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Should I take partial IB or full IB?

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Hi! :lol: I'm new to IBSurvival and I was wondering if I could get help with making the decision about whether I should take partial IB or full IB. I will be choosing my IB subjects in a week from now. My school offers: 

  • Group 1; HL English A: Literature.
  • Group 2: SL French B/ab initio, SL German B/ab initio, SL Japanese B/ab initio, SL Spanish B/ab initio.
  • Group 3: HL History.
  • Group 4: HL/SL Physics, HL Biology, SL Chemistry.
  • Group 5: SL Mathematics, SL Mathematical Studies.
  • Group 6: SL Drama, SL Art.

We can also choose to do a self-taught SL Language A: Literature, but I don't know if I will be eligible for it. Just in case, I can speak Spanish fluently but I forgot some of it because I didn't practice it for 4 years.

A couple of days before, I was sure I would be taking partial IB (HL Physics, HL Biology, SL Chemistry, SL Mathematics and SL French B), but my school's IB coordinator told me that he wouldn't allow me to take the 3 IB sciences, I have no idea why. Because of that, I figured that if I only take 2 IB sciences, I might as well consider enrolling in full IB. The reason why I'm asking this question here is because I'm not as strong in English and History as in the sciences, math, and  french (the second language I'm taking in now). These are my grades as of now:

  • English: 92%
  • History: 92%
  • Math: 99%
  • French: 97%
  • Science: 96%
    • Chemistry: 99%
    • Physics: Hovering around 90%

I'm really good at Chemistry and Physics, but the reason why my Physics mark is so low is because this year I have a really bad teacher that contradicts herself in all her arguments and doesn't teach us well, but I think I'll be fine if I take IB Physics with another teacher next year. Anyways, I just need help deciding whether I should take HL English and History. It would also help if you could tell me which is more interesting and easier: HL Biology or HL Physics. I am leaning toward Physics for now because I think I will like it more, but I really have no idea. I will attach some of my English and History assignments with this topic so you get a better idea of how I would do in those subjects. Also, I'm from Alberta, Canada, in case one of you wants to compare the difficulty of the subjects with the provincial curriculum. I'm a perfectionist, so I'm aiming for a 45 and I'm willing to work incredibly hard to achieve my goal, even if it is somewhat unrealistic for some. I want to study medicine and my dream college is Harvard. I would IMMENSELY appreciate it if some of you could help me with this decision. Thank you. 

CopyofMirrorCommentary.pdf

CopyofENG10IBCRTT1.pdf

CopyofRI2PositionPaperTemplate.pdf

CopyofSOURCEINTERPRETATIONIN-CLASSh.pdf

CopyofRJCriticalFinal.pdf

Edited by Gur

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Hey there, whether you do the full IB or not mostly depends on where you want to study, other than Harvard. If you will be applying to the US, I would recommend doing the full IB. Otherwise, if you are focused on studying in Canada, it doesn't really matter to universities whether it's full IB, partial, or none at all. Then that really depends on whether you feel like doing HL English and History or not.

Okay so to answer one of the first things you said, I've heard that you can't take 3 sciences in IB because then your school needs special permission by the IBO, who will award you with an irregular diploma at the end of it. That's all I know about that.

So you said that you're really good at chemistry and physics and that you also want to study medicine. If you want to study medicine I'd highly recommend HL biology and HL chemistry to go along with it. But if you take these courses, you can't exactly change your mind in the middle of the IB; you have to stick with bio and chem the full two years. The reason I emphasize this is because there's a lot of hard work and effort that is involved in taking these two courses and I know a lot of people change their mind on where they want to study.

This means that the only reason that you would be taking HL physics over bio is because you want to study something like engineering other than a bio-related field like medicine. I can't tell you which is more interesting or which is easier because that varies widely depending on the person. Biology has a lot of information you must know whereas physics is about problem solving. Which ever one is easier depends on your personal skill; is it knowing a lot of information and being able to give answers on it or being given a situation and then using calculations and what you know to solve it? I highly recommend you take a look at some of the past exams just to get a feel for what type of questions they ask you. Deciding which of the two subjects interests/suits you the most would also affect what field you would like to study.

