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Big dilemma: Maths SL or Maths Studies?

Hi everybody,

I am currently in IB2 and also taking Maths SL, however I have crossed the problem so many times. Last year, I had a very horrible Maths teacher. So horrible that I was lost and I got 2 for mock exam. However, we got a new and a better teacher. But she is way to fast and I can really feel how much knowledge I had lost last year. I feel I can fail IB because of Maths. I know that I am capable of doing Maths SL, but because of so much knowledge I had not been taught from last year that I must take studies.

In addition, I know what I want to study after IB which is International Relations. However, I do not know whether it requires Maths SL or Maths studies. I asked several universites but they do not reply. So my question is also: can I switch to maths studies now and pass, or shold I continue with Maths SL and work so much on it that it can effect other subjects? Can I take maths studies and then study International Studies after IB?? I really want to study in UK, Australia, or Austria.

Hope you guys can help me as much as I can. I would really appreciate it!!

-Vernisa

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If I were you I'd continue with SL Maths until you absolutely know you cannot pass it. Studies is so easy that you will be able to drop down to it at any time and still do very well.

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I can at least say that for Australia if you wanted to study International Studies then doing Maths Studies vs SL would pretty much not affect you at all in gaining entrance into the course. Although having said that, obviously, if doing SL instead of Studies meant you got a Grade 2 in Maths instead of a Grade 7, thus reducing your overall score /45 by say, 5 then that could hinder whether you'd be able to get accepted into the course.

I feel sorry that you haven't had a good maths teacher, but I guess you're just going to have to work out whether you are able to work with your new teacher? Have you tried letting your teacher know that you think she's going too fast and that you're struggling? A good teacher would try to help you out. Alternatively, If you're serious about improving, it sounds like a tutor could be helpful? Also, is everyone else suffering in a similar way because of your previous horrible maths teacher?

Anyway, to actually answer your specific questions.. sure it seems like you could take Studies now and pass it much easier than doing SL.. but I think there's a part of you called pride that would like to avoid dropping down if possible? (I know the exact feeling). However, if you're currently sitting at a Grade 2… to be honest that's pretty low, and you've got a lot of work to do if you really want to climb back up the grades. Realistically a Grade 2 suggests to me that you might not be capable of achieving like a Grade 6/7 at Maths SL but.. only you know how much effort you've put in and how much you had studied to get that Grade 2. I don't think it's worth a Grade 7 in Maths if you end up getting like Grades 4/5 in other subjects, so you need to balance all your subjects so that you get the best overall score /45. So that was all a bit rambly but I hope it helps a bit? :) Ultimately I believe that deep inside you know whether you are truly capable and motivated to achieving at Maths SL or whether you'd prefer to take it easier and just drop.

^A possible problem with what was suggested above is maybe with the IAs? I think Studies and SL IAs are slightly different? (TBH not too sure about that since I think I'm a different syllabus), but anyway, I do suggest you figure it out as soon as you can so you can work out a plan for studying throughout the year/set a goal for what you want to achieve in maths/IB.

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Hi Vernisa,

Had the same problem; Our teacher was really bad too, and I didn't exactly learned anything, so I actually decided to switch to Math Studies. The problem with Math Studies is that some universities doesn't accept it, however only Math SL/HL, but I choose to take the course, because I wanna study Law and that doesn't really requires Math.

I'm not sure if Math plays an important role in International Studies? But I bet that some British universities attends IB students with Math studies, Richmond American University/College in London does though.

Are you studying IB at Birkerod eller CIS? Since there's a sign with a danish flag on. But I think Birkerod allows you to switch.

Best regards,

Nimra Iqbal, Denmark

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Hi Vernisa,

Had the same problem; Our teacher was really bad too, and I didn't exactly learned anything, so I actually decided to switch to Math Studies. The problem with Math Studies is that some universities doesn't accept it, however only Math SL/HL, but I choose to take the course, because I wanna study Law and that doesn't really requires Math.

I'm not sure if Math plays an important role in International Studies? But I bet that some British universities attends IB students with Math studies, Richmond American University/College in London does though.

Are you studying IB at Birkerod eller CIS? Since there's a sign with a danish flag on. But I think Birkerod allows you to switch.

