjects were worth it. Though admittedly, they're also what I'm studying at university.

    I also studied Spanish Ab Initio, which is probably the easiest SL going. French SL was fine for anyone with reasonable language capabilities, but apparently a nightmare for everyone else. The problem seemed to be the unnecessary focus placed on the speaking-and-listening aspects of our course, which were not as big of a deal as our teacher made out.

    Maths SL was largely unrewarded because so few people seemed to *get* what it was- do HL or do studies, don't out yourself through the unnecessary stress. Last, is my science option; Biology HL. Not being a natural scientist, this was, in hindsight, probably not the best choice for me, but after a lot of hard work it finally clicked.

    Overall, that is my general message. Keep plugging away and you will get the results you need, and eventually the subjects will get easier.
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    I chose:
    Polish HL
    English A2 HL
    History HL

    Biology SL
    French ab initio SL
    Mathematical Studies SL


    is it a plausible subject combination for a respectable UK university?
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    * for something like Law, Journalism or English Literature
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    (Original post by marmarmar)
    I chose:
    Polish HL
    English A2 HL
    History HL

    Biology SL
    French ab initio SL
    Mathematical Studies SL


    is it a plausible subject combination for a respectable UK university?

    * for something like Law, Journalism or English Literature
    For Journalism and English Literature, I think you're on the right path. For Law, I might suggest dropping French (since you already have two languages) and taking another social science. Also if you're aiming for a top-tier, Oxbridge, University, I would think that a Law application with Maths Studies might be a little bit of a risk. But if you find yourself unable to handle Maths SL, then stick to Studies.
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    Well I was thinking to do A-levels.. (French, Chem, Bio, Maths) and I have no idea what to do at uni.
    But now I'm leaning towards the IB, if i did do it, it would be something like:

    Mathematics SL
    English SL
    Psychology SL

    French HL
    Chemistry HL
    Biology HL

    any suggestions?
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    (Original post by carasezmoo)
    any suggestions?
    That depends, you need to have some idea of what you want to do at Uni. Preferably an answer like, "I know I want to do something related to the sciences, maybe Chemistry because I love Chemistry," would go a long way.

    Also an idea of what kind of Universities you're aiming for. Have you set your sights on Oxbridge and the other upper-tier Unis? Or are you focussing more on the middle-tier ones?
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    (Original post by arrowhead)
    "I know I want to do something related to the sciences, maybe Chemistry because I love Chemistry,"

    Also an idea of what kind of Universities you're aiming for.

    I guess so, yeah, a science degree, maybe Bio or Chem sounds good. I just want to keep my options open I suppose. I suppose I would be aiming for a middle tier uni, I'm not a total genius!
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    I will be starting IB1 this September. To be frank, I am quite concerned about the upcoming challenge, and would like to get mentally ready in advance so that I can be able to aim high when the actual thing starts. Thus, I would truly appreciate any help and/or advice at all!

    My subjects are as follows:

    English A2 HL
    Mathematics HL
    Biology HL

    Chemistry SL
    Physics SL
    Turkish A1 HL
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    (Original post by carasezmoo)
    I guess so, yeah, a science degree, maybe Bio or Chem sounds good. I just want to keep my options open I suppose. I suppose I would be aiming for a middle tier uni, I'm not a total genius!
    In that case, I think your subject choices are fine.

    Chemistry is considered a challenging course and Biology HL is all about memorising and regurgitating. Stay on top of your lab work and you should be fine.

    French and English will be easy enough. I'm assuming you're in French B HL and English A1 HL, in which case you should coast through.

    Maths SL requires practice, but since you're a science-y person, I'll work on the stereotype that you're decent at Maths.

    Psychology is one of the most difficult Social Sciences to score in. You might want to consider changing that to Economics maybe, since a lot less effort is needed to get a 7 in Economics as compared to Psychology (both subjects are just blind rote-learning).

    As for a middle-tier Uni, make sure you scrape a predicted score anywhere between 30-36 points and I can't imagine any middle-tier Uni not welcoming you with open arms.

    (Original post by Sturmgeist)
    My subjects are as follows:

    English A2 HL
    Mathematics HL
    Biology HL

    Chemistry SL
    Physics SL
    Turkish A1 HL
    English A2: Concentrate and stay on top of your assignments and IAs. While languages are considered easier than sciences, they are not easy to get a high score in. So you should work on your essay writing skills more than anything and develop them to the best of your ability over the next two years.

    Maths HL: Practice everyday without fail and channel your deep-seated love for Mathematics. If you do not have a deep-seated love for Mathematics, create one because you're going to need it. This is considered one of the hardest (if not the hardest) course in the IB. Only conscientious practice will get you through.

    Biology HL: Do your Labs properly and don't miss your deadlines. This subject is all about memorisation and regurgitation of content, so long as you can do that, you will be fine.

    Chemistry SL: Its challenging, but work on your Labs and follow the syllabus to the letter.

    Physics SL: You might be a little overrun and roughshod because you're taking all three sciences and Maths HL. You're going to have a hell of a time writing all your lab reports, but if you can create a system of some sort to organise yourself with this challenging list of subjects, you will do well. Work hard though, with these subjects, you cannot afford to be lax.

