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Maths Studies... under-rated?

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Hello all!
I'd just like to discuss something that I think is important to me and in also everyone else who does Maths Studies.
Why do people think Studies is bad? It's not. They say it's an easy course for the 'less-able' students, but this isn't the case. I'd just like to clarify that the Maths Studies course is simply only more statistic-based, without the calculus and etc side of mathematics. It's for people that don't necessarily need complex Maths such as Physics, Mathematics, Economics maybe, etc.. For other things, it's not needed, such as art-careers. Also, it is worth noting that taking Maths Studies is a good opportunity to get a high score and in turn you can also focus on other subjects and achieve better in them too. Even things such as Medicine don't need complex mathematical skills, you don't see a doctor doing calculus in their clinic. My cousin is currently doing a Doctor of Medicine course in uni and he says the only real maths you do is statistics, which is widely emphasised in the Maths Studies course.
Maths Studies is a course that is very much based on statistical knowledge and features much more statistics than the other mathematics courses. I really feel that it's under-rated just because it doesn't have calculus and logarithms.
People are driven to believe that this course is for stupid people and I'd just like to clarify that this isn't the case. I'm sorry if you think I wasted your time in this, but I just felt the need to get it across as I haven't seen such posts being made. The whole point of this is to kindly ask people (they know who they are) to stop making ridiculing Maths Studies just because they're doing Maths SL or HL or even Further Maths.
Thanks for reading, your time is truly appreciated. :)

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You're right in saying that math studies kids are unfairly picked on.

I agree with you that a person who takes math studies is not necessarily, for lack of a better word, stupid. I personally know a girl who took studies, got a 45 and then went on to Stanford and then Wharton.

That being said, it seems a fairly limited course. I gather from your post (I needed HL math for what I want to do so didn't consider studies at all and as a result don't know what the course does and doesn't cover) that it doesn't even cover logarithms, which most systems cover by grade 10.

People think it's bad because studies closes a fairly large number of doors, career wise. Right off the bat it closes off engineering and physics, and possibly chemistry. Then there's economics and all the variants of finance. Additionally, teachers tell students outright, that they shouldn't take studies unless they have no other option. It's one thing when students say it's not good, but when the teachers who instruct the course say so, then the subject really doesn't inspire confidence.

As for why studies kids get picked on, I think it's because the kids who take them are either not capable of higher levels of math or don't need it, which makes them look like they're just giving up. Which makes them an easy target either way when people are cracking jokes at the expense of one another. It doesn't help that teachers tell students not to take it unless they absolutely have no other choice, which makes people think of it as something to avoid.

Not that it justifies making fun of kids taking studies.

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Stats are very useful but also very easy compared to the content in the SL and HL courses. I think it's perceived as being for 'stupid' people, as you put it, because the content makes it the least challenging to get high grades in. If you're not good at Maths, then Studies is going to give you the best chance of getting a 7 because it's comparatively less difficult to master. It's also got quite a lot of content which people might have studied pre-IB.

 

It's a little bit like doing ESS if you're rubbish at sciences. It's the least challenging maths content v.s. the least challenging science content. You don't have to be less able to do Maths Studies and there are logical reasons for picking it to get your grade up (as you mentioned), but if you ARE less able, your best bet is maths studies. It's one of those 'not all A are B but all Bs are A' things. Saying it's not an easy course for less able students is sort-of denying what Maths Studies is - it's not ridiculing it to state that, it's the truth. I wish I had done Studies retrospectively because I found SL Maths really hard. However as you said there are pros and cons to taking it if you don't need Maths in your future career, and it doesn't have to be because you're 'stupid' or anything like that. You could just be trying to free up some extra time, or have a passion for stats or something - although there are of course elements of stats in SL and HL. But saying it's on an equivalent difficulty level to SL Maths (Methods) would be a lie. That's my opinion, anyway!

 

I did an 'easy' humanity (Philosophy) to free up some time. There's no shame in it :P I'll openly admit it wasn't as hard as if I'd done History.

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Hello all!

I'd just like to discuss something that I think is important to me and in also everyone else who does Maths Studies.

