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IB Subjects/Schedule: help please!?

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Hi, I'll get straight to it: I'm a sophmore and I'm choosing my courses for next year. The only IB science courses offered at my school are IB Chemistry SL, IB Physics SL, and IB Biology HL (although 1st year is SL). In terms of math, theres IB Math SL and IB Math HL (2 years). IB History HL and IB English HL are required. I want to focus on science (hence take all the sciences) and I'm aiming for the elite universities. At the same time I want to get a high GPA and 6-7s on exams. I'm currently taking AP Calculus AB (and getting high marks) and the curriculum for IB Math HL isn't anything new to me too. It's more about how *conceptual* IB Math HL is and the *time commitment* to get concepts in this class, as well as my other classes, which I'm worried about. Hence, I'm considering taking Math SL to make my course load more manageable. However, since it'll appear that I've taken AP Calculus AB before junior year, and chose to take IB Math SL (basically review of AP Calculus AB) I'm afraid it might seem like I'm not taking the most rigorous schedule offered to those elite universities. Here are my schedule options for next year:

IB Math HL

IB Biology SL (we have to take this before HL)

IB Physics SL

IB History HL

IB Lit HL

French 3

Exams 11th grade: IB Physics SL

Exams 12th grade: IB Math HL, Biology HL, IB Chemistry SL,

IB History HL, IB Lit HL

OR

IB Math SL

IB Biology SL

IB Physics SL

IB History HL

IB Lit HL

French 3

Exams 11th grade: IB Math SL, IB Physics SL

Exams 12th grade: IB Biology HL, IB Chemistry SL, IB Lit HL, IB History HL

To simplify: will the very elite colleges look down on my courses since I took Math SL right after doing very well in AB Calculus AB? Any help for this dilemma is highly appreciated, thanks!

Edited by kit657

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HL Math is a lot more rigorous than SL Math or Math AB. Strongly recommend HL Math if you are thinking of applying to competitive schools.
Between HL Math and Math BC, BC has a much lower cut off (63%) for the top score compared to (80%) in IB. The questions aren't any harder in BC compared to HL and IB has a very different styles of questions than AP. For one, no multiple choice in IB. I wouldn't compare AB calc to HL calc but BC and HL is certainly about the same level. In HL, be prepared to have a single question that covers trig, complex number, binomial coefficient, and counting principles. Cross-topic thinking is much more emphasized in IB. AP would be more likely to give you a tough integral problem to evaluate.

 

IB Physics covers a broader range of topics (including nuclear physics, climate change etc), but AP goes intense about mechanics and e/m with calculus-based calculations. IB has an emphasis of theoretical stuff. SL Physics is fairly doable in one year considering the cut off is in the low 60s.

 


Yes the elite science/math/engineering schools will "look down" on you if your school offers HL Math and you have taken AB Calc.

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