Best regards,

Nimra Iqbal, Denmark

Hi Nimra,

When did you exactly move to studies? Has it been better for you? (yes, I assume). I am really considering it. I wanted to study International Law and then I realized that International Studies had it and it contained so many interesting topics for me so I decided to choose this one. As far as I could see I do not think I need Maths SL since it is humanistic subject? However, I choose SL because I thought I could be capable of it. I just do not like switching a level mid of my IB2...

I attend IB at Grenaa Gymnasium. I tried to apply for IB in Birkerød but they said that there was no spot for me at the boarding. What about you?

Kind regards,

Vernisa Dedic

I can at least say that for Australia if you wanted to study International Studies then doing Maths Studies vs SL would pretty much not affect you at all in gaining entrance into the course. Although having said that, obviously, if doing SL instead of Studies meant you got a Grade 2 in Maths instead of a Grade 7, thus reducing your overall score /45 by say, 5 then that could hinder whether you'd be able to get accepted into the course.

I feel sorry that you haven't had a good maths teacher, but I guess you're just going to have to work out whether you are able to work with your new teacher? Have you tried letting your teacher know that you think she's going too fast and that you're struggling? A good teacher would try to help you out. Alternatively, If you're serious about improving, it sounds like a tutor could be helpful? Also, is everyone else suffering in a similar way because of your previous horrible maths teacher?

Anyway, to actually answer your specific questions.. sure it seems like you could take Studies now and pass it much easier than doing SL.. but I think there's a part of you called pride that would like to avoid dropping down if possible? (I know the exact feeling). However, if you're currently sitting at a Grade 2… to be honest that's pretty low, and you've got a lot of work to do if you really want to climb back up the grades. Realistically a Grade 2 suggests to me that you might not be capable of achieving like a Grade 6/7 at Maths SL but.. only you know how much effort you've put in and how much you had studied to get that Grade 2. I don't think it's worth a Grade 7 in Maths if you end up getting like Grades 4/5 in other subjects, so you need to balance all your subjects so that you get the best overall score /45. So that was all a bit rambly but I hope it helps a bit? :) Ultimately I believe that deep inside you know whether you are truly capable and motivated to achieving at Maths SL or whether you'd prefer to take it easier and just drop.

^A possible problem with what was suggested above is maybe with the IAs? I think Studies and SL IAs are slightly different? (TBH not too sure about that since I think I'm a different syllabus), but anyway, I do suggest you figure it out as soon as you can so you can work out a plan for studying throughout the year/set a goal for what you want to achieve in maths/IB.

I feel that it would be better for me to get a better grade in studies than having a low grade in SL. I think you are right about that I do not need SL in order to get into the course. I would not think so because it does not play an important role I assume.

Yes, everyone said that the previous teacher was horrible. No My teacher actually gave us an evaluation but I had never said to her personally that I am struggling. I will do that! I will get my calculus test back soon so if I see that it is best to move then I think I will do. But do you think it is too late to move when I am in the middle of IB2?

So many questions still to be asked, and I will talk to my teacher about it. Thank you all for answering to my problem. It was very helpful! :)

-Vernisa

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Hi Vernisa,

Had the same problem; Our teacher was really bad too, and I didn't exactly learned anything, so I actually decided to switch to Math Studies. The problem with Math Studies is that some universities doesn't accept it, however only Math SL/HL, but I choose to take the course, because I wanna study Law and that doesn't really requires Math.

I'm not sure if Math plays an important role in International Studies? But I bet that some British universities attends IB students with Math studies, Richmond American University/College in London does though.

Are you studying IB at Birkerod eller CIS? Since there's a sign with a danish flag on. But I think Birkerod allows you to switch.

Best regards,

Nimra Iqbal, Denmark

Hi Nimra,

When did you exactly move to studies? Has it been better for you? (yes, I assume). I am really considering it. I wanted to study International Law and then I realized that International Studies had it and it contained so many interesting topics for me so I decided to choose this one. As far as I could see I do not think I need Maths SL since it is humanistic subject? However, I choose SL because I thought I could be capable of it. I just do not like switching a level mid of my IB2...

I attend IB at Grenaa Gymnasium. I tried to apply for IB in Birkerød but they said that there was no spot for me at the boarding. What about you?

Kind regards,

Vernisa Dedic

I can at least say that for Australia if you wanted to study International Studies then doing Maths Studies vs SL would pretty much not affect you at all in gaining entrance into the course. Although having said that, obviously, if doing SL instead of Studies meant you got a Grade 2 in Maths instead of a Grade 7, thus reducing your overall score /45 by say, 5 then that could hinder whether you'd be able to get accepted into the course.

