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Course selection please help!

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hi IB people,

i'm starting ib1 in september and i'm still deciding what courses i should take. so far, i chose english HL, french SL, psychology SL, chem HL, bio HL, math HL, EE, TOK.

i'm a science and math person so i'm pretty sure that i'll do well in chem, bio, and math(around 6 to 7). however, not so sure about eng/french/psy(maybe 5-6)

i want to study medicine after high school in canada or in the states. i'm thinking about going to UoT, mcgill, UBC or good medical universities in california after high school.

so, i have few questions that i had always wanted to ask :)

1) consider my situation, should i take physics sl for my third science? or should i just take regular phy 11&12 and have a spare block?

2) what do i have to get in SAT1 to get accepted into california public universities(UCLA, UC berkeley, UC san diego)?

3) which university is better? UoT, McGill, or UBC?

4) what kind of extracurricular activity and volunteering should i do? i'm not very sportive... :(

5) how can i prepare for ib1 this summer? i did pre-ib 9&10

6) i'm attending a medicine youth summer camp in UoT this summer, and planning to attend college summer course next year in a california university. would that increase my admission rate and is that a good way to spend my summer? and i'm going to volunteer at children's summer camps in august.

7) and lastly, when should i take SAT1 and SAT2? (pretty confident about SAT2 math level2 and chemistry or biology... but i only got 1800 in a SAT1 practice test)

please answer my questions :D i'm looking forward to my first year in the actual IB program :D

your help would be greatly appreciated!! :D

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1) consider my situation, should i take physics sl for my third science? or should i just take regular phy 11&12 and have a spare block?

You're already studying Chemistry and Biology at HL, along with Psychology, so why make it harder? Taking all three sciences AND Math even at SL is challenging. I suggest you take regular physics, as that is what I will be starting next year. For the U.S. (not sure about Canada) as long as you've shown an interest in difficult classes such as physics, it's good for your application.

2) what do i have to get in SAT1 to get accepted into california public universities(UCLA, UC berkeley, UC san diego)?

There are various sites to help you with this. Use Google as a guide to find "SAT scores of UCLA" or Collegeboard.

3) which university is better? UoT, McGill, or UBC?

That is a personal question and will vary from student to student. It also varies in what you want to study, so obviously medicine would be important. However, do keep in mind you will not be studying medicine per say upon your acceptance into these schools. You will have to study 4 years (3 years if you IB credits carry over) a major, such as Chemistry, Biology, or BioChem. Then you will apply to medical school (which is even more competitive than just college admissions) in which your study for medicine begins.

4) what kind of extracurricular activity and volunteering should i do? i'm not very sportive... :(

Find something you're interested in and stick with it. If you like anime, start an anime club. Schools like seeing you do things you have a passion for, not things you simply do just for college. I would recommend volunteering at a hospital nearby if they permit it. My town's hospital has a program set up so students who are interested in medical can volunteer on the floors and rotate between patients. Don't do 7 or 8 different clubs. Do 1 or 2 and have a leadership position in them.

5) how can i prepare for ib1 this summer? i did pre-ib 9&10

  • Read all of your books for your A1 class.
  • Study some idoimatic expressions for your foreign language class
  • Brush up on your Bio or Chem if needbe, but do not actually stress over it yet!
  • Brush up on your math

6) i'm attending a medicine youth summer camp in UoT this summer, and planning to attend college summer course next year in a california university. would that increase my admission rate and is that a good way to spend my summer? and i'm going to volunteer at children's summer camps in august.

Yes! You are doing more than an average student who spends their summer sitting around, doing nothing AND you are showing an interest in medical studies.

7) and lastly, when should i take SAT1 and SAT2? (pretty confident about SAT2 math level2 and chemistry or biology... but i only got 1800 in a SAT1 practice test)

Colleges say you should take the SATI in the May of your junior year and in October in your senior year.

However, I honestly believe you should take the SAT1 in any testing date between October through December of your junior year, again (if your scores are too low) in the spring (April-June, if it does not interfere with IB testing too much), and, if you really must, again in October of the senior year. As you can see, you will get an additional time to test.

I got an 1820 on my first real SAT1 in October, improved to 2010 in December. All it takes is determination and studying.

