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Drake Glau

The Sciences...

I only took SL Physics, but I'll tell you - I looked at a whole bunch of HL material, and it's really just building up from the SL material. The only other difference is that HL has a crapton more labs. I remember we only did a handful throughout our first year in SL, while the HL kids got one every week... And never finished their reports on time lol.

Either way, I loved SL physics - it goes very well with HL math. Seriously, I was one of the few people with that combination, and I found taht the extra math edge given in HL makes SL physics a stroll down the park for the most part.

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hey drake thanks for sharing with us this amazing post that reflects the opinions of an applied IB Student!:D

IMO the science difficulty ranking is as follows (from easier to harder)

1. Biology SL (totally agree with your statement about this subject)

2. Biology HL

3. Physics SL

4. Chemistry SL

5. Physics HL

6. Chemistry HL

It's just my view. I had a big share of problems while taking chemistry standard level, but my effort transformed those problems into a glorious 6. I'd say physics and chemistry are both equally difficult in content, but at the end physics grade boundaries are always lower than the chemistry ones, so the chances of getting 6 or 7 increase.

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hey drake thanks for sharing with us this amazing post that reflects the opinions of an applied IB Student!:D

IMO the science difficulty ranking is as follows (from easier to harder)

1. Biology SL (totally agree with your statement about this subject)

2. Biology HL

3. Physics SL

4. Chemistry SL

5. Physics HL

6. Chemistry HL

It's just my view. I had a big share of problems while taking chemistry standard level, but my effort transformed those problems into a glorious 6. I'd say physics and chemistry are both equally difficult in content, but at the end physics grade boundaries are always lower than the chemistry ones, so the chances of getting 6 or 7 increase.

I tried to keep my rankings away from the grade boundaries because they always change and the difficulty of the content isn't reflected by the boundaries at all. Some of them are about equal so the only way I ranked them was simply by the amount of content which is why HL bio is about even to SL chem, but harder with more content.

The last two, chem and physics, I agree they're about even and the only difference is the boundaries at the end of the day, only reason physics stood out above chemistry is how it had more math and people don't really seem to like math...majority...

And of course difficulties always depend on the person. I found HL Chem to stick in my head better than HL bio which made it kinda easier but then HL bio's mark schemes were always easier to get marks in, so which one is easier? =/

Edited by Drake Glau

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I'd personally go for this as my ranking...

1. Biology SL

2. Chemistry SL

3. Physics SL

4. Biology HL

5. Chemistry HL

6. Physics HL

...because thanks to epically giant course content AND some harder things (photosynthesis, respiration and their biochemistry etc.) I think that HL Bio is a lot harder than both the other SL sciences which are really content light relative to their HL counterparts. They're a lot more straight forward, even if SL Chemistry is also a little harder as it doesn't quite explain things properly. Fortunately in the UK, if you select HL Chemistry you don't do 1 year of SL and 1 of HL, you do both of HL, as a rule. Doing one and then the other would be a good basis but kinda annoying with Chemistry SL being so much easier!

Excellent post though, even if I disagree slightly with your difficulty levels :P I just don't see how something like SL Chemistry which is a phenomenally short course can be rated harder than HL Biology which is going to take you memorising until your brain explodes!

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Excellent post though, even if I disagree slightly with your difficulty levels :P I just don't see how something like SL Chemistry which is a phenomenally short course can be rated harder than HL Biology which is going to take you memorising until your brain explodes!

It isn't...? :P

I ranked them about equal on content difficulty but HL bio over SL chem due to the content amount that you mentioned XD

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Oops, meant SL Physics, sorry Alex XD; Dim move there.

I do think that the content for SL Chemistry is still more simple, however :S SL Chemistry is a bit of a doss! None of the hard concepts from HL are in it at all, it's just straight forwards. HL Bio does have more difficult concepts than SL Chem, in my opinion, as well as just the content difference (which admittedly is the main one!).

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Well, i take Chemistry SL, and you have to learn stuff in HL to fully understand it. For example, i had to learn the HL extension of Atomic Structure, to understand Periodicity and Bonding.

I take Physics SL, and it's not that hard honestly. There are some concepts, but you will see a lot of formulas. You have to combine formulas and concepts to do well in Physics SL! I wanted to take Physics HL, but my school doesn't offer it....

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Well, i take Chemistry SL, and you have to learn stuff in HL to fully understand it. For example, i had to learn the HL extension of Atomic Structure, to understand Periodicity and Bonding.

I take Physics SL, and it's not that hard honestly. There are some concepts, but you will see a lot of formulas. You have to combine formulas and concepts to do well in Physics SL! I wanted to take Physics HL, but my school doesn't offer it....

This is exactly what I tried to say in there about SL chem kind of leaving you hanging. I'm not the greatest at getting my point across though, hope it get through >.<

You don't HAVE to do it, you could just learn the patterns honestly and not worry about the details of why the pattnssn work for SL :) But that still leaves you a why question at the end just like most of the SL sciences do.

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Well, i take Chemistry SL, and you have to learn stuff in HL to fully understand it. For example, i had to learn the HL extension of Atomic Structure, to understand Periodicity and Bonding.

I feel like its the same for IB sciences in general. There's no way I'd be able to understand anything without extra extensions and multiple textbooks. It's just too choppy for me...

I'm taking SL bio and we also learn out of the provincial textbook. If it weren't for that textbook, which goes through everything in a lot more detail, I wouldn't be able to remember anything in bio.

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I took SL Biology, and it was okay I guess.. Not too much content (okay, a lot, but still manageable). But, my Bio book also had the HL section in it as well, and the HL section in itself was practically the same thickness as the SL section, with information saturated into each of the pages. I don't know how I'd survive memorising all that stuff.. I guess the other sciences aren't too bad compared to Bio HL - they're more of understanding concepts and memorising formulas (the amount of which is nothing compared to what Bio HL kids have to memorise) :D

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