Why do people think Studies is bad? It's not. They say it's an easy course for the 'less-able' students, but this isn't the case. I'd just like to clarify that the Maths Studies course is simply only more statistic-based, without the calculus and etc side of mathematics. It's for people that don't necessarily need complex Maths such as Physics, Mathematics, Economics maybe, etc.. For other things, it's not needed, such as art-careers. Also, it is worth noting that taking Maths Studies is a good opportunity to get a high score and in turn you can also focus on other subjects and achieve better in them too. Even things such as Medicine don't need complex mathematical skills, you don't see a doctor doing calculus in their clinic. My cousin is currently doing a Doctor of Medicine course in uni and he says the only real maths you do is statistics, which is widely emphasised in the Maths Studies course.

Maths Studies is a course that is very much based on statistical knowledge and features much more statistics than the other mathematics courses. I really feel that it's under-rated just because it doesn't have calculus and logarithms.

People are driven to believe that this course is for stupid people and I'd just like to clarify that this isn't the case. I'm sorry if you think I wasted your time in this, but I just felt the need to get it across as I haven't seen such posts being made. The whole point of this is to kindly ask people (they know who they are) to stop making ridiculing Maths Studies just because they're doing Maths SL or HL or even Further Maths.

Thanks for reading, your time is truly appreciated. :)

 

Hey there, 

 

Firstly, claiming that math studies students are "stupid" is wrong. I absolutely agree with you on this. There is no reason to be making such baseless claims. In fact, one of our IBS people is currently reading Jurisprudence at Oxford, and she did math studies! 

 

That said, I'm going to have to disagree with the rest of your post.

 

Math studies is easier than the other math courses in IB. A large part of the curriculum is at an O-level standard (I don't know what the equivalent is for you, but the age of candidates for it centers around 16). Saying it is simply more statistics-based is categorically invalid when the entire statistics portion of the subject forms the basics of the statistics portion for math HL. Not to mention the complex topics which show up, as you have mentioned. I'd avoid over-generalizing by saying that Math Studies is under-rated simply because it doesn't have calculus and logarithms. It's not just about the topics (of which there are many more missing than just the two you've mentioned), but also the difficulty of the questions, which is much, much more than what one sees in Studies. 

 

You're right in saying that Math Studies is for people who will not really use much math in their field (musicians, historians, writers, etc). However, a sizeable portion of students taking this subject are simply students who aren't willing to put enough effort into their academics. This is what leads to the branding of all Math Studies students as "lazy", "stupid", etc. 

 

Universities also tend to value Math SL and HL highly because of the necessary skills getting a high score in these subjects indicates: Logic, reasoning ability, hardworking attitude, etc. Whether they're right or wrong is a different matter, but that's generally their line of reasoning. I'd imagine that's why many universities in UK do in fact like to see Math HL on a medicine application. 

 

Yes, Math Studies is a good opportunity to get a good score - because it is fairly easy compared to the other math courses. You really need to get your stand on its difficulty sorted out!

 

Anyway, this is not to say that the other math courses are better than Math Studies. If someone wants to take it for the easy grade, or because math is fairly useless in their foreseeable future, then that should be the reason! Saying it is simply different or harder in a way than the other math courses is not very true. 

 

Of course, to your overall point, we as IB students have no right to be ridiculing students who take any subject. I'd dearly like to give anyone who claims a student is stupid simply because said student takes Math Studies, a very tight slap across the face. I have yet to see such blatant rudeness on IBS, so hopefully whatever you've seen or heard is just a bunch of teenagers being... a bunch of teenagers. Math Studies or not, we're all just trying to survive the IB ;)

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Hey,

I totally agree with you! All the people who chose Maths Studies should not be ashamed of their choice because more and more unis start taking studies into consideration. I personally chose studies and all the universities I am interested in started recognizing it this year, for economics and environmental science related courses (concordia, UAlberta, UCalgary,...). Some of my classmates have been mocking me and yet we're going to apply to the same universities, to the same courses! And that has been the same for years in our school.
At the begining of Y1 people made fun of me. Now it's the opposite as they are feeling foolish having chosen maths methods (scoring 3s, 4s, 5s) while they could just have taken studies and score 7s  :D.

