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So I'm in grade 10 taking pre-ib and I need help with my course selection. I live in Canada and I want to study medicine in the UK or at an Ivy League school in America. So far the courses I have are:

HL History

HL English Literature and Language 

HL Chemistry

SL Math

SL Bio

SL French

 

At the moment I have an 84% in french and I'm not sure if should take it or the introductory to spanish course. For french I'm good at assignments at home where I can take my time, use a dictionary, and get someone to check my work. At school though I'm not so good at writing on the spot and without a dictionary. I live in Canada and want to work in Canada one day so knowing french is really helpful. Plus I would get 2 exams done in my first year. On the other hand if I take the introductory to spanish I could focus more on Math which will be my only exam in first year. In second year since it's just an introductory course I could also focus more on chem and bio. So that's my dilemma I'm not sure which to take seeing as the both have pros and cons.

 

Also do you thing it matters if I take HL english literature and language or HL english literature if I want to apply to oxbridge and ivy league schools?

Edited by MariamXO

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Umm does your school offer HL biology? If yes, probably best to drop either HL english or HL history to SL for that. I don't take French but what I can say about Spanish ab initio is that it is one of the easiest IB courses and you'll be off to a good start since you have a French background (Spanish and French are quite similar). It's completely up to you, but I suggest taking Spanish if you are unable to write on the spot without a dictionary. Play on your strengths in this case and you also said that this would allow you to focus more on math. 

 

And I checked the Oxbridge website and they didn't really specify preferences. Maybe email the admissions office and email admissions with Ivy League as well if you're not sure? English Lit may or may not look better depending on the school. 

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Umm does your school offer HL biology? If yes, probably best to drop either HL english or HL history to SL for that. I don't take French but what I can say about Spanish ab initio is that it is one of the easiest IB courses and you'll be off to a good start since you have a French background (Spanish and French are quite similar). It's completely up to you, but I suggest taking Spanish if you are unable to write on the spot without a dictionary. Play on your strengths in this case and you also said that this would allow you to focus more on math. 

 

And I checked the Oxbridge website and they didn't really specify preferences. Maybe email the admissions office and email admissions with Ivy League as well if you're not sure? English Lit may or may not look better depending on the school. 

If I take HL bio I will have to drop HL Chem :/ for my school its mandatory we take the hl history and one of those hl english courses 

Edited by MariamXO

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Let me tell you something, it doesn't actually matter if you take SL Bio or HL Bio unless the school specifies for it. I know this one kid, got into arguably one of the most competitive programs in Ontario (Health Sciences) and he took Bio in summer school. As long as you learn what you need to know for their program, you should be fine. Although yes, it may look better, it's not 100% necessary.

 

Your courses seem fine for what you want to go for though. As for the English, I think I'd suggest taking the Literature just because it'll definitely look better and since you'd be going out of the country to another English-speaking one, I would believe that they prefer Literature. But again, that's something you'd have to look into with the specific schools. 

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Let me tell you something, it doesn't actually matter if you take SL Bio or HL Bio unless the school specifies for it. I know this one kid, got into arguably one of the most competitive programs in Ontario (Health Sciences) and he took Bio in summer school. As long as you learn what you need to know for their program, you should be fine. Although yes, it may look better, it's not 100% necessary.

 

Your courses seem fine for what you want to go for though. As for the English, I think I'd suggest taking the Literature just because it'll definitely look better and since you'd be going out of the country to another English-speaking one, I would believe that they prefer Literature. But again, that's something you'd have to look into with the specific schools. 

I'm taking language and literature because the teacher who is teaching it is better. What do you think i should do with my whole french-spanish dilemma. Since you live in Canada and took the sl french do you think it benefited you and did you become fluent? 