As far as SAT2, take it at the end of IB1. That way, you have more time to actually learn the information, as IB somewhat loosely ties into the SAT2s. However, DO NOT - NOT - rely on your IB courses to teach you all you need to know. IB leaves some stuff out that's tested in the SAT2s, so, while I suggest taking the SAT2 tests that correspond with your IB subjects, be prepared to do some extra studying.

Since you are a sciency person, take Math Level 2 if you are taking Math HL OR Math Level 1 if you are taking Math SL. As for your second SAT2, take either Bio or Chem, whichever one you will need to do the less studying for. You only need 2 SAT2s, so unless you want to stress even further, only worry about 2.

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You could try dropping out English HL, also, i think Physics would be a little bit overkill, most medical universities can accept you with just 2 sciences.

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1) consider my situation, should i take physics sl for my third science? or should i just take regular phy 11&12 and have a spare block?

I'm taking Physics HL and Chem SL at the moment, so considering the situation you're in I would recommend not to overload yourself with science. I can see that you are very into science, but you will need something extra to take your head in a little rest. Though, it really depends on what kind of medicine you want to study. My mother did chem and bio, but when she applied for jobs she found herself in need of physics knowledge. Luckily for her she only needed some and took a summer curse if I remember correctly.

I know it might be a little early, but even after IB you have chances of taking extra subjects in different ways. Yes, it might look better on the IBDP.

2) what do i have to get in SAT1 to get accepted into california public universities(UCLA, UC berkeley, UC san diego)?

On the SAT's homepage you can search for the different colleges/universities that you would like to apply to and see what they want. Officially, no university has a requirement of any SAT/ACT score. But due to the extremely competitive it has become it's always a bonus to have either. I'm sure you'll find what you need there ;)

4) what kind of extracurricular activity and volunteering should i do? i'm not very sportive... :(

I don't know what the school offers, but honestly? Do whatever you feel like. This is for you, your choice, your life. There are no hard facts on this, I'm sorry..

7) and lastly, when should i take SAT1 and SAT2? (pretty confident about SAT2 math level2 and chemistry or biology... but i only got 1800 in a SAT1 practice test)

I'm in my first year and am taking the ACT in two weeks. If I do well enough on it I won't do it again. That would only be a waste of money. If I don't do as good as I please, I still have the chance to take it again after the summer. So I would strongly recommend for you to do it as early (but not too early, you must have been able to learned something of the curses beforehand), so you'll have the opportunity of retaking it.

Good luck!

I'm glad you're looking forward to it. One thing I've learned, which I really appreciate is the society that IB creates. All the complains, the pain, the frustration and the joy of finally being done with something big, it's a really great feeling. And whatever searchprogram you use, whenever you search for IB you'll find a frustrated student ripping out his/her hair because of some annoying assessment due in a couple of hours..

I hope you enjoy it as much as you can!

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1) consider my situation, should i take physics sl for my third science? or should i just take regular phy 11&12 and have a spare block?

Take regular science. To Canadian universities it doesn't make much difference if you do a third IB science or a third regular science. It would probably be a lot for you if you took another IB course.

2) what do i have to get in SAT1 to get accepted into california public universities(UCLA, UC berkeley, UC san diego)?

No idea.

3) which university is better? UoT, McGill, or UBC?

It depends on what you want to study and which university 'fits' better with you.

4) what kind of extracurricular activity and volunteering should i do? i'm not very sportive...

If you like medicine you could try to help out at a hospital somewhere. They may have long waiting lists though so check the availability of positions. For extracurricular activities, do something you like.

5) how can i prepare for ib1 this summer? i did pre-ib 9&10

You could brush up on math if you're not good at it. HOwever I think you should relax and not worry abour IB before it starts. Just have fun, relax, and enjoy your summer because the following summer your teachers will likely assign work to do.

6) i'm attending a medicine youth summer camp in UoT this summer, and planning to attend college summer course next year in a california university. would that increase my admission rate and is that a good way to spend my summer? and i'm going to volunteer at children's summer camps in august.

If you're interested in medicine you could definitely benefit from doing something like this as opposed to vegetating on a couch all day during the summer. It could help with admissions too. I volunteered at summer camps too and it was fine, at least it was better than my other alternative of sitting at home doing nothing.

7) and lastly, when should i take SAT1 and SAT2? (pretty confident about SAT2 math level2 and chemistry or biology... but i only got 1800 in a SAT1 practice test)

Don't know.

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