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My goal of achieving a 39 points in IB

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Fellow IB survivors and IB alumnis, hello guys! :D okay, so I have set upon myself a goal of achieving 39 points in IB which is the requirement for the entry to one of my dream universities. I'm willing to dedicate as much of my time as possible towards IB. Can someone tell me whether getting 39 is really really difficult? and I'd very much appreciate if you could give me some advice on how to progress with my studies. 

 

Just for reference: my HL subjects are: English A HL; Math HL; Physics HL; Chemistry HL.

 

And SL subjects are: Economics SL and French Ab Initio SL

 

Ohhhh, and it'd also be helpful if you could recommend point denominations for me so that they add up to 39. :D I'm a math/science oriented student. :)

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"Can someone tell me whether getting 39 points is really really difficult?" I'm going to go ahead and say yes, it is really really difficult. It isn't impossible - clearly many people are in the 40s. But you're getting into the top scores in the world at this point. Plus, you're doing 4 HLs (like me!), which makes it even harder.

 

Each class is out of 7 points, and you have 6 classes. Then there are the three possible bonus points from ToK/ EE. So, that's 45 points total.

 

An average 6/7 points per class is only 36. If you got all 3 bonus points and all 6s, you'd have 39.

 

I think you'll probably want some 7s if you're going for this goal though, as getting a single 7 in your best class is probably more likely than getting the 3 bonus points. 

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Fellow IB survivors and IB alumnis, hello guys! :D okay, so I have set upon myself a goal of achieving 39 points in IB which is the requirement for the entry to one of my dream universities. I'm willing to dedicate as much of my time as possible towards IB. Can someone tell me whether getting 39 is really really difficult? and I'd very much appreciate if you could give me some advice on how to progress with my studies. 

 

Just for reference: my HL subjects are: English A HL; Math HL; Physics HL; Chemistry HL.

 

And SL subjects are: Economics SL and French Ab Initio SL

 

Ohhhh, and it'd also be helpful if you could recommend point denominations for me so that they add up to 39. :D I'm a math/science oriented student. :)

Firstly, which universities and what course?

I got 39. 39 is difficult to achieve and puts you in the top 6% of IB students worldwide, but it obviously is achievable.

My advice to you is this. Drop one of your HLs. Choose which one you don't need and drop it. You'll waste valuable time and effort on the extra one that you won't need. I'd advise dropping maths or one of the sciences if you don't absolutely need them for university entrance, as English is easier to get a 5 or 6 in, but can be difficult to get a 7.

It's hard for us to judge where your points would come from, as we don't know your academic ability

I was predicted about 36, and predicted to get a 7 in history (which I did), 6s in English, biology and geography (got a 7 in English and 6s in the others) a 5 in maths studies (which I did get) and a 4 in French (which i got a 6 in), as well as B/B (got A/C) in EE/TOK. So clearly there can be a huge disparity between your predicted and actual result. 

Work hard, don't procrastinate, learn exam technique and learn you syllabi backwards, ESPECIALLY for economics, and physics and chemistry. They have much more detailed syllabi than English, French and to an extent, maths. For English, keep practicing your handling of texts and analysis, and in the run up to your IB exams write at least 2 practice essays per paper for English. The same applies for French and make sure your grammar is perfect, as a huge emphasis is put on it. The written assignment is also a godsend so do well in that!

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39 will be difficult because your HLs all have a huge workload, and you will not have much time to spare outside of CAS. IB really is about endurance, I took 4 HLs, and I am pretty much burnt out at the end of IB1.  How confident are you in getting an average of 6 across all subjects + 3 bonus points (well you probably want to get a 7 in at least 1 subject because 3 bonus points is actually quite difficult to get).

 

Other than that, Economics and French AB are quite easy to score 7s if you put in a meager amount of effort (relative to Math/Physics/Chem/Lit HL). So get 7s on those subjects to give yourself some leeway ^_^. Good Luck!!!

