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Is the IB DP a good choice for me? Or should I choose something else?

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So, I have to decide on which program to take after my IGCSE's and I decided to start early as school admissions can sometimes be time consuming, competitive etc. My options will depend on where I will be living after my IGCSE stuff but here they are: AP, A levels, IB DP, IB CP, IB courses.

I am a science/math kind of person :P. and also sorry for any spelling mistakes (some sort of thing of mine, can't help it XD)

Currently taking all subjects at extended level where applicable including: physics, chemistry, international maths, additional maths (yes, one math class for each of the two years), foreign language, business studies, economics, history, english litterature, english first language (yes these are two separate subjects :I :hisfault:).

Okay, I do know that I must select from 6 groups for my subjects. Sadly, I wish that the diploma would allow for selecting ANY 6 subjects rather than complicating and restricting me (after all, they do say to take subjects that I DO like). If so, I would have taken:

-HL further math (I can do impossible math :P) 

-HL math (3.1415...)

-HL physics (apples)

-Hl chemistry (no biology, I don't like it)

-SL economics (learn how businesses trick their consumers :D 4 $$$$$$$$)

-SL history (interesting, especially source work)

Now here's the problem: Can only take one extra subjects from groups 3 and 4 (no way dropping out a science so gotta drop out hist or eco)

Furthermore, I would be forced to drop out hl further math because well most schools don't offer it (certainly not mine but can change schools) and I will be forced to take two langauges *facepalm*. And I HATE and I mean HATE litterature though a second language is fine as I am trilingual (easy 7 lol).

I don't mind EE (I already did some shorter version of it) but I will have problems with TOK (it's some sort of physiology right?) since I can't stand pseudo-science. And CAS will bother me since no one wants me to help (I mess things up when I do help XD) but got the A (and C?) covered at least, I think.

So I can say I know what to specialize with and I heard that IB DP delays specialization so I am afraid I may get bored (happens even when very busy) if I don't pursue my interests (especially math and science) and have to take other subjects that I'd hate therefore leading me to having bad grades and not able to specialize ever :? (no uni in case you don't understand). 

I heard that the IB DP is hard. Why? If it's just because of independent work and/or time management, I'm fine and won't find it hard at all. Maybe just a bit challenging.

Can you say anything about the IB CP? Maybe it is a better option but I really don't know much about it.

Okay, one final thing, after finishing your reading quest, can you tell me what the best two options for junior and senior year study are?

IB DP, IB CP, IB courses, A levels, or AP? Or at least say whether IB DP is a good choice.

Your feedback may make or ruin my life, choose wisely...

PS: thanks if you answer :]. I appreciate it.

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IB is not the best for certain types of specialisation due to its subject choice rules. I will say it's been said that Further Maths HL is beyond the scope of Further Maths A Level, a super duper small percentage would even have Futher Maths HL as a required subject. Certainly none in the UK ask for it. If you took Maths HL I'm sure you'd find as fulfilling. Alternatively you don't have to take Maths HL and Further Maths HL. You can take just further maths HL without Maths HL, this might make it easier fitting in the subjects you want. 

 

As as for certificates, they tend to not hold that much weight. This could be due to the fact that people who fail the IB are automatically awarded certificates. Also people who do not do the full diploma do certificates. In England and European countries that consider the IB, they don't look too favourably upon IB certificates. They focus mainly on the IB diploma. From what I've heard from IB CP it's also not regarded as well as the IB DP. 

 

In my opinion A levels and APs are better for specialisation, IB DP is better for showing you're an all rounder. I would recommend you do A levels or APs. You already know which subjects you want to focus on, so focus on them.

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One of the things I regret the most is not doing A levels when compared to IB. I didn't want to do a social science or languages but the IB forces you to and it's mostly meant for well rounded students or those who are not sure where their strengths lie. A levels allow for a lot more specialization while being mostly easier than IB subjects due to the lack of IAs etc. For A levels you can do any subjects you are good at. Being in IB my future of whether or not I get to study computer science depends on subjects like French and English, which is not very fair. So unless you really really like the IB and its mentality I would say do A levels where you can do only maths and sciences if you want.

