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JamesJ

Can't Take English & Math HL - Advice?

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had advice for my rather horrid situation. At my school, apparently, the schedule for I.B. is set up in such a way that students can't take HL Math and English - apparently "nobody likes both Math and English". However, those are really the only two subjects I have any skill in. Does anyone know if it would be better to just skip I.B. (as I can't think of a third HL instead of English) or suffer through an extra HL?

 

Thank you very much. Sorry if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I'm a bit new to I.B.

 

(Basically: is it worth it to pay the 400$/yr for full I.B. when there's only one course that will actually help you with university credits? And if it is, does anyone know an HL that's good for university?)

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Hey there!

 

That sounds like a bad situation indeed.. 

 

First off, let me answer the last question first, as it seems to be the most important issue here. Simply put, no subject is particularly good or bad for university. It all depends on what degree you'd like to pursue, and what requirements that degree has. If you want to become a doctor, for instance, the science subjects are definitely go-to subjects for you. If you want to become a politician, social sciences is the way to go. If you want to work with something international, languages are beneficial. It all depends on what you want to do later on in life, and since no one here knows you (perhaps except of one or two friends), no one can answer that question unless you tell us what degree and where you want to study. 

Also, relating to this, how does the universities you want to apply to regard IB? It is well known that some universities can't get enough of IB whilst others think of IB as something weird and negligible. If they do regard IB as the superior degree amongst your options, then I'd suggest you do the IB. If they consider IB to be of the same status as the other options of yours, then I'd suggest you take a step back and think for a moment. Will you have an easier time doing your national degree instead? The IB does prepare you a lot for the work and workload at university, but does that make IB better than your other options? If the universities you're considering do not value IB at all, and favour the national programme, then I'd probably, honestly speaking, choose the national programme (unless there are compelling personal reasons for you to do the IB). 

 

Regarding university credits - I am not very familiar with the system you have in North America, so I can't answer that one for you. 

 

Is it better to drop out of IB? It will be hard for any of us to answer this one as well. First of all, we don't know your skills. You say that Maths and English 'are really the only two subjects I have any skill in'. Does that mean that you have no skills in any other subject, and thus will fail them whatsoever? If that's the case, then indeed, IB might not be the best option for you. But then, don't you think you can work on that, and progress in the subjects you're not that good in? I've seen many of my friends showing great progress in some subjects, so I think you're just thinking of it wrongly here. We can all improve, it's just a matter of dedication and will. If you still think that, even with good progress, it'll be difficult to get a diploma, I'd suggest you reconsider doing the IB programme. If you think that you're not that good, but can still get a passable grade or better, then I don't see why not you wouldn't do the IB. Since you're thinking of university, I find the latter to be the most plausible, but you'll be able to answer that one better yourself. 

Secondly, what other subjects are available as HL subjects for you, and are those subjects just a big 'no' or just a 'meh'? You need to think this over very carefully, and preferably speak with an advisor at school or/and your IB coordinator. If they are a big 'no', and they will definitely prevent you from getting the grades you need, and you've discussed this with an advisor, then I'd re-evaluate doing the IB. If they won't necessarily prevent you from getting the grades you need, you need to consider your ambitions, dedication, motivation as well as the other points I've noted above. 

 

 

A side note: Generally speaking, IB isn't difficult in and by itself, it's merely bad time management and the lack of dedication (as well as a poor attitude) of the student that makes it difficult (assuming that the student has chosen the optimal subjects for his or her abilities).

 

 

Good luck! 

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Thank you very, very much for your exhaustive reply to my pitifully uninformative post. What you said is definitely some cause for thought. Perhaps (certainly) I didn't word my message to the extent I could have; stating that I only have skill in Math and English probably wasn't a good thing. What I meant was more that I'm most likely to go into Math or English in university. 

 

Given your reply, I do have to ask: Do you think the perks of I.B. (ToK, a good environment, university prep) are worth the cost? (By that, I mean the monetary cost.) 

