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7 IB courses?

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Hi,

I'm currently a sophomore (Grade 10 or Year 11), about to head into the IB next year. I'm currently in the midst of selecting my IB courses for next year. Here's my situation: I want to take 7 IB classes. This is not normally allowed at my school, and the only way to do such a course load is to do 7 certificates (you are not allowed to take a 7th class as an elective in addition to the full diploma). 4 HLs is not allowed for full diploma candidates either.

The classes are as follows:

SLs:

A English Lang and Lit SL

A Chinese Lang and Lit SL

Information Technology in a Global Society SL (online)

HLs:

Chemistry HL

Physics HL

Economics HL

Math HL

Should I go with such a load, I would not do the Extended Essay or TOK, but I would sign up for CAS, which is apparently allowed starting this year.

My teachers all say I shouldn't have a problem with juggling the workload, but many of them have strongly advised that I consider maintaining a balance between school and outside life.

I have a strong interest in technology (Computer Science is not on offer), and I feel that it is in this field I would most likely seek a career in. However, I have harbored a childhood interest in science, and I would also like to keep such a route open. As for Economics, my teacher has strongly recommended the class to me, saying that the class is a perfect match for my myriad of interests. The class content, based on what I have heard and read, is interesting as well. The languages seem as more of a necessary evil - I don't really enjoy them (I don't exactly hate them), but I have to take them.

I've heard a lot of "go with your interests" advice, but that doesn't seem to be helping - I just seem to have too many interests. I would like to avoid having to take 7 IB classes, partly because I want to do the full core (which I could do with 6 classes) and partly because I don't want to overload myself with work.

A few questions:

1) How bad is the workload for 4 HLs (disregarding the additional 3 SLs)?

2) If I were to cut Chinese, how would colleges perceive it? (I have studied Chinese since middle school)

3) Physics or Chemistry? (cutting one of them would allow me to go full diploma)

4) For any of you who are currently taking or have taken 7 IB courses, is the workload manageable?

5) How would colleges view my course load in comparison to full diploma students? (i.e. would it give me an advantage? disadvantage due to lack of the core?)

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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first of all, i think you're an idiot. who do you think you are, trying to take 7 IB courses? i would like to say stop thinking of that unless you plan to stay home and study for the next two years, in which case you are not a human but a machine. plus colleges rate the ib DIPLOMA as a whole much highly than everything combined (i.e. more than the sum of its parts)

secondly, i think that this is the time to decide on your future. if you have to drop anything, i would say drop econ.

thirdly, depending on where you plan to go, i think it might be better for you to do A-levels (especially if you're going to uk), because I THINK you have more flexibility over your subjects + it's easier. that way you can cut chinese and not be penalized.

lastly, if you REALLY REALLY are serious about taking those 7 subjects, you could honestly try all of them out (plus TOK, EE and CAS), and set yourself a deadline by which to drop one of those HLs and become a regular diploma student, since your school doesn't register you as an IB candidate until November 2013 for you.

think hard about this and good luck.

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I'm sure that you will receive a wide range of opinions about this!

I would recommend going for a diploma rather than a cluster of certificates, especially because you actually want to do the full core. In that case you can't drop Chinese, while you can't drop ITGS because it's at the centre of your interest.

So if the school won't allow you to take one elective you have to drop an HL subject, which is a little sad, although it will greatly reduce your workload. From what you say about your career direction and interests, I would suggest keeping Physics and Economics and dropping Chemistry.

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Are you actually aware of what ITGS entails? It's a bit of a 'nothing' course, to be honest. I strongly doubt it will help you in any way with a future in technology or computer science. To me it seems like the obvious solution is to not do ITGS and to do something else. There's a reason Computer Science exists separately from ITGS which is frankly a pretty weak sociology course, in large part. Also I personally don't think you get anything near as much out of online learning. I'm interesting in computing stuff and so thought I'd take ITGS, went to some taster sessions at my school and crossed it off my list emphatically when I realised how little it actually had to do with computing.

You've also chosen 3 of the hardest possible/most work HLs (Maths, Physics, Chemistry), which are all difficult. I don't actually think ITGS would make your life more difficult in terms of brainpower because once you know the criteria, it hardly requires any, but it will take up time that could be better spent on your more difficult subjects and be detrimental to your other, proper, subjects.

Also, all teachers want you to do their subject further if you've been good at it. So your Economics teacher will tell you to do Economics, of course. All my teachers told me to do their subject for IB! Well except for my Maths teacher but unfortunately they were stuck with me anyway :P But yeah it's in their interests, so make sure you're also going 100% on your interests. Will Economics genuinely be useful and interesting for you? MORE useful and interesting than any of the other subjects? At the end of the day your best bet is choosing 6 and doing the diploma, so if you're in any way wishy-washy about any one of them, axe it.

I agree 100% with ibkillsme_May2012. Really you should be able to cut out a subject easily (ITGS would make most sense!) but if you can't bring yourself to do it right now, start doing them all and then declare which to keep after you've tried them and realised which are best.

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Are you actually aware of what ITGS entails? It's a bit of a 'nothing' course, to be honest. I strongly doubt it will help you in any way with a future in technology or computer science. To me it seems like the obvious solution is to not do ITGS and to do something else. There's a reason Computer Science exists separately from ITGS which is frankly a pretty weak sociology course, in large part. Also I personally don't think you get anything near as much out of online learning. I'm interesting in computing stuff and so thought I'd take ITGS, went to some taster sessions at my school and crossed it off my list emphatically when I realised how little it actually had to do with computing.

HEY! I am in ITGS right now. It is a good course, in my opinion. Our teacher extends the curriculum by teaching Photoshop, Dreamweaver, advanced Excel, Access, and other programs. And I actually like the sociology part of it. In fact, I'm thinking of doing my EE on it--something about copyright law and the digital world, possibly. So don't discard it as a dumb course or a nothing course. While it is definitely a light load compared to other IB classes, it is a great fit for some people.

As for the OP, I have friends that are taking 4 HL courses. I personally think they're crazy, but if they can handle it, good for them...

I am really curious as to why you're doing all these hard classes if you're not doing the diploma. My high school allows a diploma plus a certificate (or two or three). But it seems to me that it is not worth it to do all of this if you're not going to do the diploma.

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