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Thanks very much guys!

Will definitely try to do A levels or AP but I don't think I can do too badly in IB DP if I REALLY need to do it for whatever reason.

As for the all-rounder thing, it is true that I am one in grades but not in interests. I mean I am good (A or A* ie. 6 or 7) in at least one subject in every subject "area" though I do get slightly higher grades on my interests. 

I have a follow up question: Which is the program that will make me more likely to be accepted in one of those best universities? Which is best regarded by universities? A level, AP, or IB DP? I don't know where to study higher education nor which university to choose yet.

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3 hours ago, TheTroll73 said:

Thanks very much guys!

Will definitely try to do A levels or AP but I don't think I can do too badly in IB DP if I REALLY need to do it for whatever reason.

As for the all-rounder thing, it is true that I am one in grades but not in interests. I mean I am good (A or A* ie. 6 or 7) in at least one subject in every subject "area" though I do get slightly higher grades on my interests. 

I have a follow up question: Which is the program that will make me more likely to be accepted in one of those best universities? Which is best regarded by universities? A level, AP, or IB DP? I don't know where to study higher education nor which university to choose yet.

Just remember that IGCSE (I'm assuming you're with Edexel or CIE) can't be a prediction of your future :P As someone who just finished his IGCSEs and had pretty good predicted grades throughout the two years, doing IB classes will still be a challenge, and whether you get an A* somewhere or not does not mean you will easily get a 6 or 7 in that subject. 

Since you seem to hate literature, you might want to opt for English Lang&Lit, which focuses less on literature and brings aspects of proper essay-structure etc. into the "game" as well. Then again, you said spelling isn't your forte, so that wouldn't be ideal as well (well, maybe as an SL subject). IB wants to educate "well-rounded" students, hence why we have to choose two languages and a social science. 

If you can, talk to a teacher who knows your abilities rather well, and discuss with him your options. ;) 

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6 hours ago, TheTroll73 said:

Thanks very much guys!

Will definitely try to do A levels or AP but I don't think I can do too badly in IB DP if I REALLY need to do it for whatever reason.

As for the all-rounder thing, it is true that I am one in grades but not in interests. I mean I am good (A or A* ie. 6 or 7) in at least one subject in every subject "area" though I do get slightly higher grades on my interests. 

I have a follow up question: Which is the program that will make me more likely to be accepted in one of those best universities? Which is best regarded by universities? A level, AP, or IB DP? I don't know where to study higher education nor which university to choose yet.

Depends on where you want to go. In the UK, there's a slight bias towards A level. The IB grades asked for are much higher than the A level grades asked for.

 

For example, Hull for chemical engineering asks for 280 points at a level with C's in a level Maths and Chemistry. Their IB requirements are 28 points in IB and 5's in Maths HL and Chemistry HL. In case you're wondering a 5 is roughly a B, so technically they're asking for grade C's at A level and grade B's at IB level clearly unfair. 280 UCAS points can be met by having BCC in three A levels, so by having a further B in a third subject whilst 28 points is a lot more work across the 4 remaining subjects and core subjects.

 

I'd pick A levels because, AP tends to be take in addition to something.  Eg. SAT tests, ACTs or a highschool diploma whereas A level are usually taken on their own. Some universities ask for AP's plus something like  (SAT subject tests for example). 

 

I suggest you do some research on A level vs AP. 

Edited by ChocolateDrop

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I think for your case, since you're really good in maths and science, I would suggest you do A levels. Then you can take Further Maths, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry as your 4 subjects, because these seem to be your strengths, from what I can discern through your post. Then you could get 4 A*'s at A level :D 

If you did the IB, then I would advise you to take HL Further Mathematics (you will have to learn this subject by yourself; and if you find it too challenging, you can always switch back to HL Mathematics), HL Physics, HL Chemistry, SL English Language and Literature (easier than English Literature), SL Economics, and SL group 2 subject of your choice (a second language you're competent in). You could do 4 HL subjects, but that would only add to the burden of studying more stuff that doesn't interest you, hence why I suggest taking 3.