 

edit: our subjects are actually quite similar, except I have biology HL instead of chemistry HL & French B instead of French AB so let me know if you have any specific questions

Edited by Maple
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French ab is generally an easy 7 or 6 for most people if you are willing to put effort into it and will probably be your easiest subject. 39 points is achievable but with 4 HLs it is going to be really hard. You might want to consider dropping English to SL (as English HL is extra books which means extra time having to be spent reading etc) and I don't think it'll be necessary for any mathsy/sciencey course in uni! Or if you're a tiny bit worried about maths you could consider moving that to SL but it sounds like you're pretty capable to me! The idea to getting high scores is to focus on choosing the subjects you like/are good at for HL and making the rest as easy as possible :)

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Hey guys! thanks for those insights. Yeah, I know all about the IB grading systems and I've made up my mind that I'm not willing to deal with the pressure of four HLs during the IB exams as I know that's a very hectic time of the course, so I'll probably drop one by the end of the year. I initially took the 4 HLs to try and explore my options better and to determine what my fortes are. I think I'm starting to get a fair idea now.

 

I was considering dropping my English HL option.. do you guys have any idea what sort of differences there might be if I did English A SL rather than English A HL? 

 

@elliex0x0x - wow, are you guys doing the simultaneous IB and ACT programme as well? I'm from Fiji and we're taking that approach. I find it kind of BS tbh, and frankly quite unnecessary. :/

 


Hey guys! thanks for those insights. Yeah, I know all about the IB grading systems and I've made up my mind that I'm not willing to deal with the pressure of four HLs during the IB exams as I know that's a very hectic time of the course, so I'll probably drop one by the end of the year. I initially took the 4 HLs to try and explore my options better and to determine what my fortes are. I think I'm starting to get a fair idea now.

 

I was considering dropping my English HL option.. do you guys have any idea what sort of differences there might be if I did English A SL rather than English A HL? 

 

@elliex0x0x - wow, are you guys doing the simultaneous IB and ACT programme as well? I'm from Fiji and we're taking that approach. I find it kind of BS tbh, and frankly quite unnecessary. :/

 

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Hey so this year I got 39 core points and all I can say that it is definitely achievable but requires scrupulous effort. Essentially I was unfortunate in that I was forced to take French B SL as apposed to AB initio and I inevitably ended up with a 5 in that subject. Judging solely on your subjects, I can guarantee you that they will be very demanding and time consuming, given that you must understand the topics as well as manipulate situations. I too did 4HLs the first year of IB and decided to drop math in my transitionary period to IBY2 so 4Hls definitely help if you are wavering. Again be careful in terms of risk reward ratio because you may find yourself stretching yourself thin and not performing to the best of your ability resultantly.

Furthermore a major contributing factor in dropping math was that I really did not want all my Chem HL material that I labored over to go in vain and I really recommend doing math HL first year then dropping regardless as it constitutes most of math Sl syllabus. After dropping, I was ahead of the math Sl class (1 other person however) but there will still be learning - conceptually less difficult.

My rule of thumb was essentially to pick 2 Hls that I was passionate about but were also considered hard and the 3rd has to be something comparatively easier in every possible facet. Having this leeway can assure your success in the 3rd HL whilst permitting you extra time in the other HLs. My predicament is very peculiar in that, as a class, we finished the bio HL syllabus 5 months before the exams, which was relieving.

English HL is pathetic compared to Sl in terms of workload difference and I never really felt that the HL components of the syllabus warranted the extra hours - Again this is my opinion and not necessarily the truth but I am referring to Lang&Lit. The workload is almost identical except that HL students, I believe, have an extra written task and a different P1. For the IOC HL students have 3 books as apposed to SL's 2 books which is probably the only thing to feel anxious about. Other than that for your P2 you guys are required to read 3 books but only have to use 2 books for your analysis whilst Sl students only read 2 books and thus the extra book allowed to HL students is strategically advantageous. Some HL kids didnt even bother reading the extra HL book as there would be no use if it was not needed. The extra classes definitely work in your favor in that you will have more comprehensive discussions that I often felt would be of benefit to Sl students too but time allocation thwarted this. I must say, however, that the grading, I have heard, is much more difficult for HL students but again this, like English, is arbitrary. As an SL student I would have benefitted from the extra time in P2 as I always rushed my ideas and the 90minutes worked to my detriment. Hopefully HL english students can actually render some advice as they are more suitable to do so.

I would say definitely take and Keep the HL if you can but again you havent shared us which university and course you aspire to enroll in so it may vary.