As I've said above, I would recommend the full diploma if you apply to the US, since universities will recognize it better than your provincial diploma. (Someone correct me if this is just a myth). But say you want to apply to Canada and in that case the IB diploma is rather optional. HL English is very heavy when it comes to analyzing English literature and in HL they expect a lot more from you than at SL. You don't seem to need HL English after you finish high school so I suggest you ask people older than you how HL English is, and then ask the people who do the regular provincial curriculum. There is a really heavy jump from regular English to IB English in Ontario, so I assume it is probably the same in Ontario. You'll probably find out that it's easier to score a higher mark in regular English. Your work seems pretty decent (but I'm not that strong in English myself, don't trust my judgement) and I think it's enough to be able to take HL English, but you'd be surprised at the IB's expectation for a level 7 work in English. Whether you should take it or not comes down to how natural does analyzing lots and lots of literature come to you, and how well can you write decent essays, especially in a short amount of time.

As for HL history, I don't have that much knowledge on it as it doesn't run in our school. I have heard things from others, and they say it requires analysis of history and it teaches you critical thinking when it comes to history and politics. Don't underestimate it though, it's not the usual rote memorization most of us are used to in pre-IB and I think it focuses a lot on details. I think someone else who takes history should answer this question, to be honest.

Sorry for the long post, but to sum it up: Doing the full diploma for you really comes down to if you want to study in Canada or another country, like the US.

Edited by Elite X-Naut

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IB diploma is definitly the more rewarding and higher regarded program. Especially if you want to get into such a competitive field as medicine, you will need to take IB diploma. In my school IB certificate was created for the people who couldn't take IB diploma, so if you are up for the heavier workload, then I suggest you take IB diploma. 

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Guest beyondtheimagine
On March 28, 2016 at 6:26 PM, Gur said:

Hi! :lol: I'm new to IBSurvival and I was wondering if I could get help with making the decision about whether I should take partial IB or full IB. I will be choosing my IB subjects in a week from now. My school offers: 

  • Group 1; HL English A: Literature.
  • Group 2: SL French B/ab initio, SL German B/ab initio, SL Japanese B/ab initio, SL Spanish B/ab initio.
  • Group 3: HL History.
  • Group 4: HL/SL Physics, HL Biology, SL Chemistry.
  • Group 5: SL Mathematics, SL Mathematical Studies.
  • Group 6: SL Drama, SL Art.

We can also choose to do a self-taught SL Language A: Literature, but I don't know if I will be eligible for it. Just in case, I can speak Spanish fluently but I forgot some of it because I didn't practice it for 4 years.

A couple of days before, I was sure I would be taking partial IB (HL Physics, HL Biology, SL Chemistry, SL Mathematics and SL French B), but my school's IB coordinator told me that he wouldn't allow me to take the 3 IB sciences, I have no idea why. Because of that, I figured that if I only take 2 IB sciences, I might as well consider enrolling in full IB. The reason why I'm asking this question here is because I'm not as strong in English and History as in the sciences, math, and  french (the second language I'm taking in now). These are my grades as of now:

  • English: 92%
  • History: 92%
  • Math: 99%
  • French: 97%
  • Science: 96%
    • Chemistry: 99%
    • Physics: Hovering around 90%

I'm really good at Chemistry and Physics, but the reason why my Physics mark is so low is because this year I have a really bad teacher that contradicts herself in all her arguments and doesn't teach us well, but I think I'll be fine if I take IB Physics with another teacher next year. Anyways, I just need help deciding whether I should take HL English and History. It would also help if you could tell me which is more interesting and easier: HL Biology or HL Physics. I am leaning toward Physics for now because I think I will like it more, but I really have no idea. I will attach some of my English and History assignments with this topic so you get a better idea of how I would do in those subjects. Also, I'm from Alberta, Canada, in case one of you wants to compare the difficulty of the subjects with the provincial curriculum. I'm a perfectionist, so I'm aiming for a 45 and I'm willing to work incredibly hard to achieve my goal, even if it is somewhat unrealistic for some. I want to study medicine and my dream college is Harvard. I would IMMENSELY appreciate it if some of you could help me with this decision. Thank you. 

CopyofMirrorCommentary.pdf

CopyofENG10IBCRTT1.pdf

CopyofRI2PositionPaperTemplate.pdf

CopyofSOURCEINTERPRETATIONIN-CLASSh.pdf

CopyofRJCriticalFinal.pdf

I'm from Alberta as well. 

I agree with what Elite X-Naut says.

Being either a full ib student or partial ib student, you still get the opportunity to replace your diploma. How? If you receive a higher mark on your ib exam than your diploma, the universities (most) will take the highest mark. 