 

By the way, the reason I came here (and why your reply is probably the best thing that's happened to me all day) is because I happen to be one of the unfortunate students plagued by a teacher's strike at the beginning of the school year. I have my I.B. schedule, but no counsellors to consult or classes to attend.

 

I feel that this should be longer, but unfortunately the other question or two I had provoked by your response have disappeared. 

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Thank you very, very much for your exhaustive reply to my pitifully uninformative post. What you said is definitely some cause for thought. Perhaps (certainly) I didn't word my message to the extent I could have; stating that I only have skill in Math and English probably wasn't a good thing. What I meant was more that I'm most likely to go into Math or English in university. 

 

Given your reply, I do have to ask: Do you think the perks of I.B. (ToK, a good environment, university prep) are worth the cost? (By that, I mean the monetary cost.) 

 

By the way, the reason I came here (and why your reply is probably the best thing that's happened to me all day) is because I happen to be one of the unfortunate students plagued by a teacher's strike at the beginning of the school year. I have my I.B. schedule, but no counsellors to consult or classes to attend.

 

I feel that this should be longer, but unfortunately the other question or two I had provoked by your response have disappeared. 

 

No worries, I'm just happy if I can help you! :)

 

You're going to do either Maths or English at university? You better decide soon, then! From what I know, universities (at least in the UK) require English HL for degrees in English, and Maths HL for Mathematics degrees. That is, if you decide to go on with your IB plans. 

A question I forgot to ask: Have you talked with your IB coordinator? If not, I urge you to do so ASAP and explain your situation. 

 

I'm not used to pay for education, as schools in Norway are free, but I can say that for me, the perks of IB would be well worth it. Most people think ToK is some bull**** subject, but if you have a good teacher or figure the subject out on your own (as I did), it will actually help you a lot when writing essays for instance (both at the IB and at university). You will also get a much better grip of what we know and what we assume, and how we know, etc. Might sound weird to you now, but it will be helpful, both at university and in your daily life. As for the university preparation, it couldn't have been any better! There was virtually no difference for me doing IB and studying in the UK, except of the reduction of guidance and presence of professors. The Norwegian high school diploma would not have given me anything like the experiences I got through IB - CAS, ToK, EE, university prep, everything really - and, in retrospect, I'd definitely do it again! Though, I would hopefully have managed to have a better time management this time around! :P Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of work, but compared to the option I had, it was a no-brainer. I suggest you talk to some other people who have finished the IB as well if you can, though, because I'm sure people have different experiences than me. It'll hopefully give you a fuller picture. 

 

 

Wait, you had a teacher strike as well? We had a long teacher strike here in Norway too, it was finally resolved yesterday or the day before yesterday. 

 

Anyway, if you have any other questions, or if the questions you had come sneaking back, please do post again or send me a PM, and I'm sure we all will try to help to the best of our abilities! :)

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Thank you very, very much for your exhaustive reply to my pitifully uninformative post. What you said is definitely some cause for thought. Perhaps (certainly) I didn't word my message to the extent I could have; stating that I only have skill in Math and English probably wasn't a good thing. What I meant was more that I'm most likely to go into Math or English in university. 

 

Given your reply, I do have to ask: Do you think the perks of I.B. (ToK, a good environment, university prep) are worth the cost? (By that, I mean the monetary cost.) 

 

By the way, the reason I came here (and why your reply is probably the best thing that's happened to me all day) is because I happen to be one of the unfortunate students plagued by a teacher's strike at the beginning of the school year. I have my I.B. schedule, but no counsellors to consult or classes to attend.

 

I feel that this should be longer, but unfortunately the other question or two I had provoked by your response have disappeared. 

 

No worries, I'm just happy if I can help you! :)

 

You're going to do either Maths or English at university? You better decide soon, then! From what I know, universities (at least in the UK) require English HL for degrees in English, and Maths HL for Mathematics degrees. That is, if you decide to go on with your IB plans. 