Finally if I can stress anything to the nth degree it would be the following: GUARANTEE YOURSELF THE EXTRA 3 POINTS!!! These points will be your safe haven if you ever feel pressured and will alleviate a lot of pressure going into the exam. That being said, never trust what your teachers say about your predicted always aim at improving your essays. I put in a dismissive effort into my TOK and since my teacher told me that he thought it was A weak A, i didnt give it much thought and assumed I was getting at-least a B. Imagine my surprise when I got freakin C - Still pissed to this date. The bonus points for many are the difference between a pass and a fail but for me particularly I now really dont care for them since if you do not get all 3, it really diminishes your total percentage and thats why i always tell people my core score.

Like everyone else has said, it is hard to say what type of breakdown you're looking at but be realistic in your approach so that you can optimize your full usage. I thought I wasnt going to get a 5 in french and frankly didnt care so for the last month and a half prior to the exam, i only studied once which was the day before the exam.

That being said, French AB initio and Economics SL are really considered to be easy subjects and you should consider yourself lucky to be able to do an initio language because those tend to be the easiest, especially if you have some grasping beforehand. Not to sound conceded or anything of the sort but Economics SL is really a joke of a subject in its rudimentary concepts and lack of workload. I would recommend taking HL because that too was a breeze but again you would have to disclose your course plans et cetera. 

Just make sure you really give the remaining time of IB all that you have whilst still maintaining an equilibrium in life. If I learnt anything from this whole experience, if you put in an HONEST effort into everything you do, it will somehow pay dividends. Do not stress too much on the final number because at the end of the day it is exactly that and doesnt determine whether one is a genius or a failure. Just give it all your honest effort and it will work itself.

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Depends which english you take - if you take literature only, then for SL paper 2 you only study 2 texts instead of more (the people in my school studied 4 at HL). If you take langlit, for SL paper 1 you only analyse 1 text whereas for HL, you analyse 2 simultaneously (so you'd be writing a comparative essay). For SL paper 2 you'd be studying 2 texts whereas HL can study 3.

 

And of course, HL requirements are much more than SL, for example a 7 in SL = 6 in HL.

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Fellow IB survivors and IB alumnis, hello guys! :D okay, so I have set upon myself a goal of achieving 39 points in IB which is the requirement for the entry to one of my dream universities. I'm willing to dedicate as much of my time as possible towards IB. Can someone tell me whether getting 39 is really really difficult? and I'd very much appreciate if you could give me some advice on how to progress with my studies. 

 

Just for reference: my HL subjects are: English A HL; Math HL; Physics HL; Chemistry HL.

 

And SL subjects are: Economics SL and French Ab Initio SL

 

Ohhhh, and it'd also be helpful if you could recommend point denominations for me so that they add up to 39. :D I'm a math/science oriented student. :)

 

Hi I have a slightly similar subject combination similar to yours (except the 4 HLs) ... Math HL, Physics HL,Chemistry HL, Eco SL, Eng Lit SL and French SL

 

I did get 39 points. It really isn't as difficult as you think. Target 7s and (at least 6s) in all your subjects (especially HLs). Honestly I believe if you work hard REGULARLY over the two years and perfect all your internal assessments it isn't difficult at all. In fact considering the low grade boundaries of Physics, Math and Chemistry at higher level, it is very much possible to get 7 for all these subjects.

 

Economics SL in my opinion is one of the softer humanities subjects and is easier to get a 7 in compared to History, Business, ITGS etc. Just try to practice many essays and read many newspaper articles that can give you ideas of real life economic examples to include in your essay answers. You should target a 7 in Economics SL.

 

French ab initio - I gather it is very easy, just assesses you on the basics of the language .... getting a 7 is very easy.

 

English A at HL - hmmm ... can't comment on that... I hear its a bit of a wildcard... due to the huge subjectivity in grading and higher grade boundaries.... I personally don't think one can easily get a 7. You could expect a 6. Anyways, no harm in working and trying hard for a 7, but don't be disappointed if you don't get it.

 

So, five 7s and one 6, you already have 41 points.

Plus, TOK/EE bonus points.

