Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

elaifyanre

Choosing EE subject between English and Math

Hi,

I am currently in IB1 and trying to start with my extended essay.

The subjects I chose were:

HLs: Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics

SLs: English A1, French Ab initio, Philosophy

I have eliminated the possibility for me of writing my extended essay in chemistry(what I have learned now is not enough), physics(same as chemistry, also I struggle quite a bit in physics), philosophy(interesting but I have a hard time expressing the ideas out in this course) or French ab initio (I can barely write a paragraph of 200 words in French now).

So the only choices left are Mathematics or English, and I'm having a hard time deciding between the two. The pros and cons for each subject is listed below.

Pros for English: It seems that most students choose to write their extended essays in Group 1, and this group also have the highest percentage of getting an A. (Although the statistics are not so useful to me as for most students, doing Group 1 EEs means to do the EE in their NATIVE language)

The supervisor for English EEs in my school is very good and experienced.

Cons for English: I am an international student with not very good English skills (as you might notice in my post already), my essay will not be as "good" or as in-depth as the native students who have learned English for 11 or more years.

If I do my EE in English I will most probably do topics around Jane Austen's works which I enjoyed a lot. However, it seems that Jane Austen's works are chosen by so many students that there are hardly any "new" things left I can think of.

Pros for Mathematics: I like Math, really, and I would say that I am good at it. (I like English too but not as much as math)

I would like to study mathematics or computer science in university so an EE in math will be at least somewhat useful.

Cons for Mathematics: My mathematics teacher is new to the IB program, which is a great disadvantage.

Not a lot people do EEs in mathematics, which means that people who are doing mathematics EE are very good and interested in mathematics. Which makes the competition intenser (well competition is intense in every subject area in IB...)

PS. I haven't thought about an appropriate EE topic in math yet. I AM NOT ASKING FOR A TOPIC but what "types" of topics are good topics in math EE? Some people say that the IMO past question papers are a good source of topics, others say it should better come from a real life situation.

Given these circumstances, which subject area will be a better choice to do my EE in?

Thank you for reading my post. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, it seems that I accidentally posted the same post twice... Are there a way for me to delete one of them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I'm glad to hear that you are interested doing a Maths EE. I think your cons point of 'few people doing the maths EE, so they must be really passionate and good at it' is not entirely true. Yes, it is true that fewer than 8% of EEs are written in HL Mathematics, but if you look at the stats, the amount of people getting A's and B's is in fact slightly better than most other subject areas. The median mark is also higher (check the IBO statistical bulletin if you're interested in a full breakdown).

I wrote my EE in mathematics well over 5 years ago but I still remember it to this day and have absolutely no regrets doing it (if you google around, you should be able to find my EE somewhere online, i think it scored 38/40 after being moderated).

The fact that your teacher is new the IB is not ideal, but I think this will only be a slight hindrance with the formalities of the EE - for example, deadlines, how to properly format it, sharing of ideas. As long as your teacher is a 'good' mathematics teacher and willing to help you, then you should be fine.

As far as topics are concerned, try to google around and find some past mathematics EEs for inspiration. I got my idea from a book I found in the library called '100 greatest unsolved mathematics problems' or something similar. You could also pursue something that you have an interest or hobby in, e.g card games, mathematics in nature, insurance mathematics.

Hope that helps,
Alexander Zouev

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I'm glad to hear that you are interested doing a Maths EE. I think your cons point of 'few people doing the maths EE, so they must be really passionate and good at it' is not entirely true. Yes, it is true that fewer than 8% of EEs are written in HL Mathematics, but if you look at the stats, the amount of people getting A's and B's is in fact slightly better than most other subject areas. The median mark is also higher (check the IBO statistical bulletin if you're interested in a full breakdown).

I wrote my EE in mathematics well over 5 years ago but I still remember it to this day and have absolutely no regrets doing it (if you google around, you should be able to find my EE somewhere online, i think it scored 38/40 after being moderated).

The fact that your teacher is new the IB is not ideal, but I think this will only be a slight hindrance with the formalities of the EE - for example, deadlines, how to properly format it, sharing of ideas. As long as your teacher is a 'good' mathematics teacher and willing to help you, then you should be fine.

As far as topics are concerned, try to google around and find some past mathematics EEs for inspiration. I got my idea from a book I found in the library called '100 greatest unsolved mathematics problems' or something similar. You could also pursue something that you have an interest or hobby in, e.g card games, mathematics in nature, insurance mathematics.

Hope that helps,

Alexander Zouev

Thank you for your advice.

I've seen 2 of the math EEs in the "50 excellent EEs", although I don't know if one of them are yours or not. They are amazing!

Yes, my teacher is good but she is just not so experienced... Maybe that is not so bad.

'100 greatest unsolved mathematics problems' -> Did you solve the problem in your essay? Or is it alright to just give some ideas but not a full solution for the research question?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I'm glad to hear that you are interested doing a Maths EE. I think your cons point of 'few people doing the maths EE, so they must be really passionate and good at it' is not entirely true. Yes, it is true that fewer than 8% of EEs are written in HL Mathematics, but if you look at the stats, the amount of people getting A's and B's is in fact slightly better than most other subject areas. The median mark is also higher (check the IBO statistical bulletin if you're interested in a full breakdown).

I wrote my EE in mathematics well over 5 years ago but I still remember it to this day and have absolutely no regrets doing it (if you google around, you should be able to find my EE somewhere online, i think it scored 38/40 after being moderated).

The fact that your teacher is new the IB is not ideal, but I think this will only be a slight hindrance with the formalities of the EE - for example, deadlines, how to properly format it, sharing of ideas. As long as your teacher is a 'good' mathematics teacher and willing to help you, then you should be fine.

As far as topics are concerned, try to google around and find some past mathematics EEs for inspiration. I got my idea from a book I found in the library called '100 greatest unsolved mathematics problems' or something similar. You could also pursue something that you have an interest or hobby in, e.g card games, mathematics in nature, insurance mathematics.

Hope that helps,

Alexander Zouev

Thank you for your advice.

I've seen 2 of the math EEs in the "50 excellent EEs", although I don't know if one of them are yours or not. They are amazing!

Yes, my teacher is good but she is just not so experienced... Maybe that is not so bad.

'100 greatest unsolved mathematics problems' -> Did you solve the problem in your essay? Or is it alright to just give some ideas but not a full solution for the research question?

Yea mine was about the circular billiards table problem. the one on poker game theory is also very very good.

No, you don't necessarily have to 'solve' it (also the books title is a bit misleading, most of the problems have some sort of a solution, perhaps not that general). You should however answer your research question, and make sure your EE is an attempt at solving the question rather than just a overview of the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites