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akyt

IB subject choices! Help please!

hii im really confused about what to take for my IB subjects... i want to take computer/IT related courses in uni at the UK...

BUT... my maths isn't that great.. its just average.. probably B-A for IGCSE and ive seen that many uk unis REQUIRE at least maths HL grade 6 for computer related courses...especially the good ones..which i'm guessing will be a struggle for me...

so far i've decided on

English A1 SL

Chinese B HL

Geography HL

the thing is.. i think im more suited for Maths SL from all the posts ive read about Maths HL being really tough...but the uni requirements... also my english sucks.. worse than maths and science.. so switching that to HL is not an option either..

also since i'm studying at hk... ive a feeling the unis won't like me taking chinese B as one of my HLs but i don't think i can manage A2 chinese as my chinese level is not good enough.

im probably going to be taking chemistry and physics as my last 2 subjects which will mean between maths, chemistry and physics... i need 2 to be HL. the thing is i'm more interested in physics but i'm relli not that strong in it. i'm probably of a B-A standard for my IGCSE double science. also...my school does not offer computer science! so thats not an option either....

should i just take a-levels somewhere else...? my school is only offering IB......

thanks guys in advance!!

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Well it's hard for us to say what you ought to do in that we can't really know how able you are at each of these subjects, whether your school will let you take Chinese B if you're technically something of a native speaker etc. The most obvious problem is that for what you want to do you need to have good mathematical skills, and if you're unsure about both mathematical subjects (Maths HL and Physics) you may find yourself in for a tricky ride both during the IB and of course if you get into a computer science degree but have problems with your Maths.

It is certainly the case that you can make improvements to these things over the course of the IB - you can get the hang of Physics and Maths - but you might want to perhaps stop and think about your choice of what you want to do. If you did A Levels you'd surely come across the same problems doing Maths (and I assume to be competitive you'd also want to look at taking Further Maths...?), as although the course is easier than IB HL, definitely, it's also reasonably challenging (with with Further Maths not too far off IB HL).

If you're really honestly uncertain about your Maths skills and your abilities in some of your other subjects too, I would take A Levels as the whole thing is far more conducive to being able to get good grades. There's no point in doing the IB if it's going to potentially cause you big problems (after all, it'd be a waste of two years if you couldn't move onto the further education you want afterwards).

Ultimately the IB does rest on all the subjects you take, and if you're really lacking in confidence for half of them, you may find it tough (and A Levels would be better for you). At the same time, there's a difference between lacking in confidence and being a bit unsure but still capable, and then lacking in confidence and being hopeless. Your grades don't indicate you're hopeless (although for things like HL Maths it is going to be very challenging even if you had the top grades, so there's definitely a lot of effort which would have to do into it) but only you know whether you'd be able to cope and what level you're actually at. If you think there's room to learn and raise your game, give it a shot (although taking A Levels would be giving it a shot and playing it safe, in my opinion). ;)

If you want to do computer science you will need HL Maths, though, and for the record HL Physics will probably complement it better than HL Chemistry, so if that's where your decision problems lie you'd have to go for HL Maths, Physics, Geography and SL English, Chinese B and Chemistry. The University probably won't be too troubled by your Chinese B thing versus Chinese A2, although your school might want to test you as it is important to try and prevent fluent speakers taking their own language at a non-testing level, but might be troubled if it's potentially an easy 7 for you and is one of your HLs. Taking Geography at HL would make more sense.

No idea if any of that was helpful, but if I were you the first step I would take is contacting my GCSE teachers. You should ask them whether they feel you'd be capable of handling the material for any subjects you're unsure of, and to a large extent I'd rely on their advice. If you're unsure about several of your subjects, do consider A Levels as unlike the IB you won't be forced into showing up your weak points with courses unnecessary for computer science.

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If you're sure that you won't be able to do Maths at HL than I'd suggest switching to A-levels and taking math there (although it is probably about the same difficulty). The reason is that, from what I've read, you're having difficulty picking your subjects for HL, and in the end, you might have to choose subjects that you aren't strong in (i.e. Physics HL, Chemistry etc.), and this will affect your overall IB score. Also, remember that A-levels do not have stuff like CAS and TOK, so you'd probably have more time to focus on your subjects if you do decide to take the difficult ones at A-level. I think this would be the best way to play it: safe.

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I agree with Taigan.

If you're struggling with Maths HL and you're certain that the University requires higher maths for the course you want to do, I would advise switching to A-levels as well.

Which University are you wishing to go to? As I know most Computer Courses at Universities prefer higher level Maths or a Maths A-level, but there may be some that have exceptions.

Sorry if I have been confusing, but overall I agree with Taigan, if you're sure of the course you want to take at University, and HL Maths is going to be a struggle, it may be in your best interests to switch to A-levels.

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thanks for the replies guys! ive decided to stay at my school and try out IB. i don't really feel like leaving my school and friends...

i will try to take :

HL Maths

HL Geography

HL Physics/Chemistry

SL English

SL Physics/Chemistry

HL/SL Chinese

should i take HL physics or HL chemistry? i heard HL physics is harder...which combination would be easier:

HL physics + SL chemistry or

HL chemistry + SL physics?

thanks!!

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I don't take either of those classes, but my friends do, and I think HL Chemistry and SL Physics might be easier. Geography HL is the best :( I love it, it's my fave subject :)

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