 

So, answering your primary question: it is not really, really difficult :)

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I really think it depends on your abilities. I tend to be a natural at mathematics so it's an easy 7 at HL. The only way to do really well is to practice practice practice. Practice to the extent that you don't have to remember the formula booklet. Practice the questionbank AND past papers to the extent that if you see a question, you should be able to relate it to a past question you've done. The questions in textbooks are hardly enough. In tests, pick up marks in the easy questions as fast as you can. Occasionally, there is a question sent from Satan, and then there's nothing much you can do. But remember, Math HL is not meant to be hell, it's meant to use methods you know. Practice towards the IB style questions. Also, make sure you are familiar with the new syllabus. The first set of students to go through exams for the new syllabus (this year) were in for a shock, because although they covered the new topics, there weren't questions on them in the questionbank so they didn't focus on them. This was especially true for Paper 3 in the topic of Calculus. Make links between different topics for example trigonometry and complex numbers, vectors and planes, systems of equations etc. Learn some extra stuff too. Even though matrices aren't in the syllabus anymore, they are extremely useful for two reasons. One, to figure out the cross-product of two vectors and two, for row-reduction with systems of equation. Lol  I said a lot. Point being, be interested :D Math is an amazing subject and you should treat it as such.

 

Physics HL is actually a really straightforward subject. The problem is that people freak out when things look unfamiliar (which doesn't happen too often in Chemistry). Your concepts need to be VERY strong. Again, textbooks don't work that well. A tip is to learn everything in terms of calculus. The reason I say this is because it helps A LOT in graphs. There was this one question on gravitational fields, where the graph of the potential against distance is given. They ask you where the field strength is zero. All you know is that field strength = -∆potential/∆distance, which doesn't really help you. However, if you understood that it was actually field strength = -d potential/ d distance (what im saying will make sense when you do it in math), it becomes a piece of cake. Works the same way for graphs of Topic 4. Again, make links between topics. And have a VERY strong basis with vectors. They often throw in a question that requires knowledge of resolving vectors and time and time again people forget how. There's this one question in which you literally just had to use pythagoras's theorem but it scared the sh*t out of students :') Practice practice practice practice is so so so important for Physics. Its perhaps the ONLY way to solidify your concepts in the way that IB wants. Its still doable though.

 

Chemistry HL is even more straightforward. I suggest that you have a good background in chemistry. In chemistry, everything links together, even more so that math or physics. Recognizing these links is really important. However, the concepts are more straightforward and so are the questions. Some people find chem harder than physics, and some the other way around. Play to your strengths. Find innovative methods to carry out calculations. A lot of the steps is conversion between mass and moles and other stuff. As long as you have your stuff straight, Chem HL is very doable. It doesn't require as much practice as physics and math. However, it might require more sophistication in terms of thinking.

 

I don't do English A L&L at HL, but SL instead. Im assuming HL is doable. The only difference is a few extra books, and that paper 1 is comparative. The rest is actually a-okay. English is very subjective so the best way to do well is to have a great relationship with your teacher. There are multiple chances to improve yourself so make sure to pick up on this. In every subject, a teacher can give detailed feedback on internal work ONCE per work, so take advantage.

 

I do Economics at SL as well, and it's a breeze. The only reason I have a 6 atm and no a 7 was cause of one assignment that f*cked the class haha but my teacher says a 7 is definitely mine :) Since its mainly essays and stuff, learn exam technique. Your theory has to be solid. Make sure you know everything. The textbook is not nearly enough. You need to become an economic thinker. Basically that means if something happens, you must be able to explain its effect. And the effect tends to a be a chain of events. In exams, make sure to explain every step of the chain of events. AND EVALUATE even if its just a bit. I cannot stress this enough. People forget to evaluate and lose so many marks. Evaluation becomes easy once you practice a lot. And remember, there are multiple approaches to every question. IN terms of internal assessment, pick up as many marks as you can there. Again, get detailed feedback from your teacher.

 

I do French at B SL instead of Ab Initio SL. However, if you really haven't done French before (as the aim is), you have to be enthusiastic about the language. Use it whenever you can. And LEARN vocab as much as you can. Try not to forget the words you learn. If you're in Ab Initio, words will be your friend. In B SL its more of context, but in Ab Initio vocabulary is crucial. Languages B is one of the subjects for which I'd say the textbook is enough. Try to talk to your friends in the target language. And stay on top of the grammar. The whole point is to learn a new language. You shouldn't view it as another subject, but rather some sort of cultural immersion. Have fun :)

 

AND PICK UP THE 3 EXTRA POINTS. Its not hard at all. Maybe an AA, AB or BA might be hard but a BB and hence 2 extra points is VERY doable. As long as you stay on top of your work, and you ENJOY it, you're on your way to a 39 or plus :D Enjoying it is all its about.

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