Ergo, we should not feel bad about mockery. When maths sl/hl people make fun of us, we should laugh as hard as them  :P. Let's love eachother. Arguing about which person is more intelligent, based on subject choices, is not worth it.  :blowkiss:​ 
 

Best  ^_^,

 

I forgot to say that calculus is in the maths studies syllabus... although it's quite easy compared to sl/hl calculus  :lol:

Edited by Youss

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Hey Abdullah. Everyone is talented in there own way! Sure Math SL and HL are difficult and challenging. But Studies doesn't inherently makes anyone 'stupid'.  Many of my friends who have taken Studies are the smartest people I have known, doing great in the most challenging aspects of IB.

 

At my school, teachers, in fact, encourage students to consider Studies if they absolutely don't require it in their career aspirations (given that they find SL level hard to cope up with). At the end of the day, its your scores that matter. Getting a 4 in SL versus 7 in Studies... of course the latter gives you a greater leverage. Plus you can focus on your other HLs. Most universities do cover any mathematical basics in the beginning of their courses. 

 

I suggest check up your uni requirements for Medicals. Unless explicity stated, you can go ahead with Studies. :)

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Universities also tend to value Math SL and HL highly because of the necessary skills getting a high score in these subjects indicates: Logic, reasoning ability, hardworking attitude, etc. Whether they're right or wrong is a different matter, but that's generally their line of reasoning. I'd imagine that's why many universities in UK do in fact like to see Math HL on a medicine application. 

 

 

Not trying to be pedantic, but posting juuust in case anybody reads this and thinks Unis prefer Maths HL - it's not actually true that Universities like to see Maths HL for medicine. Chemistry HL is considered to demonstrate all of the qualities you mentioned (hence its slightly absurd status as a compulsory subject - you don't need Chemistry for medicine either!). So you can do Maths HL but it's not going to put you ahead of any other candidate, assuming you're both offering the same grades and compulsory subjects. Some Universities actually advertise that they prefer to see a language or a humanity as the third subject alongside Chemistry and Biology rather than Maths/Physics, to show you're a more well-rounded student. Anyway. That's all I wanted to say :P 

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I like maths and I want my future career to be about it, so I took HL+further. I'm not talented in languages and humanities, but I have no choice in these subjects (small school) so I took all of them at SL.

Anyone with a decent idea about variety (in both ability and interest) won't discriminate against you only because you took studies.

Other than this point, yii yann's said it all.

 

Regarding the usefulness of mathematics...

forgot_algebra.png

Title text: The only things you HAVE to know are how to make enough of a living to stay alive and how to get your taxes done. All the fun parts of life are optional.

Source: http://xkcd.com/1050/

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^^ I have to say I've played music, cooked and made practical use of my foreign language(s) all since Uni, but still not employed my maths skills! At least, beyond splitting bills at restaurants  :P But even adding and subtracting are tasks I prefer to delegate. Thank-you trusty phone calculator! May you never leave my side.

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Math Studies was the only IB course available for my school in Maths when I started in the IB program.

And yes, I agree with the OP completely on Math Studies.

It's not the hardest Math course for IB, but it isn't exactly a course anyone could complete. There is still a level of difficulty.

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I know people that struggled with math studies. Some people just don't have a thing for mathematics. That doesn't mean they're stupid or dumber than the rest of us, their strengths just lie in a different area, and we shouldn't be mocking them. Anyone who does is just a silly child.

 

And for what it's worth, I am an engineering student, have taken university level multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations courses. I can solve a triple integral in spherical coordinates, find Fourier coefficients, and solve non-homogeneous linear differential equations. Yet I still pull out my phone to figure out what the tip is at restaurants and will use a TI-84+ graphing calculator to take the square root of 9. :P :P

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^^ I have to say I've played music, cooked and made practical use of my foreign language(s) all since Uni, but still not employed my maths skills! At least, beyond splitting bills at restaurants  :P But even adding and subtracting are tasks I prefer to delegate. Thank-you trusty phone calculator! May you never leave my side.

