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Chemistry HL

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Hey everyone...

This is my first year of IB and I just started a few weeks ago, and I'm beginning to feel like I've made bad subject choices...

I'm doing HL English, History and Chemistry, and SL Chinese, Maths and Biology.

Although I've decided to take Chemistry HL, but I'm considering changing to Biology HL. Although both Chemistry and Biology were my best subjects last year in Year 10 (Chemistry more so), I've found Chemistry pretty hard so far (even though it's only a few weeks in!). The concepts are alright once you get the hang of it, but I'm not so sure that it would help me get a good score at the end of the IB course. Many things confuse me and in order to understand things I have to do a lot of rereading etc, and even then I don't quite grasp some things!

On top of that, my teacher happily informed us that this year the Chemistry HL (and SL?) course has been revised and is harder than last year's course, which makes me more reluctant to continue it!

I'd be grateful if anyone could give me some advice! Is anyone else also doing the new Chemistry course this year? Or is there anyone who has done Chemistry HL in the past and can give their opinion? Some people have told me that the concepts are hard at the start, but by the end of it it's not too bad... but based on other things I've read on the internet about Chemistry HL (yes, I have been frantically searching the internet for the past hour looking for things that might comfort me, or deter me from Chemistry HL!) and other people's opinions, Chemistry HL is beginning to seem like a deathtrap!

Please, please PLEASE post soon as I need to make my decision soon... given that I can actually change if I decide to (it's already quite a few weeks in and I don't know if I'll be able to).

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Hmmm... I would say only take chemistry if you really need it for the future - i.e. if you plan on doing medicine or chemistry at university

If you do want to take something chemistry related later - you're right - the concepts take a lot of time to grasp especially if your not a math guru... be prepared for some serious work, and not just understanding it but writing complicated labs too... and it seems like you're already going to be doing a lot of work with eng and hist HL.

If I were you and I didnt need chemistry later I would DEFINITELY pick bio - you will very likely score much higher in bio and it will be less work.

BUT also remember that grade boundaries for chemistry are much lower than bio - so it may seem like you're doing badly but you might be doing well.

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I'm taking chem HL right now and it is difficult (at least for me, I'm much more bio oriented than chem oriented). I have a 90 right now in chem HL, there's a lot to cover but as long as you really know the syllabus then it should be okay. Some concepts are confusing but I wouldn't say it's incomprehensible.

Pick whichever one helps you more in your future career.

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you have to remeber that chem is very math based at points, and then ther are its points of pure memorization and logic.

i am in HL chem right now getting read to test in May... and i am paniced. i planned on Sl chem coz i really really really (can't emphasis that enough) hated the SL/HL bio teacher, and the only other option was Sl chem. well when i moved to a new state the option was HL chem or HL bio. i decided (more of laziness than anything) decide just to stick with chem. i have always found it more fun than bio, but a bit more of a chellenge. i dominated in MYP chem. but when i unknowiling signed up for HL chem... i was in for a surprise. i suck at anything math based, and the class has been a struggle for me for the past 2 years. if you are planning to do a career in your future, or are up for the challenge... stick with HL chem. Bio i have heared from fellow IBers is hard, but it seems to be in a dfferent way. Chem will take a lot of effort and dedication

i am an art and language person though so i do have a little of a bias. this is just my opinion... good luck. :P

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Ahhh...the first few weeks of chem HL :P

Yeah, my teacher went like crazy on us at first too (we got full in-depth into a bunch of topics that I never heard of before, even with doing great in general chem), but I'm happy to inform you that it does get easier, some. The labs can be difficult, and the work stays at a high level (get it, HL). Our tests are crazy and everyone fails, but it's okay cause we are supposed to fail :P . Although, I would like to tell you to stay in because I personally enjoy chemistry I have to agree with those who found this thread before me - if you don't really need it and are struggling then I would drop it or change it to SL.

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I'm thinking of doing Medicine after school, so like you guys said, I'll probably need Chemistry HL in the future. However, in the universities I've looked at don't have Chemistry as a prerequisite, although I thought it would be. I'm not sure if it's different in other places, but in Adelaide, you only need good marks and you have to pass the UMAT test, although Chemistry may be preferred (I'm not sure). And it's not like I want to drop Chemistry altogether, I'm only trying to decide whether I should do Chemistry HL and Biology SL, or Biology HL and Chemistry SL.

Basically, considering the university prerequisites for Medicine that I've seen so far, Chemistry is not a prerequisite, so I'm just looking for the subjects that will give me a higher marks! (Unless universities prefer Chemistry HL over Chemistry SL, which I'm not quite sure about.)

***

After rereading through my notes and the textbook, I had several lightbulb moments, and realised that Chemistry HL was not that hard after all. I think that I just got too overwhelmed at the beginning, but now I realise that if I put enough effort into it, it shouldn't be too bad. I'm not bad at Maths either so I will hopefully be able to cope!

Thanks for all your advice, it really helped and gave me some assurance! :P

Edited by youcantstopthebeat

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BUT also remember that grade boundaries for chemistry are much lower than bio - so it may seem like you're doing badly but you might be doing well.

The grade boundaries are actually practically the same, so that is really an advantage for chem.

My piece of advice would be that it is hard, but if you are reasonably good at chem you'll be able to do it, as long as you study hard. I actually wasn't taught a couple of the HL topics and I still managed to get a high 6. As with everyone else I really enjoyed it.

Chemistry at either HL or SL is a requirement for every med course in australia.

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Chemistry at either HL or SL is a requirement for every med course in australia.

Thanks for that, I didn't know that! Now I know that I can change to Chemistry SL if I feel I need to. :D

Yeah I've heard that although Chemistry HL is hard, people still do quite well in it, I'm guessing it is partly because of the grade bands and people's hard work. I looked at the results at my school for the past few years and was surprised to find that very few people achieved a 7 in Biology HL and SL, especially when compared to Chemistry HL and SL! With that in mind, I think i'll stick with Chemistry HL and Biology SL!

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