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luckymousey

4HLs - how is it?

Hey guys,

I'm currently doing Pre-IB (or foundation) work in Grade 10. We will be starting the actual IB program in Term 4 this year, however, next term (term 3), we will be sorted out into our HL and SL classes just to get into the feel of it.

When we had to chose our subjects, I chose HL Maths, HL Chem, HL Physics, SL Business, SL English Lit and French Ab Initio. However, our school just decided that since only 7 students from the whole grade want to do SL Business, they will be taking it away.

Our school only offers HL Business, SL Psych, HL Psych and HL Economics now - no SL (for group 3).

Since I couldn't do SL Business (and they didn't have enough space in HL Business), I'm going to be doing HL Economics (which starts as a new subject in Term 3).

This now means that I'm doing HL Maths, HL Chem, HL Physics, HL Economics, SL English Lit and French Ab Initio. (4HLs).

However, this is only a trial for term 3 (before the IB). If I can't do it, I'm thinking of going to HL Maths, HL Physics, HL Economics, SL Chem, SL English and French Ab Initio.

I want to pursue aerospace engineering in university, and from all the pre-reqs, they say HL Maths and HL Physics is necessary.

 

Does anyone have any advice for what I should be doing? Has anyone done HL Maths, HL Chem, HL Physics, HL Economics before? Any advice? Plus any advice for m future universities (both in Australia and overseas, like MIT, Stanford....)?

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Hello, I have the exact same combination of subjects !! :P . HL Math, HL Phy, HL Chem and HL Eco along with SL english and French AB. 

 

Aerospace engineering is highly specific and I would recommend that you do not drop Chemistry to SL. HL chemistry is highly valued all over the world, and it will be very useful for your major as well as the admissions process, particularly over HL economics. That being said, having a 4th HL subject, particularly in Economics is really no big deal apart from some syllabus changes. The Internal Assessment portfolio for economics is the same for both SL and HL ( 3 commentaries ), there is just a lot more microeconomics in HL economics, which can be dealt with if you can manage time properly. 

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Hey! I think that starting with 4 HL subjects for now is definitely not a cause for concern.

 

Whilst it is definitely true that 4 HL subjects in your IB Diploma is more work than 3, there are still quite a few people who manage it - though I definitely don't think I could have dealt with it. :)

 

HL Maths, HL Physics and HL Chem are arguably 3 of the hardest HL subjects you can take (or at least HL Maths and HL Physics are typically seen as #1 and #2). However, don't let that scare you! Everyone is different, and your judgement of what is 'difficult' will vary with someone else's. For instance, I found HL Maths nowhere near as hard as everyone was telling me it would be (though that might just be hindsight) - I started off being terrified of it and all the work I had to do. However, in my opinion it actually got easier than SL History - and by the time I got to IB2 I actually ended up spending less time on HL Maths than I did on HL English Literature. What I do think is true about HL Maths/Physics/Chem is that the expenditure of time to practise applying concepts (through doing questions) tends to be greater and more important to doing well than with other subjects. 

 

Moreover, you can drop some of your HL subjects to SL if the going gets tough - so, I'm assuming you can downgrade to 3 HL subjects once you have had some experience. I was originally doing 4 HL subjects (English HL, History HL, Maths HL, Physics HL) but I realised that Physics HL in the IB was perhaps a bit too challenging for my liking. So I ended up switching around my subjects until I had 3 HL and 3 SL. I still found Physics SL very challenging, but still much less stressful than if I had stuck to HL. 

 

What I find weird is your school offering only HL Economics and not SL. Surely, if you have the capacity to run HL with 240 teaching hours, you can get an SL student to sit out on some of the HL-only lessons and to do less IA work? Potentially, if you did want to keep your 3 maths/science HL subjects, you could perhaps ask why you don't get to do Economics at SL and try and get some change to that.

 

In terms of preparation for uni, I would agree that HL Physics/Maths is pretty good. I assume HL Chem would be useful too, though not necessarily crucial - I guess it depends on how much you enjoy it/are good at it and if you might potentially consider doing another branch of engineering. In terms of Australian pre-requisites, HL Physics/Maths is generally seen as assumed knowledge. However, not all universities will have them as pre-requisite subjects. I may be speaking from a NSW-centric perspective, but NSW universities will take pretty much any subject combination into any of their degrees. As long as you're willing to take bridging courses to cover assumed knowledge, SL in Physics/Maths would probably be sufficient. Whilst I'm pretty sure that aerospace engineering is generally a very hard degree to get into and very specialised, that's more due to its ATAR requirement rather than any pre-requisites. I actually just looked up this link for aerospace engineering at Monash and was astonished at its entry requirements - 4 in Maths SL or 3 in Maths HL, 4 in Physics/Chemistry SL or 3 in Physics/Chemistry HL and then English requirements. They seem shockingly lax to me! Similar story for UNSW. Keep in mind of course that as aerospace engineering is so specialised you might want to do another degree first and then specialise in it later to keep your options in terms of universities/career more open.

 

As to US or potentially UK universities, I'm not entirely sure about requirements. Generally, I would assume that you need good marks in HL Physics and HL Maths for entry into general engineering courses in the UK, let alone any specific aerospace engineering courses. For the US, whilst having HL Physics and HL Maths would be good preparation, it's probably not strictly necessary for admission, I would guess. There are so many more elements of the application. Having said that, best advice for all questions about whether your subjects are good for uni is to do research for the course you want at the institutions you're interested in.

 

I hope that even though what I've written above is long, that it isn't too confusing or hard to follow!