 

And for what it's worth, I am an engineering student, have taken university level multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations courses. I can solve a triple integral in spherical coordinates, find Fourier coefficients, and solve non-homogeneous linear differential equations. Yet I still pull out my phone to figure out what the tip is at restaurants and will use a TI-84+ graphing calculator to take the square root of 9. :P :P

 

So true, so true. Maths HL (but seriously, school maths in general) is terrible preparation for financial/practical maths. I get confused when I have to count out enough coins for a train ticket. And my attempts to use trigonometry when building things is a failure. :) 

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Why should you care about what your peers think of your subject choices? If you take ESS and Math Studies that's your choice and you don't have to care about their opinion. I doubt you will be able to persuade them to think that Maths studies is a respectable subject but then again they don't work in the university admissions office so their opinion is useless. You find out which math is best for you and if maths studies is good for you and you don't want to take any other math class then go ahead and take maths studies.

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Thanks for all your wonderful replies guys, I'm glad a lot of you are understanding what I was mainly trying to point out here. I believe no student should be discriminated for what they do as in the end, they're all subjects made by the same qualifying organisation, the IBO, which in itself, is highly-esteemed around the world. :)

Also, I honestly don't know why people are so convinced that universities only care about pre-requisite subjects, most unis actually care about the score more than anything else. Say you want to do engineering, and you do Physics HL and Maths HL to look likeable in such a competitive field. But what's the point if you get, say, a ≈30 with these subjects if the university won't even look consider looking at you with such a score. On the other hand, if you get a ≈40, they will look at you because of your high score, because it proves you're smart and well-rounded anyway, a less-able student wouldn't get such a score. There's this thing called assumed knowledge, where regardless of what subjects you do, if you get high scores, you're obviously smart. So back to the engineering thing, they did Maths and Physics HL for the sake of engineering, but what's the value of them if you got a bad score anyway? And please, don't mis-understand me and think I'm against doing these subjects, if you're capable to achieving well in the these, then by all means study these subjects at HL! :) It's just that these two subjects tend to have a reputation of being the hardest HLs one could do.

All in all, people can do whatever they need in order to pursue future studies in universities.

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Also, I honestly don't know why people are so convinced that universities only care about pre-requisite subjects, most unis actually care about the score more than anything else. Say you want to do engineering, and you do Physics HL and Maths HL to look likeable in such a competitive field. But what's the point if you get, say, a ≈30 with these subjects if the university won't even look consider looking at you with such a score. On the other hand, if you get a ≈40, they will look at you because of your high score, because it proves you're smart and well-rounded anyway, a less-able student wouldn't get such a score.

 

You're probably right for some countries, it depends on where you apply as to the value of pre-requisite subjects. In the USA they don't really care, but in the UK for instance, they're absolute requirements. I think that's why people are so bothered about them. You can score as high as you like, but if you don't offer the required subjects then you're not eligible for the course. The assumed knowledge includes the knowledge gained from those courses, you won't be taught that again at Uni as a rule, and so just showing you're 'smart' in other areas is insufficient. I can be incredible at all my subjects and get 45 points, but if I've not taken Spanish at school then I am not eligible for the Spanish degree, short of taking a year out and getting a qualification in Spanish. They assume I can speak Spanish up to that level before I even show up on their doorstep. Similarly my horrific level of mathematical ability having not proven I know the content of the HL Maths course would also see me failing my Engineering degree! Anyway, that's why people are convinced that Universities only care about pre-requisites. They do... but only in certain countries :P

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Also, I honestly don't know why people are so convinced that universities only care about pre-requisite subjects, most unis actually care about the score more than anything else. Say you want to do engineering, and you do Physics HL and Maths HL to look likeable in such a competitive field. But what's the point if you get, say, a ≈30 with these subjects if the university won't even look consider looking at you with such a score. On the other hand, if you get a ≈40, they will look at you because of your high score, because it proves you're smart and well-rounded anyway, a less-able student wouldn't get such a score.

