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Do I really need HL maths?

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On a lot of UK university courses, they say HL maths is a requirement, e.g. for economics. Is there any point applying for them at all if I do SL? Even if I do really well overall and have good personal statements and references?

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On a lot of UK university courses, they say HL maths is a requirement, e.g. for economics. Is there any point applying for them at all if I do SL? Even if I do really well overall and have good personal statements and references?

Hi Sharylc,

The requirments stated by universities are there to ensure that they get students of sufficient quality who are able to cope with the demands of the course. How much universities rely on these requirements to determine the quality of an applicant differs from university to university. If your predicted grades are good, you have written a solid personal statement and you have good references, the chances that the university will make an exception to the requirements are higher.

My advise would be to contact the university to enquire what their policy is. Try to provide information and evidence as to why you should be considered an exception e.g. if you are predicted a 6 or 7 in SL maths or other qualifications which compensate the absence of HL maths or any events which you have participated in which require the level of a IB HL maths student (a certain maths competition for example). Once you have contacted them, they will provide you with information about their policy and you will be able to make a decision then on whether to apply or not.

If you really want to apply to a certain university, you may also want to look into the other subjects which it offers; the requirements may not be the same e.g. 'economics' may require a 5 in HL maths but 'history with economics' or 'economics and politics' might not require HL maths and just ask for an overall 36.

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On a lot of UK university courses, they say HL maths is a requirement, e.g. for economics. Is there any point applying for them at all if I do SL? Even if I do really well overall and have good personal statements and references?

The following reply is specifically with concern to economics.

DO NOT bother applying to these universities if you don't take HL Math:

1) LSE

2) Oxford

3) Cambridge

4) UCL

Warwick will be a little tricky not having HL Math, but I believe they still consider you with a predicted 7 in SL Math. The next tier of universities such as Durham, Bristol, Nottingham etc would accept you with a high score (6/7) in SL Math for Economics.

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On a lot of UK university courses, they say HL maths is a requirement, e.g. for economics. Is there any point applying for them at all if I do SL? Even if I do really well overall and have good personal statements and references?

The following reply is specifically with concern to economics.

DO NOT bother applying to these universities if you don't take HL Math:

1) LSE

2) Oxford

3) Cambridge

4) UCL

Warwick will be a little tricky not having HL Math, but I believe they still consider you with a predicted 7 in SL Math. The next tier of universities such as Durham, Bristol, Nottingham etc would accept you with a high score (6/7) in SL Math for Economics.

Yeah pretty much what has already been said, the top tier unis require HL maths will most likely not accept anyone without it. However, if you were to apply to a sightly lower university (not much lower) and had a very good overall score (and maybe if you mention why not taking HL maths won't be a problem for you... etc) then i think it is definately possible to get into a decent-to-good economics course.

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Usually, SL math means little for the bigger universities (such as oxbridge). However, it ultimately depends on circumstance. For example, I contacted oxbridge about taking SL math because HL math was not offered anywhere, and they contacted me back saying it would not be held against me as no other possibility existed. Now, other qualifications are helpful, and if you can take HL, TAKE IT!

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HL maths would be an advantage ,as the top 10 universities in UK ask for maths Higher. But you can still enter some univerties with Maths SL, it just depends if youre aiming for the top universities or moderate, and the major you want to study plays a big role as well.

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Hi, I'm looking to study engineering at Cambridge, and I've heard of people taking A2 maths alongside SL maths and being accepted on similar courses at top universities. As I understand it, the only reason SL maths doesn't compare to A level is because there is no mechanics in SL maths, but there is in A level. I'm currently doing HL maths, but I'd rather change to SL if possible because of time restraints (and I'm not willing to drop any of my other three HL subjects). Anyone with any similar experience?

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^ If you're looking at Cambridge, you really want to be doing Higher Level Maths. I understand what you're saying, but it isn't about how you compare SL Maths to A Levels. It's about how universities view it. And for courses like Engineering at Cambridge, not only will you be competitive with HL Maths, they will wonder WHY you didn't take HL if you have SL Maths.

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On a lot of UK university courses, they say HL maths is a requirement, e.g. for economics. Is there any point applying for them at all if I do SL? Even if I do really well overall and have good personal statements and references?

The following reply is specifically with concern to economics.

DO NOT bother applying to these universities if you don't take HL Math:

1) LSE

2) Oxford

3) Cambridge

4) UCL

Warwick will be a little tricky not having HL Math, but I believe they still consider you with a predicted 7 in SL Math. The next tier of universities such as Durham, Bristol, Nottingham etc would accept you with a high score (6/7) in SL Math for Economics.

I know someone who did Math SL and wasn't even that bright but he still got into LSE.

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On a lot of UK university courses, they say HL maths is a requirement, e.g. for economics. Is there any point applying for them at all if I do SL? Even if I do really well overall and have good personal statements and references?

The following reply is specifically with concern to economics.

DO NOT bother applying to these universities if you don't take HL Math:

1) LSE

2) Oxford

3) Cambridge

4) UCL

Warwick will be a little tricky not having HL Math, but I believe they still consider you with a predicted 7 in SL Math. The next tier of universities such as Durham, Bristol, Nottingham etc would accept you with a high score (6/7) in SL Math for Economics.

I know someone who did Math SL and wasn't even that bright but he still got into LSE.

1. This thread is from July 2011 so please do not post at outdated topics.

2. It depends on the course your friend did at LSE. If he/she went for Geography it's blatant obvious that Maths HL is not needed. Applicants need to look at the specific entrance requirement for each course. There is not a general rule for each university.

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On a lot of UK university courses, they say HL maths is a requirement, e.g. for economics. Is there any point applying for them at all if I do SL? Even if I do really well overall and have good personal statements and references?

The following reply is specifically with concern to economics.

DO NOT bother applying to these universities if you don't take HL Math:

1) LSE

2) Oxford

3) Cambridge

4) UCL

Warwick will be a little tricky not having HL Math, but I believe they still consider you with a predicted 7 in SL Math. The next tier of universities such as Durham, Bristol, Nottingham etc would accept you with a high score (6/7) in SL Math for Economics.

I know someone who did Math SL and wasn't even that bright but he still got into LSE.

1. This thread is from July 2011 so please do not post at outdated topics.

2. It depends on the course your friend did at LSE. If he/she went for Geography it's blatant obvious that Maths HL is not needed. Applicants need to look at the specific entrance requirement for each course. There is not a general rule for each university.

Sorry for posting like a year after the thread is created.

My friend applied for business in LSE and did maths SL so I guess it IS possible to get ccepted even if you don't meet the requirements.

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