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Hey Guys I have HL Math, HL Chemistry, HL Physics, HL Economics, SL English A Literature and SL Chinese (Mandarin B). Right now I have 

 

Math HL: 7
Chemistry HL: 7

Physics HL: 7

Economics HL: 7

English A Literature SL: 6

Chinese SL: 6

 

From this i guess the hardest was probably Chinese SL, because it is a very hard subject especially for me. 

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I have a lot of the same HLs as you do (Math, Econ and Chem) and so I'll relay the advice I've received on the same on to you. I can't say much about HL Physics, other than the fact that I've heard it's a very dry subject with a lot of math. 

 

Math is apparently one of, if not the most difficult HL subjects you can take. It has very difficult concepts coupled with even tougher questions. All in all it's said to be manageable if you like math and are willing to put in time and effort to practice it. It also doesn't hurt to be good at it.

 

Chemistry is the awesome science, and furthermore, it's essential for admission at most engineering courses, even in the US, where there are no "set" entry requirements. It apparently has a lot of content and can be confusing at times, because a rule for say, metals will have 40 exceptions and you'll have to know all of them and be able to apply them, at least this is what I've been told. There are also key words you have to use in answers, which are important because without the key words you won't get marks in tests and exams. 

 

 

Economics is apparently a very easy subject if:

1) You can write essays decently

2) You don't get fazed by graphs 

3) You have a sound logical and mathematical base 

 

With regard to universities, I'm told that in Australia, you do the IB exams, get your grades and if they meet the entrance requirements at x or y course you basically just walk in with the fees and your grades. I'm probably very wrong in my description but I think the general idea is that your final grades decide whether or not you get in. With that in mind, just identify which course you like best, find out the requirements, and work towards the exams so you definitely get in. 

 

 

With regard to MIT, Stanford and other similar-tier universities, at least in the USA, admission requirements are much more complex. You would need great grades all year round (not just in your final exams) and you would need great extracurriculars, quite probably even beyond CAS, you would need brilliant essays, and you would need to do great in the SAT. And all this basically just gives you a chance. If applying to universities in the USA, make sure you apply to a number of safeties (schools you're statistically overqualified for) and matches (schools you're well matched with statistically) and not just reach schools. And make sure whatever extracurriculars you do, you really enjoy and believe in them, for more often than not, they decide whether or not you get in, because just about every single applicant to the best schools in the US has brilliant grades and scores.

 

Finally, do research on universities before applying- it's not just a place to get a degree from, it's where you live for 4 years and is quite possibly the single largest investment you and your family will make for a good while. A lot could still go wrong even if you do research and find a place which seems great, but anything that goes wrong should not be because you didn't do proper research before committing to a university. 

 

I hope all this is helpful. :D

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Hey everyone! Thank you so much for spending your time and giving me some really valuable advice ;)

I feel a bit better now. Just asking, if someone did the same combo as I'm doing (HL Maths, HL Chemistry, HL Physics, HL Economics), could you please give me any resources, documents, tips or anything I could use to improve myself (especially for HL maths)?

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A friend of mine took 4 HL's, Math, Chemistry, Physics and German B and he was able to survive (3 7's, 6 in Math). I guess that it is possible but it requires a lot of dedication and time. It also helps if one of your HL's is a bit 'easier', i.e. he was practically fluent in German. 

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I have the exact same combination so let me give you the breakdown:- 

 

HL Mathematics - It really is not that hard as it sounds ( but it's good that universities think that :P ), but it is rigorous and requires practice. A lot of practice. I use the Oxford math book, so all I do is really just go through the concepts ( they put it plain and simple, it's intriguing ) and do the Review exercises at the end. But the most crucial part is doing the IB QuestionBank Mathematics 3rd and 4th edition questions ( these are questions from past papers ) and attempting to do the past papers themselves in the given time limit ( the time limit is very hard to handle at first, but you'll get better with practice, it's for your first 2 papers 120 marks in 120 minutes ) . 

 

HL Physics - Ahh, this guy can be very painful at times. I bought the Tsokos book, big mistake. Everything is way too freaking complicated in there ( I dont find the concepts clear, unnecessarily lengthy) so I use Pearson Bacc. and some other reference books ( Though i do use the Tsokos book for their numericals, you should too ) . In general Pearson for concepts and Tsokos for numericals. And then the usual, IB QuestionBank and Past papers. 

 

HL Chemistry - Dont buy any book other than Pearson Chemistry. It is really a very well done book, everything is in there. Just learn the concepts and do the questions at the back + IB QuestionBank + Past papers

 

HL Economics - This is a bit different from the others. It is a rather tiring subject, there is a lot of essay writing response questions. You have to get used to the format of answering these questions. You normally have 10 mark and 15 mark questions for your Eco Paper 1 and all questions are concept based. You ll never get a definition in one of these questions, instead you might be asked to evaluate something like raising the taxi fares from a microeconomic perspective. So you need to practice these kind of questions, the format I use is ( DEED : Definition, Elaboration, Example and diagram ) . Yes, the diagram is crucial in Economics, ALWAYS PUT ONE and tie it in to your answer. Make sure you give good examples too. The above one is for the 10 markers. For the 15 markers follow ( DEEDC: same as above, just add a conclusion to end ) . Paper 2 is based on case studies, one from Developmental economics and one from international trade, so again, practice. Each is 20 points ( but these are broken down into smaller questions ) , these are a lot easier, as there are a couple of definitions but application of the situation in the question is tough so do practice a lot. Paper 3 is numericals !! Sheesh, there are no essay type questions here thankfully, just a lot of calculations. 

 

I recommend Pearson Bacc. Economics for studying Eco HL. 

 

You can get the question banks from : http://torrentz.in/search?f=IB+Questionbank+

 

All IB Past papers : http://international-baccalaureate-resources.blogspot.in/ 

( Scroll down under the recent posts tab ) 

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