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georgedodia

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  • Exams
    May 2020
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    China

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  1. I completed a draft of my math HL IA on group theory and its application on the Rubik's Cube. My class didn't study group theory as part of the course, so my teacher needed me to include and explain definitions from group theory, including the axioms, homomorphisms, cosets, Lagrange's Theorem, etc. The rest of my IA, after the definitions and explanations, has to do with applying group theory to the Rubik's Cube, which was all fine. The problem is, my IA is currently at a 35% similarity rating on Turnitin, and my teacher told me I needed to lower it. All definitions were cited correctly and paraphrased, so I didn't copy and paste anything, and I included my own examples for each definition/concept, but my teacher still told me that i'd be better to lower it. Is there any other way for me to lower the similarity, especially considering most of the similarity arises from definitions?
  2. Hi, As the college application process nears, I'm getting increasingly concerned with the state of my extracurricular activities. I'm getting the impression that they're all over the place, and that they don't indicate a particular passion for anything. I feel like I've fallen into the trap of being that student who does tons of random ECs for the sake of doing tons of ECs, with nothing to show for it. Here's my list of standout ECs so far: - Student council PR officer (11th grade + maybe 12th) - Co-president of this service club called TESOL, where we teach English to Chinese staff and their families at our school (I go to an international school in Beijing) (10th and 11th grades). This was a great experience in that it taught me how to work with other people, but also how to build something from the ground up; I was part of the executive team for the first and second years of the club. We had a goal to to build the club's reputation and set it on track to grow into one of the iconic service clubs at the school; it's something we're still working on, but something we're definitely getting closer to accomplishing. - Co-founder of a Python programming club where we teach middle schoolers how to program in Python - Teaching position in a high school programming club a more advanced level (10, 11); will be promoted to co-president in 12th grade - Worked with some Microsoft engineers to create a map app (that's kind of a stretch; although it's technically true, I don't feel like I gained many valuable experiences from this; it was mostly us doing work and them critiquing it) (10th grade). Probably won't be including this in my apps, but I thought I'd mention it here just in case. - YouTube channel where I post transcriptions of songs by Pentatonix (my favorite band, anyone else??). This is something I am very proud of and hold very dear; many choir directors and a cappella groups have reached out to me thanking me for my transcriptions, sending me performances and gifts and whatnot, it's all very heartwarming. Maybe not important, but the channel has 3,600 subscribers as of today; I hope to surpass 5 or 6 thousand by the time apps roll around. (started 9th grade) - Rubik's Cube, aka speedcubing, as a hobby (This has become a big part of my identity. I've done pretty well at competitions, and this is definitely something I enjoy doing in my free time.) I'm not really too concerned with GPA or SAT/ACT scores. So, could this list of extracurriculars potentially hurt my application? I plan on studying something like neuroscience in college, and then going to med school (computer science/programming is fun as a hobby, but it's not something I would study in university. I find that neuroscience is one of the only things I've wanted to keep learning more about ever since I was a child), but nothing in my ECs indicates an outstanding passion or interest in that field. I have tried getting internships at Chinese hospitals, but that's really hard to do here. I'm considering doing a research project for ISEF with my friend next year, but I'm still looking for a topic I could 1. do in China, and 2. actually be passionate about conducting research on, so it's still tentative. Besides, adding even more to my plate might not be good for me (all of the above ECs + Chem, math, bio HL + English and chinese A lang lit, psych SL). The only thing I have to show for a major like neuroscience is my grades in the STEM subjects + a 3-week neuroscience course I took at Columbia in the summer that I enjoyed very much. I'm entering the 11th grade, so I still have time to make some changes. I know I don't need to list every EC, but I'm having trouble deciding which ones to drop. Should I drop some and add new ones, or is this whole situation something I can make up for in my essays? Thanks for everyone's help!