I feel sorry that you haven't had a good maths teacher, but I guess you're just going to have to work out whether you are able to work with your new teacher? Have you tried letting your teacher know that you think she's going too fast and that you're struggling? A good teacher would try to help you out. Alternatively, If you're serious about improving, it sounds like a tutor could be helpful? Also, is everyone else suffering in a similar way because of your previous horrible maths teacher?

Anyway, to actually answer your specific questions.. sure it seems like you could take Studies now and pass it much easier than doing SL.. but I think there's a part of you called pride that would like to avoid dropping down if possible? (I know the exact feeling). However, if you're currently sitting at a Grade 2… to be honest that's pretty low, and you've got a lot of work to do if you really want to climb back up the grades. Realistically a Grade 2 suggests to me that you might not be capable of achieving like a Grade 6/7 at Maths SL but.. only you know how much effort you've put in and how much you had studied to get that Grade 2. I don't think it's worth a Grade 7 in Maths if you end up getting like Grades 4/5 in other subjects, so you need to balance all your subjects so that you get the best overall score /45. So that was all a bit rambly but I hope it helps a bit? :) Ultimately I believe that deep inside you know whether you are truly capable and motivated to achieving at Maths SL or whether you'd prefer to take it easier and just drop.

^A possible problem with what was suggested above is maybe with the IAs? I think Studies and SL IAs are slightly different? (TBH not too sure about that since I think I'm a different syllabus), but anyway, I do suggest you figure it out as soon as you can so you can work out a plan for studying throughout the year/set a goal for what you want to achieve in maths/IB.

I feel that it would be better for me to get a better grade in studies than having a low grade in SL. I think you are right about that I do not need SL in order to get into the course. I would not think so because it does not play an important role I assume.

Yes, everyone said that the previous teacher was horrible. No My teacher actually gave us an evaluation but I had never said to her personally that I am struggling. I will do that! I will get my calculus test back soon so if I see that it is best to move then I think I will do. But do you think it is too late to move when I am in the middle of IB2?

So many questions still to be asked, and I will talk to my teacher about it. Thank you all for answering to my problem. It was very helpful! :)

-Vernisa

Hi Vernisa,

Beginning of now, Senior year. It has been the best for me, truly. Math SL was tiny to hard for me, and Math Studies is great though. You'd fastly get used to the classes, and it isn't hard or tough at all. Just remember taking your calculator to the classes and remember the solves. That's all. But if SL is hard for you - you should think about switching in a hurry. It'd be a same to attend to a class, you don't get. It's never to late for picking Math Studies, since you're not going to use it for your International Studies.

For what you choose, I wish you good luck. - Be free to ask me, you can add me on Facebook as well.

- Nimra Iqbal

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Yes, everyone said that the previous teacher was horrible. No My teacher actually gave us an evaluation but I had never said to her personally that I am struggling. I will do that! I will get my calculus test back soon so if I see that it is best to move then I think I will do. But do you think it is too late to move when I am in the middle of IB2?

Well, at my school our deadline to switch and confirm our HL/SL subjects was at the end of IB1. So actually, you should probably ask your IB coordinator ASAP whether the possibility for you to switch is actually still open! I hope it is, just so you have a choice in choosing what to do. I hope things get better for you! & yeah, definitely let your teacher know about your problems. If she doesn't help, well you didn't lose anything, but if she does, it could make all the difference. :)

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Hello,

Personally, I also started off with math SL. I wasn't even doing that bad for the first month (4's). On the other hand, my HL's (chem and geo mostly) were suffering as far as grades went, because I was spending a lot of time working on math. All of my teachers recommended that I dropped to Math Studies. I wasn't too happy about it at first, but it actually really helped - my other classes went up as well as math.

If after a while you really see that you won't pass your IB because of math, I would suggest that you drop. International relations doesn't look like it's big on math, and you'll be able to catch up no problem. :) In the end your IB points will go up no matter what ;) That's a good thing to consider.

Good luck with whatever you do!

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Hi Vermissa,

I think you should stay in Math SL, and work as hard as you can. I don't know if this is a rumor or not, but my friend was telling me on how some universities prefer SL over studies; even when they say other wise. I wish you all the very best and perhaps talk to your IB Coordinator, or your University counselor! :)

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