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I want to take further maths HL, but school does let.

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So I am hoping to take Further Maths HL as one of my IB choices, since I am really interested in the subject itself, and also achieved an outstanding grade in IGCSE Additional Maths. However, my school states that they have no plans to start a Further Maths class. Should I get a self-study/get a tutor, outside of school? or will it be too risky and a waste of time? I am planning to study Actuarial Science in university, and the course requires Maths HL only. So which option would be better? Further Maths HL outside of school, or Maths HL in school?

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Unless things have changed, then to my understanding Further Maths is an SL course only. It must also be taken in addition to HL. So you would study HL Maths in school and then if you wanted to do Further Maths you'd have to take it as an additional SL course - but as this is not offered at your school, you would have to do it in your own time outside of school. It's really up to you as to whether you want to pursue Further Maths. You'd have to both love Maths with all your heart and be brilliant at it to want to do that, in my opinion. Maths HL is already a pretty difficult course designed for people who're mathematically pretty gifted. You would also have to seek your school's permission to let you sit the final exams in SL Further Maths, and might wish to consider taking it as a 7th subject (i.e. do 6 normal subjects in school) in case you find you want to drop it.

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To continue on regarding the details of FM HL, I think first exams are actually in 2013.

It's probably not necessary to do FM even for actuarial studies, but if you really like maths I don't see why not. Definitely take your school's Maths HL class, and then see whether you could arrange to have extra lessons with your maths teacher (it would be optimal I think to maintain the same teacher and have extra classes for FM). However, if it's not possible then make sure you find a teacher you like :)

I don't actually know very much, but in the past FM has had no IAs to submit - so if that's still the case, it will be less of a work burden than other subjects (though more than enough). I think that now FM is a HL course, it's not recommended to be taken as a 7th subject - so if you do go down this path, make sure it's the right one! Although it may just seem like Maths HL + options + other stuff, it is of a greater depth simply because you have to bring all the strands together into problem solving that is more sophisticated.

And make sure the school approves you for exams, obviously. If you really want to do it, best of luck convincing everyone that you are more than capable of acing maths :)

EDIT: http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/22200-further-math-as-self-taught-subject/ try looking here, could be useful. There is quite a bit of discussion about Further Maths on these fora, so keep reading if you're unsure.

Edited by flinquinnster

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As other people already said, you must really love math to take Further Mathematics! You must always consider that in order to take that course you HAVE TO take Math HL too. I personally believe that if you like mathematics you should do it, but it will be a lot of work to do, especially if you do not have the possibility of studying it in school. I'm not sure if I would consider it for the 7th subject since it would mean that you study everything you have to study plus a subject which is still pretty difficult. The most important thing though is that you appreciate what you are doing and your school must give you permission to sit the Further Mathematics exam.

I hope you have the possibility to do what you want!

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