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Moving up to Maths HL

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Hey Guys,

Do you think it'd be possible or how hard do you think it'd be two move up from Maths SL to Maths HL in the second Term (started the IB in September '07) assuming my school would still let me? The HL courses are currently doing Vectors.

The thing is, Maths SL is just far too easy for me (always get at least 95% in the topic tests they give us) and my maths teacher said I should be capable for HL easily. I would really like to do straight Economics at a good British university which I would technically need HL for, that's why I'm thinking about moving up. The reason why I didn't take HL in the first place was that I really liked Physics and as I'm German I didn't know British universities, or rather the top ones for Economics, require Maths HL for Economics.

Do you think I could just do Maths as a fourth HL and if in the end I see it's too difficult to catch up with all the stuff I missed at the beginning, I could just take the SL papers and would be prepared for them very well?

Thanks a lot!

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It's not impossible, but you'd have to ask your teacher for some extra on the topics which you didn't study with HLs. However, the workload is a lot higher in HL math, so they've advanced a lot faster than SL and gone deeper on most areas.

If you want to go to a top British uni to study pure economics, (say Economics at LSE), they require you to have a 7 in higher level math. That will be extremely hard to reach even if you are brilliant in SL math. However, courses like Industrial Economics 'only' require a 6 in HL Math. There are also courses like PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, out of which you study two of the subjects) which do not require HL Math.

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I think you wuold basically have to do an intensive catch up on all the stuff done in the HL class and at the same time keep learning new topics from HL along with the rest of the class. This should be pretty difficult but go for it if you really want to go to England.

Otherwise there's the U.S. which has some really good schools for economics which have are less picky about your IB subjects (not completely) and look at your GPA which would be good for you considering you have a 7.

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Well, it is only LSE and Trinity College at Cambridge which require a 7, the rest requires a 6 (all other colleges of Cambridge, UCL, Warwick etc.).

I know it's gonna be an immense challenge, but in general I am told I should have the ability to get a 6 with a certain amount of effort. I have talked to the head of maths, my tutor, my house master, the ib coordinator and my maths teacher today and all agree that the issue now is basically what you said, tvd7, that it is doubtful if I'll be able to catch up with all the stuff I've missed so far and go ahead with the class at the same time so that I can get a 6 in the end.

I have actually thought about applying to American universities but as I'm German I've all my family and many friends there thus I want to go home whenever possible which would be quite an act from America.

So I think I will organise some private tutoring for all my following holidays and put all my effort into Maths. I will however keep my other HL subjects so in the end I could still decide to take the SL exams and make the HL coursework SL coursework.

Thanks a lot to both of you!

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Im taking Maths SL atm, but Im planning to take A-Level FP1 and FP2 maths externally just for catching stuff I missed out in SL, and hopefully I will sit for the A-level maths exams around the start of 2009. British Universities do consider A-level Maths nerds as well, and those two are widely recognised as well. I think you should choose to score as high as possible for ur IB grade in order to get into good uni. You should take math courses from other syllabus rather than taking the stressful and risky Maths HL.

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I'm taking HL Math (started IB in Sept 07), and while we are obviously in different countries the HL and SL classes at my school are very different in terms of pace and depth of content. There is one kid who tried to switch from SL to HL and he was so traumatised after two classes he switched back. It's very difficult because you have to master the content you missed (which, trust me, is quite a bit) while grasping the concepts that are taught in HL, which often falls back on knowledge previously gained in HL that you may or may NOT possess coming from SL. There is also another kid who was really good at Math that the teachers let him start HL Math in 10th grade (the year just before IB1), and since he couldnt take the HL exam in IB1 he took the SL exam just to have something to show colleges and he did really well.

Conclusion: Switching from SL to HL is very, very difficult, but switching back to SL is a lot easier.

Edited by Agneisse

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i didnt read all the replies you got for this issue, but i can tell you that in our school a student moved up from SL in the second year, he got tutors in the summer to help him with covering what we took in first year... and this guy's predicted is 6 (or so i heard)

so i think you should go for it, catching up with the material is not much of a problem, if you find you cant do it alone, DO NOT DROP BACK! just get a tutor or your own math hl teacher to help you in parts where you didnt understand.

also make sure in the summer you do your best to be more capable in the material that you missed.

Vectors is not hard of a topic, if they already finished probability it might be a slight problem as i find probability and the "Sets and Groups" option the toughest in my material.

so yeah all in all go for it! and your school should allow you to do the transfer as long as you pass the entrance exam (if there's one, in our school the student had to do a test and get 5 and above in it) or if your teacher recommends you for the level.

As of the math being a fourth higher... unless it disturbs the requirements for the univ you wish to go to, i think you should drop one of your highers (if you got chem higher, unless you like chem and do good in it then drop it to sl)

of course that is what i think, i despise chemistry, but others may like it, and same goes for the topics i talked about that are in the math hl

Anyways good luck in whatever you do :D

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Hey there,

Thanks a lot for all your replies!!

I have moved up and I'm finding it ok so far (Vectors), no problems with the material itself, the questions are obviously much more complicated/demanding but that's what I'm really enjoying so far.

SL was just simply using the formulae we are given anyway, HL is well further... as all of you know anyway :)

I'll see how it goes til summer, I'm gonna try to catch up with everything I'd missed in the Easter holidays. Then I'm probably gonna drop Physics in a few weeks, cause I'm not too happy with our HL teacher anyway (new from Scotland, never taught anywhere else / especially not IB before) and the SL teacher is really good (also head of department).

Seeya

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