Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

How Scoring Works: HL vs SL?

Recommended Posts

Going into the IB next year, I am curious about how it is that the scoring system works.

My thoughts are "Why should I do HL Mathematics, if I am likely to get a poor score in it, if I can simply do SL and get a 7?" Is there a cut off for SL, where say, an individual can only get a maximum of 5 for example?

I do understand that it is a requirement to study at least 3 classes at a HL, causing the scoring to even out amongst students if that is the case. Even so, if someone could clear this up and provide me and others with some information, that would be fantastic.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pick HL math. if you pick SL then im guessing youll pick HL English? (unless you do HL language or group 3 or something, but thats not too common). And i will tell you now that HL English is just as tough as HL math. In fact, i would argue HL math is easier since you get back the effort that you put in. In English there is so much subjectivity that you can really never be sure how good your work is. and another thing, getting a 7 in SL math is far from a walk in the park, same goes for english.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What level you would pick for your subject is totally up to you because you are the only one who can make the right decision. Also, you should think about where you want to study (or what you want to study), since some Universities has certain requirements on which subject you need to study and on which level. How easy it would be for you to get a 7 in SL vs HL has a lot to do about you and your ambitions. Do you love math and see it as a hobby? Then go for HL. But if you're not really interested in it and "only good at it", I suggest you take SL :-)

Personally I picked English HL and Math studies, because I am really not interested in it maths so ever, and it would be easier for me to get a 7 in Studies than in HL. Since the University and course I plan on going to does not have a requirement that says that I need HL math or that it will be beneficial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because HL maths is fun. That's the only reason I guess anyone can have. No Aussie Uni requires HL maths as a prerequisite subject as far as I know. And, SL is much easier to get a 7 in.

I just picked my HL subjects because I enjoy sciences and maths the most. I didn't really thinking about the scoring criteria, but many people do think that through. I tend to find easier subjects (like economics for example) more difficult than Chemistry...so I didn't consider what other people think about the subjects I chose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because HL maths is fun. That's the only reason I guess anyone can have. No Aussie Uni requires HL maths as a prerequisite subject as far as I know. And, SL is much easier to get a 7 in.

I just picked my HL subjects because I enjoy sciences and maths the most. I didn't really thinking about the scoring criteria, but many people do think that through. I tend to find easier subjects (like economics for example) more difficult than Chemistry...so I didn't consider what other people think about the subjects I chose.

Just to clarify, that in Adelaide, where I live I think it is Adelaide Uni that has a few Engineering degrees that require HL maths! Others say it is very beneficial to have done it as you won't be learning maths from scratch but with some good understanding already. The minimum required is a pass which varies from a 3 or 4 in HL maths and a 4 in SL! So the minimum required cut offs are quite low.

Another thing you should look at is when you have to choose your HL subjects - some schools ask you to pick the 3 very early on and some quite late, even at the beginning of 2nd year. If you have a separate HL maths class like my school does, then you might want to start of being in it as it is very easy to drop down to SL but impossible to start from SL and move up to HL.

Getting a 7 in HL maths equals getting a 7 in SL maths - there is no cut of or anything where they mark down. I hope that made sense as I partially understand what you meant by a cut of that lets you only get a 5 in SL maths.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What level you would pick for your subject is totally up to you because you are the only one who can make the right decision. Also, you should think about where you want to study (or what you want to study), since some Universities has certain requirements on which subject you need to study and on which level. How easy it would be for you to get a 7 in SL vs HL has a lot to do about you and your ambitions. Do you love math and see it as a hobby? Then go for HL. But if you're not really interested in it and "only good at it", I suggest you take SL :-)

Personally I picked English HL and Math studies, because I am really not interested in it maths so ever, and it would be easier for me to get a 7 in Studies than in HL. Since the University and course I plan on going to does not have a requirement that says that I need HL math or that it will be beneficial.

HL mathematics will not be a requirement to get into the degree that I am striving for. Although, seeing as it is medicine, should I not have a better understanding of maths when the entrance test comes around?

I do enjoy maths, but need a very high score. I'm worried HL might drag me down, but feel the need to know it all. Arrghh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, studying medicine doesn't require HL Maths, even with top universities SL is perfectly fine.

Since you enjoy it however, taking 4 highers and dropping one later on is always a possibility. A lot of people in my Maths HL class did this (and all except one dropped down), but it'll give you the flexibility of backing out if it becomes too demanding and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, studying medicine doesn't require HL Maths, even with top universities SL is perfectly fine.

Since you enjoy it however, taking 4 highers and dropping one later on is always a possibility. A lot of people in my Maths HL class did this (and all except one dropped down), but it'll give you the flexibility of backing out if it becomes too demanding and such.

This is true. Thanks for the input.

That was the plan, do 4 HL. But is there a certain point at which you can no longer drop down, and you are locked in? Also, will this not mess with assessment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should talk with your IB coordinator to find out explicitly about that. In my school our deadline for dropping down to 3 subjects was at the end of the 1st year of IB. After that we couldn't change/switch from any more HL to SL/vice versa.

If you changed from HL to SL and already did some assessments, I would hazard a guess that you'd have to redo anew the assessments for the 'new' subject you're doing. For something like maths though, I highly doubt you'd start working on the Internal Assessment (IA) until the second year. Most IAs will generally be done in the 2nd year, though this obviously varies from subject to subject. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, studying medicine doesn't require HL Maths, even with top universities SL is perfectly fine.

Since you enjoy it however, taking 4 highers and dropping one later on is always a possibility. A lot of people in my Maths HL class did this (and all except one dropped down), but it'll give you the flexibility of backing out if it becomes too demanding and such.

This is true. Thanks for the input.

That was the plan, do 4 HL. But is there a certain point at which you can no longer drop down, and you are locked in? Also, will this not mess with assessment?

For Maths HL, in our school, you can drop down to SL from HL anytime before the end of term 1 yr 12!! It does not mess with assessment unless your math teacher plans on giving the 1 maths IA in the first year, and even so from what my teacher has said, it is the same IA for both SL and HL (maybe even studies) where the only difference is that you are marked harsher in HL. I hope that gives you some idea about 4 HLs, but you should ask you maths teacher in particular and your IB coordinator.

Also, you might want to check when you can drop out (or even need to start doing HLs) in the other subjects, as you don't start off in many HLs... they let you decide after having done some of the SL work. Or that is how I think it works, because that is the way it works in my school and it makes sense as you actually get a chance to try out the subjects before deciding on HLs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main differences (generalizing a lot here) between HL and SL are that some of the big assignments count for more in HL than SL, and HL has more assignments.

In History the weight of the Internal Assessment in HL is 25% while it is only 20% in SL, for example.

In Language A subjects HL students will have to read more books than SL students.

When you choose HL you'll also get an additional exam in that subject.

There is a lot of additional information that you have to know. At my school, the SL students don't have to meet up when the teacher is going through HL material (meaning that English A and History classes become very peaceful). :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.