    Turkish A1: Like all HL language courses, this will be very difficult for you to score in. Essay writing is an important skill for an A1 language course and you need a wide vocabulary in your subject as well as deep knowledge of your language.

    Are you missing a subject or have you not chosen to do a Social Science by doing a non-conventional diploma? Because as far as I know, one social science is mandatory.

    I would drop the 4 HLs down to 3 if I were you. You're already doing all the hardest subjects in the IB, there's really no need to take 4 HLs. My suggestion would be to go through the first week or two of school with 4 HLs and if you find it to be too much for you to handle, drop one to SL and save yourself the hassle.

    Best of luck,
    Arrowhead.
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    (Original post by arrowhead)
    In that case, I think your subject choices are fine.

    Chemistry is considered a challenging course and Biology HL is all about memorising and regurgitating. Stay on top of your lab work and you should be fine.

    French and English will be easy enough. I'm assuming you're in French B HL and English A1 HL, in which case you should coast through.

    Maths SL requires practice, but since you're a science-y person, I'll work on the stereotype that you're decent at Maths.

    Psychology is one of the most difficult Social Sciences to score in. You might want to consider changing that to Economics maybe, since a lot less effort is needed to get a 7 in Economics as compared to Psychology (both subjects are just blind rote-learning).

    As for a middle-tier Uni, make sure you scrape a predicted score anywhere between 30-36 points and I can't imagine any middle-tier Uni not welcoming you with open arms.



    English A2: Concentrate and stay on top of your assignments and IAs. While languages are considered easier than sciences, they are not easy to get a high score in. So you should work on your essay writing skills more than anything and develop them to the best of your ability over the next two years.

    Maths HL: Practice everyday without fail and channel your deep-seated love for Mathematics. If you do not have a deep-seated love for Mathematics, create one because you're going to need it. This is considered one of the hardest (if not the hardest) course in the IB. Only conscientious practice will get you through.

    Biology HL: Do your Labs properly and don't miss your deadlines. This subject is all about memorisation and regurgitation of content, so long as you can do that, you will be fine.

    Chemistry SL: Its challenging, but work on your Labs and follow the syllabus to the letter.

    Physics SL: You might be a little overrun and roughshod because you're taking all three sciences and Maths HL. You're going to have a hell of a time writing all your lab reports, but if you can create a system of some sort to organise yourself with this challenging list of subjects, you will do well. Work hard though, with these subjects, you cannot afford to be lax.

    Turkish A1: Like all HL language courses, this will be very difficult for you to score in. Essay writing is an important skill for an A1 language course and you need a wide vocabulary in your subject as well as deep knowledge of your language.

    Are you missing a subject or have you not chosen to do a Social Science by doing a non-conventional diploma? Because as far as I know, one social science is mandatory.

    I would drop the 4 HLs down to 3 if I were you. You're already doing all the hardest subjects in the IB, there's really no need to take 4 HLs. My suggestion would be to go through the first week or two of school with 4 HLs and if you find it to be too much for you to handle, drop one to SL and save yourself the hassle.

    Best of luck,
    Arrowhead.
    Firstly, thank you very much for your advice! Apparently I made a very obvious mistake in my text, that is, I will be taking Turkish A1 SL, not HL. My assumption based on the attitude and opinions of IB students, alumni and even teachers themselves is that it will be the least challenging subject I will be taking. As for the Social Science, I have History, but I wasn't sure if I should have included that because I thought it was compulsory only for the national diploma I am also going for. Thanks again.
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    (Original post by Sturmgeist)
    Firstly, thank you very much for your advice! Apparently I made a very obvious mistake in my text, that is, I will be taking Turkish A1 SL, not HL. My assumption based on the attitude and opinions of IB students, alumni and even teachers themselves is that it will be the least challenging subject I will be taking. As for the Social Science, I have History, but I wasn't sure if I should have included that because I thought it was compulsory only for the national diploma I am also going for. Thanks again.
    I would really reconsider all three sciences and Maths HL with History as well. History is one of the most difficult IB social sciences because there is a lot of matter to memorise. Maybe taking Economics instead? But if you think you can handle it, good for you and I wish you the absolute best of luck mate!

    Oh and you need a social science for the IB Diploma, just one from Group 3 is mandatory, not only for the IB.

    Cheers,
    Arrowhead.
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    OK I see a lot of talk about the Maths, well ladies I had Math Studies SL and as a matter of the fact now I'm going to do Mechanical Engineering at the University.
    Now here is the thing, I was on Math SL and than I dropped to the Math Studies-which is not what are you supposed to do at all!!!! Now Math HL is also exaggerating and from my experience if you really LOVE math - (btw. you won't be loving it anymore after 2nd or 3rd month whichever HL core subject you choose) than choose HL but don't choose Physics or any related subject as a HL subject! I'm not talking about the complexity actually I'm talking about the satiety in real sense of that word!!!!!
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    btw guys if you don't know yet what to do at uni than choose 'classical' subjects such as Geography,History,Psychology,etc . AVOID Economics,Design Technology,Anthropology,etc.
 
 
 
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