A question I forgot to ask: Have you talked with your IB coordinator? If not, I urge you to do so ASAP and explain your situation. 

 

I'm not used to pay for education, as schools in Norway are free, but I can say that for me, the perks of IB would be well worth it. Most people think ToK is some bull**** subject, but if you have a good teacher or figure the subject out on your own (as I did), it will actually help you a lot when writing essays for instance (both at the IB and at university). You will also get a much better grip of what we know and what we assume, and how we know, etc. Might sound weird to you now, but it will be helpful, both at university and in your daily life. As for the university preparation, it couldn't have been any better! There was virtually no difference for me doing IB and studying in the UK, except of the reduction of guidance and presence of professors. The Norwegian high school diploma would not have given me anything like the experiences I got through IB - CAS, ToK, EE, university prep, everything really - and, in retrospect, I'd definitely do it again! Though, I would hopefully have managed to have a better time management this time around! :P Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of work, but compared to the option I had, it was a no-brainer. I suggest you talk to some other people who have finished the IB as well if you can, though, because I'm sure people have different experiences than me. It'll hopefully give you a fuller picture. 

 

 

Wait, you had a teacher strike as well? We had a long teacher strike here in Norway too, it was finally resolved yesterday or the day before yesterday. 

 

Anyway, if you have any other questions, or if the questions you had come sneaking back, please do post again or send me a PM, and I'm sure we all will try to help to the best of our abilities! :)

 

 

Aw, that's so nice. :) It does slightly sadden me that you're really the first person to care, but I digress. (And I also hope that's a good placement for the word 'digress')

 

Yeah, well, unfortunately I have very little in the ways of direction at the moment, which is why I was rather disappointed when I learned I couldn't take both English and Math. (I'll be taking Math HL no matter what, though)

 

Sorry, IB Coordinator? I think I know who that is, but unfortunately she's striking. *Dramatic sigh* Yay for school systems.

 

Well, we don't have to pay for school either, just for I.B. as my school isn't given the funding to support it. (400$/yr for full I.B., approximately 120$/yr/course if you only take partial). ToK was one of the main reasons I came here - to try and find if I should stay in I.B. - because if there was no ToK or extended essay (or university visit, for that matter) I probably would have decided against I.B. (I must say, your rather randomly placed expletive there caused some spontaneous laughter)

 

Question for you - What is EE? Wait, nevermind, extended essay. Unfortunately, I know not a single soul who has survived the I.B. program. Nor do I know one who has not survived, but still.

 

Thank you very, very much for your helpful responses :) (And congratulations on your great I.B. marks!)

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Well, situations where there are no directions do occur, unfortunately. Luckily, there are always some ways to regain a sense of direction. For you, IB Survival might be a good resource! :)

 

Yeah, IB Coordinator. The most important person at school for an IB student! :P Ah, right, strike.. Talk to her as soon as possible, though, because this is a very important issue of yours. The strike isn't very convenient, but do follow the news and be sure to act as soon as the strike is over. If anyone can do anything to help you directly in this situation, it would be the IB Coordinator at your school.

 

Well, as I said, for me, it would have been well worth it. Now It all depends on how you perceive the situation and what you think of the situation, really. That might sound scary, but talk to people. We are all different, and have different perceptions, and often it helps to get a third perception on things. :)

 

EE is indeed extended essay. You might not know anyone personally, but there are quite a few on this forum. There should be, anyway. There have also been some threads in the past discussing the pros and cons of IB where alumni have given their opinions. I suggest you do a search here at IBS and see what you can find. Just keep in mind that there are a lot of variables that are in play which might or might not be a concern for you. That's why I've emphasised that I did the right thing for me, for instance, and not just generally said it was the right thing. You need to do a final evaluation and see if things are actually applicable to you. 

 

 

Thanks! It's all a result of consistent working, even though my time management was horrid at times! :D

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You can decline English HL to SL, but then you would need to'promote'still another subject to HL, since the number of HLs and SLs must generally equal to three each.

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