I would recommend doing especially Math SL, because it's actually easier than Alberta curriculum, specifically in the calculus area. 

English Lit HL- there's a bit of work to it, but it isn't much as a difference between the curriculum. I will say that you'll be writing a ton!! But it will really help your skills especially in writing essays.

History HL- I'm a very science/math person, and I find history HL quite boring. In the fact of the amount of notes you have to do.. And comparing to Alberta's curriculum- there is a huge difference.But then again, if you are interested into history- take it! 

Chemistry SL- is quite similar to Alberta's curriculum, the only difference that you'll just learn some of the units more in depth.

Biology HL- from what I've heard from a few friends. Biology HL is much more interesting than the actual Alberta biology curriculum. I would think that biology HL will be easier than physics HL. But then again, it really depends if you are interested in it. If you are interested more in physics- take physics. Biology HL, requires you to memorize quite a bit! But if you are quite firm studying medicine- take biology HL. :) 

As well I would only recommend doing Full IB, if your courses match to what you are planning to pursue in university and especially if you are planning to apply to the US.

Otherwise, take partial IB and take the courses that interests you! :) If you keep your grades as high as they are, throughout high school; you'll have no problem applying to universities within Canada. Keep in mind: ib student or not. If you are applying to apply to UBC, they will add 4% onto your overall average just because you are an Alberta student.

I hope this helps :) 

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I think for Harvard, you should make yourself shine from everyone else applying from your city/town. Doing IB and getting 45/45 is not enough; you have to show active interest in a particular field that you would like to pursue. For example it may be equally ambitious to job shadow a lawyer, if you are applying for Harvard Law School, vs getting straight 7s, I would almost always recommend you to go for job shadowing or volunteering positions. In the end, school is only a very small part of your application and it typically takes a small bit of luck to get 45 as opposed to 41 or 42. 

Upon entering IB, your marks may go up or down (but rarely up) so I can't call for certain.

Typically I would recommend people to take on the full IB to get the entire experience, but if your goal is specifically getting into Harvard (regardless of doing well there or opting broadening perspectives in IB) then IB might not be the way to go because the stress and time commitment does not allow you to spend just as much time doing what you want and make yourself shine on the application. 

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Not to be pessimistic, but there is a huge jump from Grade 10 to IB in terms of learning stuff. Basically if you want a 45 you need all 7s, and a 7 is roughly 98% in Canadian terms (at least in Ontario). Since some of your courses are low 90s, a 7 may not be realistic and studying for hours may not make a difference (or worse, could burn you out). HL Eng and HL History may be a challenge and you will have to accept that on the first few tests and essays you will get low marks such as 4s or 5s. Keep in mind, a 45 is insanely hard to get and there are times when there are no 45s scored in Canada for a certain year. Anything over 40 is considered rare.

As for IB Diploma vs. Certificate, I would take Diploma since you could always drop down to Certificate, but you can't upgrade from Certificate to Diploma. 

Not sure if it's too late now, but ask your IB coordinator about Pamoja! It's online IB courses, mostly for group 3. I knew I hated history and there was no way I could get a 7, so I took Econ online instead and I'm getting an easy 7! 

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Guest beyondtheimagine
2 hours ago, VeronicaG said:

Not to be pessimistic, but there is a huge jump from Grade 10 to IB in terms of learning stuff. Basically if you want a 45 you need all 7s, and a 7 is roughly 98% in Canadian terms (at least in Ontario). Since some of your courses are low 90s, a 7 may not be realistic and studying for hours may not make a difference (or worse, could burn you out). HL Eng and HL History may be a challenge and you will have to accept that on the first few tests and essays you will get low marks such as 4s or 5s. Keep in mind, a 45 is insanely hard to get and there are times when there are no 45s scored in Canada for a certain year. Anything over 40 is considered rare.

As for IB Diploma vs. Certificate, I would take Diploma since you could always drop down to Certificate, but you can't upgrade from Certificate to Diploma. 

Not sure if it's too late now, but ask your IB coordinator about Pamoja! It's online IB courses, mostly for group 3. I knew I hated history and there was no way I could get a 7, so I took Econ online instead and I'm getting an easy 7! 

I wouldn't say there's a huge jump from Grade 10 Pre-IB to Grade 11 IB in terms of learning. I would say that the expectations change a bit in Grade 11 but it is not a huge difference from the actual expectations from your province or territory's expectations. 

But of course, everyone's experience from Pre-IB to IB is different. 

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