Jump to content

English A or French B for HL?

Recommended Posts

Hey guys! 

I'm about to finish my IGCSE exams (3 to go). For that reason, my school has started pressuring us to finalise our IBDP subject choices. 

I had no problem assigning subjects, however, I'm still puzzled over whether I should opt for English A (Lang/Lit) or French B as my HL.

That being said, my IB choices, as of now, are:

  • - Chemistry - HL
  • - Biology - HL
  • - English A (Lang/Lit) or French B - HL
  • - English A (Lang/Lit) or French B - SL
  • - Math - SL
  • - History - SL

If you've noticed, I'm going for Medicine compatible subjects. As for French, my teacher has been trying to convince into taking the HL course for a while now. 

And by chance, do you think taking both at HL (4 HLs) is any wise? 

Sorry for the obnoxious amount of stuff here. Any assistance would appreciated!


Edited by Ziadbar

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, it depends what is your strong side. 

French B HL is not very hard, you have to read a book on which you base your WA and then you have harder texts on paper 1 and an additional text to write in paper 2. If you like French or you're good at it, it is easy. While French B SL is almost too easy for anyone who is good at French...

English A (L&L) HL demands some real additional work, you do comparative analysis (so compare and analyse two texts) instead just plain analysis of one text  in paper 1, you do two written tasks, one of which is a real essay (not creative writting which imitates a text type like article or short story etc) and you have more books to read (6 and not 4), so that means more passages for your oral exam and more books to choose from for paper 2. Honestly, if you enjoy literature, you will enjoy HL, but seeing you want medicine, I think SL will be good enough.

Hopefully that helps!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I don't take language B so I can't speak for those subjects and I can only give you my perspective on Eng. A lang/lit, but I am really enjoying it right now! After all, language is the base of everything.

This subject touches upon a lot of things and it also teaches you a lot on how to set an appropriate register for different text types which may help you write your EE. Like what AnjaDe said, you'll just have more books to read and analyse. I take two language A lang/lit courses, but it isn't that difficult to manage. 

I don't personally know anyone who takes 4 HLs, but the work load... This is just my personal opinion, but I think it is better to take 3 only. Since you want to take up medicine, why not take maths HL instead of language. (I'm not so sure if that is possible, so please check)

Anyhow, good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the prompt responses!

Regarding French, I really like it as a subject, and suppose my teacher has good reasons for convincing me (hopefully).  


I had Math HL in mind for a while now, however the only downside is that my school offers it as an online course (Pamoja).

Having heard the notoriety of online courses has dismayed me.. What do you think of online courses, anyways? 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Then I guess you should go for something you're really interested in! 

Taking an online course for SL may work okay, but personally, I think it's better to actually have a teacher in person for HL courses especially for Maths 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The difference between language B SL and language B HL is one of the smallest compared to all other subjects in the IB. Language A SLs also have less harsh criteria requirements e.g. A 4/5 in Criterion D or E (Language) in Paper 1/Paper 2 HL would usually equate to getting a 5/5 in that same criterion for Paper/Paper 2 SL.

If you plan on taking 4 HLs with Math HL as your fourth, then it's definitely recommended that you take a Language B HL. However, (based on what my university guidance counsellor has counseled) universities don't really care whether you take 3 or 4 HLs, as in they won't give you extra credit for taking a 4th HL. Several of my friends whom also plan on studying medicine take a Language B HL to minimize workload as Biology & Chemistry HLs are already very heavy (also speaking from personal experience as towards my first mock exams, I dropped Chemistry to SL)

As for online courses, my friend takes Spanish B via Pamoja and she's pretty happy with it, but I can't say much else as I have zero experience with it. You can also always go to out of school tuition for help. 

Edited by IB`ez
  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.