  3. The course selection process for my school is starting in a month, so recently I've been thinking about the IB courses I want to take. I'm eligible to take 4 HLs (based on school GPA requirement), but I'm still not 100% sure on whether or not I want to go for that kind of rigor. I'm planning on studying medicine after high school (I'm genuinely interested in this career, it's not because of my Asian parents lol), in case that makes a difference. I've been considering choosing these courses: - English A Lang/Lit HL (native speaker, English teachers agree that my writing and literary analysis skills are very strong, and it's one of the classes I enjoy more; I don't read as often as I once did, though) - Math HL (Math is one of my strongest subjects and is also my favorite, so I don't plan on dropping this to SL even if it's difficult) - Chemistry HL (again, one of my stronger subjects, but I'm not super experienced and have not yet delved into too many complex topics at school yet) - Biology HL (Ecology is the only branch of biology I have studied at school thus far, and I did extremely well in the course, but I'm not sure if this is a reliable predictor for success in IB bio. I'm interested in the subject, though) - Chinese A Lang/Lit SL (this one is kind of complicated, I've explained it below. I live in China btw) - Psychology SL (I've always been interested in human behavior and neuroscience, so I think I'll enjoy this subject) I'd say I have a pretty good work ethic, but I do occasionally find myself procrastinating lol. I'm working on getting rid of that issue, though. I hold myself to very high standards, so I'm always determined to make sure all the work that I produce is as good as it can be, but that does sort of add unnecessary pressure on me as a student. My main worry for IB is Chinese A. I don't know how or why I'm still studying Chinese at the level I am, it just kind of happened. It has definitely been a challenge to keep my grades in the A-range these last two years. Chinese is the class I'm putting the most time and effort into, but I'm not particularly enjoying it too much. I'm not absolutely terrible at Chinese. I'm definitely fluent when it comes to speaking and listening. I can read and write alright, but nowhere near the level of my English reading/writing. My Chinese class consists of kids who have studied Mandarin at local Chinese schools for most of their lives, whereas I have only ever been to American public schools and international schools. All the Mandarin I know has basically come from my parents (native Chinese) and a few years' worth of Chinese classes at my international school. The problem is that I started learning high-level Chinese without having laid a strong enough foundation. Therefore, there are gaps in my basic knowledge (there are probably a few elementary-level words that I still don't know how to read or write), but I'm still forced to read and analyze complex texts and more despite this. My teacher knows about my background, so she goes easier on me in class and holds me to slightly lower standards compared to the rest of my classmates, but I know that the IB program and exams aren't gonna go easy on me. Nevertheless, I don't really have the option to drop to Chinese B (it does indeed seem too easy for me based on past papers, I'm kind of in a weird spot between B and A in terms of skill level), and my teacher thinks I could get the bilingual diploma with enough effort. I know I could get my Chinese up to par over the summer and during the school year, especially with constant familial support, but I don't know if that's comfortably manageable if I were to take 4 HLs, which I'm seriously considering. Sorry for the tangent, I'll come back to my main question: based on my background, do you think taking 4 HLs is a good idea? I want to maximize rigor and also earn as many college credits as I can, but I wanna remain sane too lol. Sorry for the long post, I'm new to this whole forum thing. Please forgive me if I'm doing anything stupid.
  4. The course selection process for my school is starting in a month, so recently I've been thinking about the IB courses I want to take. I'm eligible to take 4 HLs (based on school GPA requirement), but I'm still not 100% sure on whether or not I want to go for that kind of rigor. I'm planning on studying medicine after high school (I'm genuinely interested in this career, it's not because of my Asian parents lol), in case that makes a difference. I've been considering choosing these courses: - English A Lang/Lit HL (native speaker, English teachers agree that my writing and literary analysis skills are very strong, and it's one of the classes I enjoy more; I don't read as often as I once did, though) - Math HL (Math is one of my strongest subjects and is also my favorite, so I don't plan on dropping this to SL even if it's difficult) - Chemistry HL (again, one of my stronger subjects, but I'm not super experienced and have not yet delved into too many complex topics at school yet) - Biology HL (Ecology is the only branch of biology I have studied at school thus far, and I did extremely well in the course, but I'm not sure if this is a reliable predictor for success in IB bio. I'm interested in the subject, though) - Chinese A Lang/Lit SL (this one is kind of complicated, I've explained it below. I live in China btw) - Psychology SL (I've always been interested in human behavior and neuroscience, so I think I'll enjoy this subject) I'd say I have a pretty good work ethic, but I do occasionally find myself procrastinating lol. I'm working on getting rid of that issue, though. I hold myself to very high standards, so I'm always determined to make sure all the work that I produce is as good as it can be, but that does sort of add unnecessary pressure on me as a student. My main worry for IB is Chinese A. I don't know how or why I'm still studying Chinese at the level I am, it just kind of happened. It has definitely been a challenge to keep my grades in the A-range these last two years. Chinese is the class I'm putting the most time and effort into, but I'm not particularly enjoying it too much. I'm not absolutely terrible at Chinese. I'm definitely fluent when it comes to speaking and listening. I can read and write alright, but nowhere near the level of my English reading/writing. My Chinese class consists of kids who have studied Mandarin at local Chinese schools for most of their lives, whereas I have only ever been to American public schools and international schools. All the Mandarin I know has basically come from my parents (native Chinese) and a few years' worth of Chinese classes at my international school. The problem is that I started learning high-level Chinese without having laid a strong enough foundation. Therefore, there are gaps in my basic knowledge (there are probably a few elementary-level words that I still don't know how to read or write), but I'm still forced to read and analyze complex texts and more despite this. My teacher knows about my background, so she goes easier on me in class and holds me to slightly lower standards compared to the rest of my classmates, but I know that the IB program and exams aren't gonna go easy on me. Nevertheless, I don't really have the option to drop to Chinese B (it does indeed seem too easy for me based on past papers, I'm kind of in a weird spot between B and A in terms of skill level), and my teacher thinks I could get the bilingual diploma with enough effort. I know I could get my Chinese up to par over the summer and during the school year, especially with constant familial support, but I don't know if that's comfortably manageable if I were to take 4 HLs, which I'm seriously considering. Sorry for the tangent, I'll come back to my main question: based on my background, do you think taking 4 HLs is a good idea? I want to maximize rigor and also earn as many college credits as I can, but I wanna remain sane too lol. Sorry for the long post, I'm new to this whole forum thing. Forgive me if I'm doing anything stupid.
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