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oh dang :/ I think HL bio would look better when applying for medicine, but you could stick with HL chem if you like chem I guess. 

 the oxford website for their medicine program said this "Candidates are required to take Chemistry and a second science (Biology or Physics) and/or Mathematics to Higher Level." so I don't know now :( 

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In terms of French SL, your exams will require you to write essentially an essay for paper 2. So no dictionaries or help but it's not that bad as long as you practice your french and study. There are also a few oral presentations and an oral exam so those skills need to be practiced as well. If you're worrying about taking focus away from math, from my experience SL math isn't that difficult. And like you said french is helpful to know in Canada.

 

If you're willing to put in the effort french SL is definitely a good choice.

Edited by channelingchandler

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In terms of French SL, your exams will require you to write essentially an essay for paper 2. So no dictionaries or help but it's not that bad as long as you practice your french and study. There are also a few oral presentations and an oral exam so those skills need to be practiced as well. If you're worrying about taking focus away from math, from my experience SL math isn't that difficult. And like you said french is helpful to know in Canada.

 

If you're willing to put in the effort french SL is definitely a good choice.

Are you fluent now?

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I'm still in Year 1 SL French but from what I've seen, the kids in SL French Year 2 at my school are all fluent in French.  Like others have said, SL French will require effort but if you're willing, your hard work will definitely pay off.     

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I'm still in Year 1 SL French but from what I've seen, the kids in SL French Year 2 at my school are all fluent in French.  Like others have said, SL French will require effort but if you're willing, your hard work will definitely pay off.     

how could i work on my french though? I'm doing an assignment right now and every other 4 words i have to use word reference :/ 

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I'm still in Year 1 SL French but from what I've seen, the kids in SL French Year 2 at my school are all fluent in French.  Like others have said, SL French will require effort but if you're willing, your hard work will definitely pay off.     

how could i work on my french though? I'm doing an assignment right now and every other 4 words i have to use word reference :/ 

 

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with using Word Reference.  As long as you are able to retain your vocabulary, and study the grammar taught to you, you will be fine.  French is a language that needs to be practiced so try surrounding yourself with the language through TV, songs, etc... better yet, if you can find someone to just talk French to, it would be a great help.  In terms of studying for tests, just go online and print out a handful of worksheets, and practice! It seems like your facing vocabulary problems though if you're finding that you need to use Word Reference often.  If worst comes to worst, you can try looking for a french tutor; although it may cost a lot, I found it to be pretty helpful in the past.  Good luck, and I hope I helped!  :superman:  8-)    

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In terms of French SL, your exams will require you to write essentially an essay for paper 2. So no dictionaries or help but it's not that bad as long as you practice your french and study. There are also a few oral presentations and an oral exam so those skills need to be practiced as well. If you're worrying about taking focus away from math, from my experience SL math isn't that difficult. And like you said french is helpful to know in Canada.

If you're willing to put in the effort french SL is definitely a good choice.

Are you fluent now?

I'd like to think so. Probably not as much as i'd like to be but that's only because i've been slacking. I can carry a conversation and writing is no problem

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I'm still in Year 1 SL French but from what I've seen, the kids in SL French Year 2 at my school are all fluent in French.  Like others have said, SL French will require effort but if you're willing, your hard work will definitely pay off.     

how could i work on my french though? I'm doing an assignment right now and every other 4 words i have to use word reference :/ 

 

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with using Word Reference.  As long as you are able to retain your vocabulary, and study the grammar taught to you, you will be fine.  French is a language that needs to be practiced so try surrounding yourself with the language through TV, songs, etc... better yet, if you can find someone to just talk French to, it would be a great help.  In terms of studying for tests, just go online and print out a handful of worksheets, and practice! It seems like your facing vocabulary problems though if you're finding that you need to use Word Reference often.  If worst comes to worst, you can try looking for a french tutor; although it may cost a lot, I found it to be pretty helpful in the past.  Good luck, and I hope I helped!  :superman:  8-)    

 

Thank this did help and you are right I have a hard time remembering vocabulary as well as word order. 

