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Double blocking Math HL 1 and 2?

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Hello, I have heard good things about this forum so I decided to check it out:)

I have a question about the differences between topics covered in Math HL 1 and 2. Currently, I am a Junior taking Math SL1 but I feel motivated to take both Math HL 1 and 2 my senior year. I am not sure if other IB schools allow double blocking but it basically means you are taking Math HL 1 and 2, separate classes of course. Although this is allowed, few students take this option and from what I hear about Math HL, I don't blame them. But I feel confident and I am upto the task. I have had a consistent 94-95% in SL this year. The thing that worries me though is whether I will be able to manage the subjects in Math HL 2, prior to taking Math HL 1? Will I be at a significant disadvantage compared to students going from Math HL 1 to Math HL 2? Is the curriculum different enough between HL 1 and 2 for me to do decently well in both classes? Anything and everything about the switch from SL Math to HL, or just advice about HL 1 and 2 would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Wow, the USA must be a weird, weird world for IB :) I'm assuming that Maths HL 1 and 2 are referring to Maths HL classes for year 1 of IB and year 2 of IB. If you're taking SL now, I think that attempting to learn the remainder of the HL course in the remaining time would be monumentally hard! Near impossible, I think. Doing the two classes at once also seems counter-intuitive to me, but you know what, that's just me. It would be really confusing and there would be gaps in your knowledge. I'm doing Maths HL now and finding it way hard enough already. I don't think I've heard of people switch up from Maths SL to Maths HL because there is a huge amount of content and skills covered, and if someone from Maths SL wanted to change up to HL, I highly doubt my school would allow it because of this concern. In that way, I would probably recommend you stick to SL and try to devote more time to another subject.

But if you're crazy, dedicated and enthusiastic, and your school allows it, go for it! It's really fun! And I don't even know whether that's sarcasm anymore...

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Someone in my year did that with biology, so I get what you're talking about.

Personally I wouldn't recommend double blocking, especially when it's HL math. This is because instead of just one HL math class, where you will be getting homework assignments, tests, projects, etc on a regular basis, you will have two! That's double the workload just for one subject. In addition, HL math is notoriously difficult, even for people who enjoy math and are good at it. Say you were learning some advanced calculus topic in the HL math 2 class. Would you understand it coming from an SL math class, having not learned it yet in the HL math 1 class where you would get the foundation for that topic? That's why I don't recommend it. It's because it's expected that you will have mastered, or at least be familiar with, the topics from the HL 1 year and be ready for the HL 2 year material, and if you haven't covered it yet in your HL 1 class you'll struggle with the material. Plus what about all of your other classes that you'll have to do work for? Do you think you can handle two math classes, difficult ones at that, on top of everything else you do?

The difference beween SL and HL math is huge. SL math is only about 60% or so of the HL syllabus. In HL math, you go much much more in-depth with the topics than SL does. The IAs are more difficult. In addition, you will be required to learn an option on top of all the core material, such as series/sequences, probability/statistics, differential equations, etc whereas SL does not learn an option. Just because you're doing well in SL math does not necessarily mean you will automatically ace HL math. I don't know you so I can't judge your mathematical abilities, you might be a genius math prodigy. But be warned, HL math is a big step-up from SL math.

What I suggest is just sticking with SL math, even if you find it "easy." I'm not sure how you feel, but I would be a lot happier with a 6 or a 7 in SL math and be slightly bored than struggling to learn two years of math in one and earn a 4.

Good luck with your decision :)

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