 

You're probably right for some countries, it depends on where you apply as to the value of pre-requisite subjects. In the USA they don't really care, but in the UK for instance, they're absolute requirements. I think that's why people are so bothered about them. You can score as high as you like, but if you don't offer the required subjects then you're not eligible for the course. The assumed knowledge includes the knowledge gained from those courses, you won't be taught that again at Uni as a rule, and so just showing you're 'smart' in other areas is insufficient. I can be incredible at all my subjects and get 45 points, but if I've not taken Spanish at school then I am not eligible for the Spanish degree, short of taking a year out and getting a qualification in Spanish. They assume I can speak Spanish up to that level before I even show up on their doorstep. Similarly my horrific level of mathematical ability having not proven I know the content of the HL Maths course would also see me failing my Engineering degree! Anyway, that's why people are convinced that Universities only care about pre-requisites. They do... but only in certain countries :P

 

Yeah, I guess you're right Mr Sandwich, thanks for you time and for the good replies. Just to let you know, they're really appreciated by many, including me! :)

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Also, I honestly don't know why people are so convinced that universities only care about pre-requisite subjects, most unis actually care about the score more than anything else. Say you want to do engineering, and you do Physics HL and Maths HL to look likeable in such a competitive field. But what's the point if you get, say, a ≈30 with these subjects if the university won't even look consider looking at you with such a score. On the other hand, if you get a ≈40, they will look at you because of your high score, because it proves you're smart and well-rounded anyway, a less-able student wouldn't get such a score.

 

You're probably right for some countries, it depends on where you apply as to the value of pre-requisite subjects. In the USA they don't really care, but in the UK for instance, they're absolute requirements. I think that's why people are so bothered about them. You can score as high as you like, but if you don't offer the required subjects then you're not eligible for the course. The assumed knowledge includes the knowledge gained from those courses, you won't be taught that again at Uni as a rule, and so just showing you're 'smart' in other areas is insufficient. I can be incredible at all my subjects and get 45 points, but if I've not taken Spanish at school then I am not eligible for the Spanish degree, short of taking a year out and getting a qualification in Spanish. They assume I can speak Spanish up to that level before I even show up on their doorstep. Similarly my horrific level of mathematical ability having not proven I know the content of the HL Maths course would also see me failing my Engineering degree! Anyway, that's why people are convinced that Universities only care about pre-requisites. They do... but only in certain countries :P

 

Yeah, I guess you're right Mr Sandwich, thanks for you time and for the good replies. Just to let you know, they're really appreciated by many, including me! :)

 

 

It's actually a girl sandwich...

 

:P

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Also, I honestly don't know why people are so convinced that universities only care about pre-requisite subjects, most unis actually care about the score more than anything else. Say you want to do engineering, and you do Physics HL and Maths HL to look likeable in such a competitive field. But what's the point if you get, say, a ≈30 with these subjects if the university won't even look consider looking at you with such a score. On the other hand, if you get a ≈40, they will look at you because of your high score, because it proves you're smart and well-rounded anyway, a less-able student wouldn't get such a score.

 

You're probably right for some countries, it depends on where you apply as to the value of pre-requisite subjects. In the USA they don't really care, but in the UK for instance, they're absolute requirements. I think that's why people are so bothered about them. You can score as high as you like, but if you don't offer the required subjects then you're not eligible for the course. The assumed knowledge includes the knowledge gained from those courses, you won't be taught that again at Uni as a rule, and so just showing you're 'smart' in other areas is insufficient. I can be incredible at all my subjects and get 45 points, but if I've not taken Spanish at school then I am not eligible for the Spanish degree, short of taking a year out and getting a qualification in Spanish. They assume I can speak Spanish up to that level before I even show up on their doorstep. Similarly my horrific level of mathematical ability having not proven I know the content of the HL Maths course would also see me failing my Engineering degree! Anyway, that's why people are convinced that Universities only care about pre-requisites. They do... but only in certain countries :P

 

Yeah, I guess you're right Mr Sandwich, thanks for you time and for the good replies. Just to let you know, they're really appreciated by many, including me! :)

 

 

It's actually a girl sandwich...

 

:P

 

Oh hahaha, oopsie, I meant Ms Sandwich! :P

 

 

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