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In terms of French SL, your exams will require you to write essentially an essay for paper 2. So no dictionaries or help but it's not that bad as long as you practice your french and study. There are also a few oral presentations and an oral exam so those skills need to be practiced as well. If you're worrying about taking focus away from math, from my experience SL math isn't that difficult. And like you said french is helpful to know in Canada.

If you're willing to put in the effort french SL is definitely a good choice.

Are you fluent now?

I'd like to think so. Probably not as much as i'd like to be but that's only because i've been slacking. I can carry a conversation and writing is no problem

 

were you alway good at french or is it something that you've become good at due to the intensity of the course?

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In terms of French SL, your exams will require you to write essentially an essay for paper 2. So no dictionaries or help but it's not that bad as long as you practice your french and study. There are also a few oral presentations and an oral exam so those skills need to be practiced as well. If you're worrying about taking focus away from math, from my experience SL math isn't that difficult. And like you said french is helpful to know in Canada.

If you're willing to put in the effort french SL is definitely a good choice.

Are you fluent now?
I'd like to think so. Probably not as much as i'd like to be but that's only because i've been slacking. I can carry a conversation and writing is no problem

were you alway good at french or is it something that you've become good at due to the intensity of the course?

It was definitely the course. I had like 40 minutes of french per day in middle school and it was very basic.

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I'm taking language and literature because the teacher who is teaching it is better. What do you think i should do with my whole french-spanish dilemma. Since you live in Canada and took the sl french do you think it benefited you and did you become fluent? 

 

 

Well I'm still taking SL French but it's not the course that makes you fluent. It's the work you put into it OUTSIDE of class and your participation in class that makes you better. What's your weakest point in french? Do you think you'd be willing and able to work on it in SL? If so, take French because if you plan on working and/or living in Canada in the future, it would help. But if you don't like french, and aren't willing to improve on your own, then take Spanish because it'd be useless to take something you don't want to take.

 

SL French is benefiting me, for sure. I'm not totally fluent because I don't practice as much (IB exams this year > 1st semester of French) but once May exams are over this year, I'm going to focus on improving more. But I try my best to participate in class and that's helping me. I'm at a 5 right now but once I actually TRY, I hope to improve. 

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I'm taking language and literature because the teacher who is teaching it is better. What do you think i should do with my whole french-spanish dilemma. Since you live in Canada and took the sl french do you think it benefited you and did you become fluent? 

 

 

Well I'm still taking SL French but it's not the course that makes you fluent. It's the work you put into it OUTSIDE of class and your participation in class that makes you better. What's your weakest point in french? Do you think you'd be willing and able to work on it in SL? If so, take French because if you plan on working and/or living in Canada in the future, it would help. But if you don't like french, and aren't willing to improve on your own, then take Spanish because it'd be useless to take something you don't want to take.

 

SL French is benefiting me, for sure. I'm not totally fluent because I don't practice as much (IB exams this year > 1st semester of French) but once May exams are over this year, I'm going to focus on improving more. But I try my best to participate in class and that's helping me. I'm at a 5 right now but once I actually TRY, I hope to improve. 

 

My weakest point is vocabulary, speaking, and writing on the spot. I also need a 6 in the course if I want to get into the schools I will be applying for. Do you have any tips on how to fix those weak points?

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Vocabulary: Make a Quizlet account, search up vocab lists for each unit and study those (I promise it helps)

 

Speaking: Participate in class, listen to french music, read a short french novel out loud, watch a movie in french (even if with English subtitles) - expose yourself to French

 

Writing: Practice! Work on conjugating verbs and practice writing some formats or even random short paragraphs at home on anything (suggestion: write based on topics in each unit to better prepare yourself)

 

I was just writing about this in another topic and put up notes for conjugating verbs, basic verbs (they're kind of like reference sheets) if those are useful to you, I'll link you :)

 

The other topic: http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/33942-work-for-frenchsl-level-3-6/

The notes/reference sheets: http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/33943-some-french-vocab-notes-on-tensesetc/

 

Hope they help some!

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