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Physics SL or Chemistry SL

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I do not want to major in anthything related to science in the future. However, I am obliged to take one science. I want to know, Which one is easier, Physics SL or Chemistry SL?

In order to recieve a 7 for SL Chemistry, You need 80+(aprox)

For Physics, a 7 is 68+(Aprox)

Logically, Physics seems easier.

What are your opinions?

Thank you! :D

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I take physics and it can at times be hard work but i also find it incredibly interesting. It relates so much to modern day life and gives you a wide range of understanding. You will need to consolidate your notes after every week or so to make sure everything is fresh in your mind, but if you do I'm sure you will do very well!

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IB physics grade boundaries tend to be way lower than the chemistry ones. So, technically, you would get higher marks in physics. But it´s your choice. Physics is much more mathematical than chemistry that mixes memory and some calculations. I took chemistry SL and got 6 and was expecting 4 or 5. good luck! :)

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I am taking Physics HL and Chem SL, and I think Physics is easier even though it's HL. Chem is incredibly hard, even though it's just SL!! I always do better in Physics than Chem, even though I have taken Chem IGCSE before and not Physics -.- maybe this is also due to the lower grade boundaries in physics. but I still disagree that Chem is WAAAAAAAY easier than Physics. if it's way more difficult, then I highly agree.

the chem concepts are harder to understand, IMO. however, if you can memorise things that you don't understand, I think you'll do fine.

in physics, if you don't understand but you know how to calculate stuffs, you can still at least pass. but the calculation in physics sometimes are not easy, not as simple at it seems. you need to think through it and sometimes use two formulas at once.

in terms of the labs, in chem I think there are a lot more choices/variety, but chem labs are so damn complicated (the calculation in DCP).

anyhow, it all depends on your strengths and weaknesses. what are your other subjects and what do you want to study? choose the one that you think will be more useful for you in the future. the difficulty of a subject is highly subjective. which one do you have more experience in? having studied one in more depth than the other might help i.e. might make it easier to you.

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I agree with Desy. I think that chemistry is harder than physics.

I don't know, but may be the people who love math find chemistry harder than physics.

That's my opinion.

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I take both, and i'd say that Chemistry is harder than Phyisics. :)

Chem labs are too hard compared to Phys labs. And i'm also scared about the 80% for a 7. :(

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Didn't take Physics, but I believe chemistry SL is MUCH easier. Also those who did both found chemistry SL much easier, once again SL not HL. Also, chemisty leaves your options open in case you change your mind.

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look t it like this all who support physics are good at math.....i do HL math and chem......i say do CHEM alll my physics friends always complain about how hard it is even standard level......physics pracs are easier but thats where it all stops....unless you are skilled with your maths chemistry is more fun !! and you can score a higher mark :)

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I took Chem HL and Phys SL.....I barely scraped a 7 in Physics while Chem was not as much effort to get the 7. But when I did physics (May 08) - it was the old and more difficult syllabus (the new one seems easier). Either way it depends on your interest. The content in Chem SL is very straightforward and MUCH easier to understand (hence the higher grade boundaries).

Edited by master135

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I am taking Physics HL and Chem SL, and I think Physics is easier even though it's HL. Chem is incredibly hard, even though it's just SL!! I always do better in Physics than Chem, even though I have taken Chem IGCSE before and not Physics -.- maybe this is also due to the lower grade boundaries in physics. but I still disagree that Chem is WAAAAAAAY easier than Physics. if it's way more difficult, then I highly agree.

the chem concepts are harder to understand, IMO. however, if you can memorise things that you don't understand, I think you'll do fine.

in physics, if you don't understand but you know how to calculate stuffs, you can still at least pass. but the calculation in physics sometimes are not easy, not as simple at it seems. you need to think through it and sometimes use two formulas at once.

in terms of the labs, in chem I think there are a lot more choices/variety, but chem labs are so damn complicated (the calculation in DCP).

I totally agree with Desy. I'm also doing Physics HL and Chem SL, and I found Chem incredibly hard before I got a Chem tutor. And all this time, I've never had a Physics tutor. The problem with Chemistry is that the concepts are difficult to understand because they're very abstract. If there's a concept you don't understand, even if you spend hours reading the textbook there's no guarantee that you'll understand it afterwards, because they use a lot of Chemistry terms in the textbook to explain the concepts.

The thing about Physics is that:

1. The grade boundaries are more generous

2. The concepts are more straightforward to understand

3. The questions are more maths-based so it requires less memorisation. Even if you haven't revised properly, you'll still be able to do some questions by using the formulas in the data booklet and plugging in the numbers given in the question.

If you're okay with Maths, I suggest that you take Physics. However if Maths is not for you and you don't mind memorising a lot of stuff, then do Chem.

I also agree with Desy that Chem labs and IAs are more difficult. It's very easy to make a mistake in Chem labs unless you're very careful and pay the utmost attention. I know someone who accidentally spilt H2SO4 over his Macbook and now it's dead! You rarely get these accidents in Physics. And besides, Physics labs are much easier - you're less likely to have accidents or have something go terribly wrong. In my opinion, the Physics IA criteria is also lot more straightforward.

But having said that, I may be a bit biased because Physics has been my favourite subject for three years and that I'm also a Maths person ;)

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ninety, you're right... My Chemistry teacher burnt her hand with AgNO3... and some purple liquid exploded (Sodium reacting with water and other weird chemical compound)in the face of my Russian friend....

The mark boundary is very high for Chemistry, also. 80%!

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hahaha about that lab thing is so funny but i feel sorry for your friend!! :( in IGCSE last year someone naughty intentionally inhaled ammonia in a chemistry practical and then he got sick or something haha

to the OP, I think you cannot decide which to choose from the number of votes here. you need to look at your strengths and weaknesses! many people's opinions are subjective/biased, though most of what everybody said is true. I say good luck to you, hope you choose the right subject.

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Okay so basically to answear your question if you're talking about which subject is easier, definetely chemistry. Let me analyse your statistics:

To understand the reason of 80+ (Approximately) boundary to get a 7 in Chemistry you have to know that since chemistry is easier and a lot of people have good grades then the IB has decided to increase the frontier to earn a 7, even though this will appear contradictory in first instance. But yes, that's basically it. Since more people get higher grades in Chemistry, the IB increases the treshold to get this grade even though you can still earn it.

Now, as for physics, the reason why you found out that you gotta have 68+ (Approximately) to earn a 7 in physics is because since it is kinda hard, more mathematical and reasonable, among others; the IB has some pity and lowers the treshold as the subject is very difficult and not many people get high grades in physics..

In conclusion, take Chemistry since it is an easier subject generally, without taking into account that the treshold is higher because it is more difficult to reach the boundary for physics (Even though is lower) than in chemistry. There you go :D

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Khalid from TSS, nice to meet you in IBsurvival

I advise you to take chem SL rather than physics SL if you want to get a 7... I take Physics HL and chem SL... I worked everyday day and studied physics and got 75% and I didn't revise chem maybe just 2 hours and got 80 something... It is dead easy.

And it is not 80, its less than that about 75...

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