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Chemistry HL or Biology HL

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Guest Sophia Schlaak

hey, i don´t know whether to take Chemistry HL oder Biology HL. In my german ib programme I do a double diploma and that is the reason why I have to take literature HL and geography HL. I really really like chemistry and I understand everything but my exams are not as good as my biology exams.
Because I do the IB programme additionally it doesn´t matter how many points i get. Therefore, i´d like not to have so much extra work.
So, should I take Chem HL although i´m not as good as i am in biology? or shall I take biology HL because it´s easier to understand and not as challenging as chemistry? :/

Thank you in anticipation :)

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If the points don't matter to you at all then do the one you enjoy the most (Chemistry??). If the points do matter to you in any way then take the one you're more likely to score highly in. Both are a lot of work, Chem for understanding and Biology for memorising.

Also, consider University applications. If you need Chemistry or Biology for the subject you wish to apply for, then that'll make the decision for you.

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As mentioned above if the points don't matter at all then go for the one you enjoy the most – you'll prefer doing work for something that you like. But I'm sure you would also enjoy Bio since you do well in it, so it's a difficult choice. I would suggest going through both of the syllabuses to see which one you find the most interesting. And yeah. The teacher is VERY IMPORTANT. I didn't have such a great Chem teacher this year and a lot of people struggled :S Both are challenging courses. Chem has a lot of concepts that you need to understand and it's pretty mathematical at HL (something nobody had warned me about…) whereas Bio is mostly memorising different processes. But check the uni requirements and see what you need to get where you want - good luck! :)

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Chemistry HL. Period.

It's way more fun and interesting. Biology is just memorising stuff, but chemistry is applying all your knowledge together to form beautiful answers. Seriously, it's my favourite subject by a mile and definitely worth all the time you invest in it. For some sort of reason, I find that biology is more challenging then Chemistry because there's just so much content to learn by heart and some definitions have to be known word to word, while in chem, if you just have to understand the key points...if you get what I mean.

Nonetheless, both subjects are science and science is awesome. Do whatever suits you best :)

Cheers,

Simran

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Hey there :)

I agree with Sandwich. Do a subject which you think you're mostly good at and will score higher. If you think that it's Biology HL, then do it. Personally, I would choose Biology. It's far more easier to handle and study for although there's a lot of content. My friends who did Chemistry complained all the time and most of them didn't get their diplomas cause they failed chemistry.

Also, as Sandwich said, look up university requirements for the major you want to pursue and decided what subject to take accordingly.

Good luck ^_^

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I would take Chemistry HL If i were you, since the points don't matter and you find it interesting. I find Chemistry HL fun and easy (kind of) and in my opinion it is easy to get a high grade in Chemistry HL, but then I don't have Bio HL so I don't know. But then it also depends on what you wanna do in the future. But other than that I would say Chem HL.

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I think if you love Chem and are good at it then you should take Chem, because it will be enjoyable for you.

On the other hand Biology involves a lot of memorization, so if you can do well at that then it can take a lot of stress off of you.

For example I take Bio HL, History HL and Eng Lit HL, so the Biology is really a "rest" course for me since I'm good at memorizing things and it gives me a load of extra time for the other more time-consuming subjects.

Personally I would recommend to do whichever one is easiest for you to lighten your workload, and again, it really depends on which major you're thinking of doing! :)

Best wishes

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HL Chemistry wins.

I had an amazing teacher (not to mention the subject itself was pretty awesome) which helped a lot.

It's definitely my favorite subject, and now I'm in Chemical Engineering!

Personally, I dislike Bio because of it's rote memorization. In Chemistry, you get to piece together the answer. Every question is a jigsaw puzzle.

Also, you should choose based on what you like, not your "higher mark".

Hope I helped!

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Play to your strengths, think of your general strengths aside from your pre-IB education (things can change drastically by the time you get to IB or are mid-IB). In general, are you good at [mostly long-term] memorisation and some regurgitation (Biology) or are you better at analysis, application and using some mathematical calculations. Also you should do some research on your school's track record in said subjects as well as the teacher's (IB, equivalent pre-university course or Uni teaching) background.

Aim to find out things like this, if you can:

  • What is the class ratio of those recieving the highest grade
  • Average highest grade
  • Lowest grade
  • Average grade
  • How many years the teacher has been teaching IB or IB equivalent course... or their education confidence
  • Previous years general teacher - student rapport

Obviously, at the same time take the information you find out with a pinch of salt whatever that even means. Things like whether the teacher has been teaching long can be sort of irrelevant when applied to a naturally gifted and confident-with-the-syllabus teacher. Or stuff like teacher- student rapport and previous student opinion is quite subjective.

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I have Chemistry HL and Bio SL. I have heard that the work load increases a lot fire HL but I an really good at memorizing terms and concepts. Do I fine it to be rather easy! Chemistry has more concepts to grasp, and the quantitative chemistry part is annoying if you really don't like handling formulas. I like both classes cause I like sciences. My passion its definitely biology, and I feel like if you don't have a good enough chem teacher, you should take Bio.

I find Bio much easier to teach to myself in case I miss something :)

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