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Mathemagician

Subjects help- serious problem

Hello guys,

 

So I'm going into the IBD Progam this upcoming September, and just this month my school decided to remove HL Math from the IB Program (which I was taking), because everyone in our school who was in it were pretty much failing or barely passing (they said they are not changing this decision). This removal of HL Math effected my entire IB schedule. Prior to the removal, I was taking HL Math, Chemistry, and English, and SL Physics, History, and French. As HL Math is removed, I will now have to take SL Math, which means I need to remove one of my SL's. Also I have to add in that SL I remove in for my HL spot (after HL Math was removed). So I basically need to switch HL Math and a SL, so I'll be taking that SL at HL, and HL Math at SL Math, if that makes sense. The problem is- the only two HL options I have are HL History and HL Biology. I cannot switch in SL Physics with SL Math, and take HL Physics, because my school isn't offering HL Physics. So there are two scenarios- 1) I can switch SL History with SL Math, so then I will be taking HL History and SL Math. However, I do not want to do this as I do not like History very much and taking it at HL would be a nightmare. The other case is- 2) if I switch SL Physics in for SL Math and take HL Biology (cannot switch in SL Math for SL French as a second language is required). But I do not want to do this either, as I hate Biology. I was leaning towards scenario 1 because I want to take Physics, and in scenario 2 I won't be able to do that. However, even in scenario 1 I'll be forced to take History at HL, which I hate and plus it won't benefit me in any way as in University I want to study math/science.

 

I know I wrote a lot, but I'm really worried right now, because I have no idea what to do. The only two options I have are both not suitable for me in different ways, and I'm stuck between the two. If someone can shine some light on this issue that'd be great.

 

Thank you.

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Sucks that your school has such a limited range of subjects. If you want to study sciences, it would make a lot more sense to do the HL Biology route.

 

Part of it I suppose it down to deciding which you dislike more - Biology or History! Both require a lot of memorising (Biology more so than History) but History also requires some fairly heavy essay writing. You're doing HL English so presumably you're quite a confident essay writer. It really depends - if you're great at essays then History might be an easier 7. If you have a great memory, Biology might be an easier 7. If you're good with both then it's either whichever you find more interesting OR say that Biology will be more relevant to what you want to pursue in the future. You could even ask people in the year above you or look at past results to see how good the grades/teaching is for those subjects.

 

Or complain loudly enough that your school re-instates HL Maths :P However if everybody was struggling with it and you don't require HL Maths as a strict thing for Uni, perhaps it's for the best. A whole class struggling generally means a god-awful teacher, and that always makes a subject hard. I assume you don't have an equivalent level option available other than IB which would let you take the subjects you want...? I know the IB is looked on very favourably in Canada but if you have a non-IB route that will let you do Maths, Physics, Chemistry and generally the things you want to do, and be rated at the same level as IB, that might actually be the best idea. If you were in the UK, I'd say take A Levels.

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Hi,

 

Regarding the essay writing- by all means I am no good essay writer. I'm being forced to take HL English as in most Canadian IB Schools HL English is a must, unless you are not good in speaking English or something like that (which I do not qualify under). So if HL History requires a lot of essay writing I won't do too well. On the other hand, you said HL Biology requires a lot of memorizing. I am good at memorizing, but Biology bores me to death! I do not want to pursue Biology in University nor History, so taking them at HL is pretty much pointless, but I have to take one of the two. If I take HL Biology I cannot take SL Physics (according to Scenario 2), which I want to, as I want to pursue something like engineering which requires Physics. If I do that I'll be screwed taking HL History. I was thinking about something though- I could take HL History and SL Physics for my first IB year, and then IF my school decides to offer HL Physics in a year (which they might) then I can switch to HL Physics and SL History in my second IB year. If that does happen will that make things harder for me? I mean going from HL History to SL History would be a good thing, but going from SL Physics (year 1) to HL Physics (year 2) might be too much, as I would be behind everyone else, wouldn't it?

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I guess you can also move to another school with a broader range of subjects or do a Math HL course online (at Pamoja Education, for example) as I wouldn't say that any of the scenarios you've described above is really an option for you.

 

I don't really think that staying at your school is worth the price of doing an HL subject you hate. However, if you're good at memorization but not such a great essay writer then I guess it would still be better to choose Biology HL. History is quite demanding and requires good writing skills. You can't really excel in History without that.

 

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but if you're still going to do IB1 (as you've written above) then aren't you going to take exams in May 2016 instead of 2015?

 

I am also pretty sure you can talk to your coordinator and insist on keeping Math HL. Just make a lot of noise. :P

 

Good luck on your choices. I commiserate with you. This situation really sucks. :(

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I hope I could move to an area with another IB School, but unfortunately I cannot do that due to financial problems and such. Anyways I guess I'll just try to convince the IB Coordinator to bring HL Math back, or find a way so I could study it. If that is not possible then I'll ask him if it's possible to bring HL Physics in next year. If he can do that then I guess for year 1 I'll take HL History and SL Physics and year 2 I'll change to HL Physics and SL History (if that'll work out). Also, I am graduating in 2016, but IB exams are at the end of each IB year, so I'll be taking my first exams in 2015. That's why I put 2015.

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I know that there are HL Maths Online courses - I am not sure how they work but doing that would be a good idea I feel.

 

Also at my school we basically do the SL course first then fo HL extentions and topics in the 2nd year of IB anyway, and if your school is kind enough to allow that then you wont have an issue with HL physics starting in your 2nd year.

 

Also, what about HL French?

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I just talked to my IB Coordinator today, and he said I might be able to take HL Physics either in my IB year 1 or 2, which is certainly good news, because this way I can still take Physics and not have to worry about Biology and History at HL. However, I've heard HL Physics is very, VERY hard, so I'm a bit scared there. Especially since the new syllabus is starting next year and the first exams for the new syllabus will be in 2016 (when I write my HL exams). That scares me even more! :(

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I just talked to my IB Coordinator today, and he said I might be able to take HL Physics either in my IB year 1 or 2, which is certainly good news, because this way I can still take Physics and not have to worry about Biology and History at HL. However, I've heard HL Physics is very, VERY hard, so I'm a bit scared there. Especially since the new syllabus is starting next year and the first exams for the new syllabus will be in 2016 (when I write my HL exams). That scares me even more! :(

 

Hey, I'm doing HL Physics and it really isnt all that harder than SL. It is just more work than SL. And because of that you need to keep your mind open about where formulas can be incorporated or how to manipulate them for different types of questions but that isnt as bad as people say.

 

In the end, you find it harder if you dont practice or dont study. For example, I find Chem SL even harder than Physics HL but I know that I have that view because I dont spend half the time I spend on Physics. If you ask questions - keep pushing to get it done, you will be able to get a 6 at minimum. Also, I've heard that usually when a new course starts, the first few years its comparatively easier to the previous year and then gets harder. I wonder if that is true or not but it can serve as hope I suppose?

 

Good Luck!

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