Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Samiam13

Calculus vs. Math Studies URGENT

I'm a junior and I want to go into the medical field after I graduate... I'm currently not doing so well in pre-calculus becuase I don't really have the time to devote to it to really learn it, so I was thinking about switching to Math Studies.

Both math teachers, my principle, and my guidance counselor say it would be fine for me to switch over, but I don't want it to interfere with my college admissions.

Furthermore, I would like to get into a school in the UK, so do they require Calculus? I've looked at the school I want to go to and they only say that they accept the IB diploma, but not much more.

I know I will eventually have to take Calculus to get my medical degree, but do I have to take it now to get into a good university or a UK university?

Please write back quickly, because this is URGENT!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which British university do you have your eyes on?

Calculus isn't an IB subject. It's either Maths Studies/Maths SL/Maths HL. I'm assuming that you mean Maths SL when you say Calculus. Maths Studies should be fine and acceptable to gain admission to any Medicine program in the UK. Another requirement would be Biology and Chemistry. Chemistry is imperative at higher level while Biology can be accepted at Standard Level for some schools. I quote UCL in their requirements here:

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is acceptable as an entry qualification. Candidates must offer 3 subjects including Chemistry at Higher Level plus 3 subjects at Standard Level.

Biology must be studied at either Higher or Standard Level (Higher Level is preferred for 2010 entry and will be a requirement for 2011 entry). If Mathematics and English Language are not offered as part of the diploma, they must be offered at UK GCSE Level at grade B or above. The standard grade requirement for the IB is 6,6,6 at Higher Level, with 38 points overall.

Every university has a different set of requirements from its students. Furthermore, be advised that unlike the US, medicine starts as an undergraduate program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, it's UCL that I want to get into. You assume correctly in saying that Math HL is Calculus, because in my school you either choose to take Math Analysis junior year and Math Studies senior year, or pre-calc junior and calc senior.

As for the chemistry requirement, I'm currently in Bio but I was going to take chemistry over the summer at my local community college. Do you think the credits will transfer over?

I've been reading in other forums that a lot of universities don't qualify math studies as a "real" math course, which makes me wonder if I'm stuck in Calc if I even want a chance of getting into a good university overseas or even here in the US.

Thanks so much for replying!! I've been really stressing about this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, it's UCL that I want to get into. You assume correctly in saying that Math HL is Calculus, because in my school you either choose to take Math Analysis junior year and Math Studies senior year, or pre-calc junior and calc senior.

As for the chemistry requirement, I'm currently in Bio but I was going to take chemistry over the summer at my local community college. Do you think the credits will transfer over?

I've been reading in other forums that a lot of universities don't qualify math studies as a "real" math course, which makes me wonder if I'm stuck in Calc if I even want a chance of getting into a good university overseas or even here in the US.

Thanks so much for replying!! I've been really stressing about this.

Ask Sandwich on the forum, she's a current first year UCL Medic.

As for the credits, they'd only 'transfer' if you can prove to UCL, or wherever you choose to apply, that the Chemistry course is roughly equal to either A-Level or IB Chemistry HL. Chemistry is essential to being admitted to any Medicine course; it's more important than Biology.

You'd need Maths HL for any reputable business/engineering course in the UK. For Arts-y courses or Medicine where you're admittedly not using as much maths as in an Economics degree, you can apply with Maths Studies. My personal opinion however would be to do Maths SL at the very least because that shows that you have a more analytical mind. That and you will have to do Maths later on at university, and it'd be much harder to cope then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About math studies versus math SL/HL... Precalculus is pretty much an amalgamation of 8-10th grade math but in a little bit more depth. It won't really indicate your intuitiveness for calculus, BUT if you can't spend time to study and get things right in precal, then who's to say that you're going to get it right in calculus? From what I know so far, the first semester of calc is less of "how much do you know" and more of "can you follow the steps to show what you know." It's definitions over clever insight, and it'll definitely get harder, but you need that basic foundation to go on.

I really suggest that you find the time to devote to maths because [and I imagine this to be universal] learning something as fundamental as calculus in secondary school and learning it in uni are going to be two vastly different experiences. You're probably not going to be lucky and get a small-ish class where the teacher is as accessible to you in uni as he/she is in high school. It's different when you already have a foundation and are doing Calc 2 or 3 with multivariable stuff, but if you're unable to get that solid groundwork, then the next levels will only emphasize your cracks, right?

So anyways, I suggest that if you're capable of doing well in precalculus to spend the necessary time and go down that path.

Just in case you didn't know, math SL requires pretty basic calculus. I'm not sure about HL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all!

My guidance councelor just emailed me back though and says that we don't even offer Math HL at my school, that both pre-calc and calc are standard level as weel as Math analysis and studies...

That seems kinda screwed up that they wouldn't be considered HL, but I guess now my decision is easier becuase it doesn't matter what math I go into becuase they are all on the same level!

I do agree about staying in it to get the foundations of calc down though... but again I suppose I could take it over the summer at my community college and get a higher grade on my IB exam. Honestly, it's all about the points right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Math studies and math SL are really different. Like for the US, you could go into a college's math or science department without taking calculus [if you do have access to a calc course], but usually people don't, especially at more selective institutions.

And I don't really understand... you want to take Calculus at your community college in the summer before your second year of IB or after the second year? I don't see the point after the second year because you'll be done with your exams, and I don't know why you'd rather take calculus in summer of 2010 rather than from fall to spring of 2010-2011. Wouldn't the summer one be harder because it's earlier and you have less time? Also, if you were registered for math studies and wanted to take the math HL test or something as a certificate... well now I'm really confused about what you want to do. :)

Like Aboo said, make sure that UCL sees whatever you're doing as equivalent to math HL [if that's what you're trying to do]. I don't think that the admissions officers would see a college intro level of calculus as sufficient, but don't quote me on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand how some schools are allowed to teach the IB when they clearly have no clue of what the correct terminology for subjects are. Sounds to me that your 'pre-calc' and 'calc' come together as Maths SL, which is what I said in the first place, not Maths HL. Most American schools don't even teach Maths HL and instead choose to test in Maths SL a month early.

'Maths Analysis' sounds like Maths Studies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, sorry Aboo, I meant to say that calculus and pre-calc are SL... From what my guidance counselor says, all IB maths offered at my school are SL, and the only difference between taking the pre-calc and calc route vs. the Math analysis route is that they are different approaches to IB math SL...

I'm not sure my guidance counselor is correct though, because if I take Math Analysis now then I will take math Studies senior year, which is not SL. I asked some other people about this, and they all say that my schools Math Studies and Math analysis are standard level, same as pre-calc and calc. This seems kinda screwed up to me becuase apparently math studies is not considered SL anywhere else.

Well, if I don't need to take calc and pre-calc right now because I will be accepted into pre-med programs without it, then I'm not going to take it and get a higher grade on my IB exam.

What I was talking about with taking pre-calc and calc over the summer is that I want to take them at my community college so that I still have the calc basics when I go to university, and the class sizes are smaller and cost less at my community college.

I need to email my current pre-calc teacher to make sure my IB guidance counselor has her stuff straight about this whole fiasco though...

Again, thanks for the help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

Anyways, yeah, math studies is standard level, as is maths SL [obviously haha].

Summer calculus course makes sense to me now, but why/how would it cost you less to take an extra math course over the summer in college? I don't see it, but it's not for me, so that's just fine. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0