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I am currently in my first year of IB Math HL in America. I have an A in the class, and received an A on the final exam we take at the end of each semester. I love math, but I am aware that the IB Math HL test is difficult. In order to go to a college/university for what I want to study, they are usually looking for a 6 IB Math HL, or 5 IB Math SL. (Sounds weird I know) I want to know whether I should take the SL test at the end of the two years of HL, or if I should try to get a 6 on the HL test? Any advice is helpful!!

 

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IB is different from AP in that the exam is not 100% of the grade. There is a internal assessment worth 20% for HL math, but arguably you will only get the same or higher mark if you submit the same one for SL instead. You have to make up the decision by around mid November in 2016 for May 2017 exams or else you or your school will have to pay a few hundred extra dollars to register for the final exams. For the exams you have to know a few more topics in statistics for the SL exam than just from HL (notably linear regression and Pearson's coefficients). 

Now if you are not yet feeling overwhelmed yet in year one, chances are you will be fine staying in HL. There has been a lot of discussion on IBS saying that HL is impossible or whatnot, but as long as you have enough past papers and spend enough time you will do well in HL math if you are doing well already. In my school HL math is the default stream compared to SL, but we do have 70 IB graduates every year (60 of which is HL math) so definitely some fair amount of group studying can happen. 

From another perspective, if you goal is to make into and thrive in a competitive college then taking HL math is a good start to push yourself to more challenging settings. 

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I agree, hl math is a subject many say you will appreciate in the long run. You could end up with a straight 7 in sl math but this will make you regret that you didnt take up the challenge and rigor of hl math. For engineering, business, economics and sciences, hl math will benefit you big time and could even make life in uni easier and earn you credits. 

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