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IB Subject Choices

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So I'm going to start the IB next year (don't really have a choice) and will soon have to choose my IB subjects. I'm not entirely sure of what I want to pick, but this is probably what I'm going to end up with:

 

English Literature HL

Psychology HL

Art HL/History HL

Environmental Systems & Societies SL/Computer Science SL
Math SL/Math Studies SL

French B SL

 

I'm definitely choosing English and Psychology as my first two higher level courses considering that those are both my favorite and my best subjects, and I'm doing them as IGCSE subjects right now. I'm choosing French as my Language B because I can speak it well so that's been decided as well, and I am not particularly fond of science (at all) which is why I'm thinking of going with ESS, however my school also gives us the option of doing Computer Science as a course. I've heard it's pretty hard, but frankly think it would be more useful/interesting for me. 

As for my third HL, I'm conflicted. I originally wanted to do Theatre HL, but despite being an active member of my school's Drama club and doing well as a Drama student, I'm intimidated by the time commitment, so I doubt I'll be choosing Theatre. However, I love Art, and I am very interested in design and caricatures and I've been doing IGCSE coursework, but after seeing the ridiculous expectations exam boards have for IGCSE Art students such as myself, I'm afraid that I could be biting off more than I can chew. My other option there is History, and while I know it's a very time consuming and bulky subject for an HL, I've done very well on it with IGCSE and I'm fascinated by it. I'm perfectly capable of doing well in Math, since I'm not bad at it, probably at the ideal level for Math Standard, but I hate Math and if I'm going to do History as a HL, I don't want to waste my time with it.

 

Are there any suggestions any of you IB students could give me based on this information?

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What do you want to do after the IB - and which country do you want to apply to go to University in? If you want to go to the US or Canada it doesn't really matter much what subjects you do, but if you want to go elsewhere that's usually the most important factor in people's decision making for subject choice.

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Since you want to apply to American universities don't worry too much about your subject combination, just take whichever subjects interest you and do well in them (that's what is important).

 

Art/History HL: I'd say since you're interested in majoring in film/media studies that art would be more relevant but I do understand where you're coming from regarding art being very time consuming. One of my best friends does it and does complain about her deadlines and whatnot but I think that since you're so enthusiastic about doing art that you should go for it. Honestly speaking your subject combination isn't all too hard so you'll be able to dedicate more time to art than my friend (who takes higher level physics/maths), so it shouldn't be particularly hard to handle. Just manage your time properly and everything should be fine! However, if you're not confident in your art skills then you may want to reconsider taking higher level art since a high level of skill is required. What exam board are you doing for IGCSE art? CIE? If it CIE, then as someone who did IGCSE art I can tell you that if you get an A or A* and are willing to put in the effort you can do well in IB art. It's honestly not THAT hard to well in but because of how subjective marking is you may not get the score you were predicted. Nonetheless, if you don't want to do art, then take history. Since you're keen on doing it you should be able to do well. But be warned that history is probably as hard and time consuming as art. It's definitely one of the hardest group 3 subjects.

 

Maths/Maths Studies SL: I'd personally advice you to take maths SL for several reasons. Even though you want to major in something non-maths related (English, psychology...) since you're planning on attending an American university you will have to take a maths class or two to meet the general course requirements. You may seriously struggle with the maths classes you'll be required to take at college if you opt for maths studies which in turn could lower your overall GPA - don't think you want that to happen. Of course, you could do well in those college maths courses from scratch but you're better off learning a bit of it in high school. However, if you feel like you'll struggle immensely then don't do maths SL because taking it will lower your overall IB score and will hurt your GPA.

 

ESS/Computer Science SL: Both are hard classes. Don't be fooled by people saying ESS is an easy course and getting a 7 is really easy because the % of student that get 7's in ESS is actually really low. However, computer science is obviously harder than ESS. With that being said, I advise you to go with the class you're more interested in (computer science) as you're likely to put in more effort = higher score. Why don't you consider taking biology SL? It's easier than both computer science and ESS and is interesting (IMO). Biology is just memorization based so it's not all that difficult where as computer science is heavily quantitative.  I honestly think you should consider taking biology because it'll be less work then computer science and since you don't like science this is a pro.

 

Hope I helped!

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Art HL is a nightmare. Takes up too much time. Don't do it unless you are absolutely committed to doing Art in uni.

 

Computer Science is difficult. It's almost like learning a new language. It helps if you learned any programming languages in the past. Don't take IB subjects just because its "interesting" because it may screw you up. Depends on the person though. If you do Art HL for any reason don't do Computer Science. Both are really time consuming.

 

Take Math SL. Math studies is too low level. I think its around middle school level. You will likely struggle in uni if you take anything even slightly related to maths.

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ESS course is quite easy, because the content is easy to understand. The reasons for why nobody really gets 7 is because it requires you to spend time with this course but the content is easy so you don't really think you need to put effort and time in it plus the content is not really fascinating (at least for me) so it kind of bores you out. 

 

I suggest you to take Computer Science if you know you are not going to be interested in ESS. 

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