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Can't decide on Math HL or SL

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Hi!

I'm starting the IB program next year and going to take 4 HL's (Bio, Chem, English, Economics), but I'm not sure if I should change Economics for Math HL...

I've always been in the advanced math class, though I never liked math, and was forced by my parents to be at this level. Lately I've realized my math is pretty bad, and I'm pretty slow to understand things, compared to all of my math classmates. It's not that I don't know how every equation works or how graphs work and all, in fact I'm pretty good at solving equations and doing these formulas.

It's just that i don't understand math in general. We just got "deeper" into solving trig formulas, equations, and these radian stuff. I can't solve the questions without looking at the answer guides because i can't solve them on my own. I have this math test tomorrow and I'm worried I'm going to fail it because i can't come up with any formulas to solve these questions. The problem is that i'm bad at coming up with ways to solve these. It's so hard for me to think outside the box and figure out the best way to solve math problems. 

I talked to my parents about this and they just tell me I'm not practicing enough. Though they maybe are right, I don't know if working my ass off on HL math is worth it. Math just isn't for me, but maybe I'm not challenging myself enough. I want to become a nurse or a biology teacher later on, and I'm wondering if I even need to stress this much about math.

Will taking SL math look bad for my college application? And really, what is the difference between math SL and HL? 

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Hi! 

I will tell you what I tell anyone who is wondering whether to take HL Maths: take it if you like it. It has to be something you enjoy. Otherwise you will be miserable-- the only way to cope with the coursework is if maths are something you like doing, or if you're pretty good at them. Do not let your parents push you to do HL Maths when you don't want to. It is not that you aren't working hard enough; sometimes you aren't that great at something, and this does not make you lazy or less smart. Even if you are having trouble at first with the trigonometry, this does not mean you are bad at math. But really, if you don't like maths and you are going to study something that isn't directly related to math (which you aren't) in college, do not put yourself through the time-consuming subject that is maths hl. 

SL is NOT a slow-paced course either, and you learn a good amount of stuff; I don't think it will look bad on college applications, although it depends on where you're applying. I know that the top UK colleges often like Maths Hl ,but I don't think this is the case for medical careers or bio ones. I'm pretty sure that with your two sciences at HL you will be more than fine in most places (including outside of the UK). 

As for the difference between HL and SL: in HL you have some more chapters, plus you do things bit more in-depth than at SL; you also have the option (which isn't actually optional-- this means that your teacher will choose what topic to teach for a part of the course) which is an entire paper in your exam. But SL maths is not an easy or slow-paced course, although you will have more time to teach each topic and learn it well. 

I hope this helped; if you have any other questions about math or ib in general, feel free to PM me :)

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Thanks ^_^ I don't think this means I'll entirely give up on math... looks like i do have to try a little harder, and I'll see how math looks like throughout the year, who knows, maybe I'll gain some confidence and try for HL math~ but for now SL math seems like a perfectly viable path! 

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I'd say check out some of the universities you want to go to and see if their program requires HL math. I do think that 2 HL sciences should be enough.

This leads to my next point: 2 HL sciences are already tough enough, don't make your life harder than it needs to be with HL math. Unless HL math is required, or you enjoy the subject a lot, or you excel at math, SL will be good enough. Good luck!

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Doing both economics and maths HL I'll say economics is definitely the easier option. Economics only has an additional paper for HL (which is actually easier!). For maths HL you have to spend a lot of time, so if it's not something which you are happy to do then don't do it. Two sciences HL will be time-consuming as it is, so it makes sense not to take HL maths. 

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