 

For universities, based on what I read, the IBDP (the full diploma) seems to be looked upon favorably by many universities, so you certainly would not be at a disadvantage if you took the IB.

Now if you're aiming for the top universities in the US (e.g. Harvard, MIT),  the IBDP would be a better choice compared to A levels. This is because universities in the US have a holistic admissions process (they take into account a lot of things such as grades, extra curriculars, community service, etc.) The IB helps you brush up your application in many areas, most notably community service (through CAS). Whereas if you did A levels, all you would have to do is study to get good grades which is the complete opposite of what US universities are looking for. 

But if you're vying for the top universities in the UK (e.g. Cambridge, Oxford), A levels would be the easier path. Since you are clear with what your strengths are, you could get 4 A*'s and just with that, you'd be a competitive applicant. From what I've read, UK universities place a lot of emphasis on grades alone. They even have their own "scoring" system (UCAS) to determine the number of "points" you have based on your grades. And I think you can make your application more competitive if you have work experience related to your applied course.

With that said, I personally believe it is tougher to gain admission into the top universities in the US as they take into account a lot of things, compared to UK universities. 

Hope this helps ^_^ 

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I don't think IB is best program application-wise in most places in the world. I do have benefited a lot (after the program) by having taking ToK and am beginning to develop a worldview not limited to science/technology. I think it is important for a science/technology person to not dismiss importance of humanities and social sciences. IB, slightly more than AP and A-levels, emphasizes compatibility and cross-linkages among subjects. If you take IB and score well (say 34+ out of 45), you can be assured that you will perform excellently (at least above average) wherever you are accepted.

There is an option to do three Group 4 sciences, if you say a certain school require that for admission and fills out the paperwork for IB. 

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Okay, thanks again for all the advice.

Yeah, did check out the AP subjects and I'm already confused by how many different physics AP's there are lol. 

There goes AP then.

3 group 4 sciences isn't what I really want because I don't like biology (and I am kinda crap at it) neither do I want computer science (whatever I learn there, I forget the next day lol). DT doesn't sound bad but I don't wanna gamble too much with high school grades.

Wow, admissions to UK universities sounds much easier than US ones, at least to me. 4 A*'s at A level :D. 

So I think that it'd be best if I could do A levels and then go for a UK university.

But if I do have to take IB, then of curse I'd take IB, but it would also mean a pain in the butt :P. AT the same time, IB does train students university skills that will make my university life less of a pain so should I suffer now or later (education torture 101)

So which program trains one more for university, IB DP or A levels? 

also made up my choices for A levels:

-Further maths

-Maths

-Physics

-Chemistry

And for IB DP:

-English L&L (the less the literature the better)

-Some language (I dunno got two choices 4 an easy 7 so will just pick later)

-Economics SL (History has too much writing english, TOK, EE, and CAS gives me enough of that)

-Physics HL

-Further HL maths/ HL maths (depends on availability and how much I will finish covering with additional maths)

-Chemistry HL

So now I can see A levels will definitely make my life easier in my last two years of high school but I need to know if I will be well prepared for university.

Edited by TheTroll73
just some stuffs I wanna add in

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From what I know top US universities only admit a minimal amount of international students for undergraduate study. International as in not having a green card international. It's like they place quotas on internationals. So it's much more competitive if you aren't American. 

 

The question of which programme trains you better for university and which one you'll get more sleep in both depends on your time management skills. If you're able to keep on top of your work in either A level or IB, either will prepare you for university. Generally IB is breadth while A levels go into depth (but this is not a fast and hard rule for every subject). Both are accepted internationally. The difference is IB promotes being an all rounder with the addition of CAS, Extended Essay and TOK to subjects but you can also mimic that with A levels if you wanted, you can do volunteering, Extended Project which is like EE and critical thinking. With A levels it's easier to customize your experience a bit more. The percentage of people who've been taking A levels and getting into university has always been a lot higher than IBers in UK universities through the years. I don't think they're at a distinct disadvantage.

Edited by ChocolateDrop

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Alright! Thanks and good luck for studies to all of you! You have been a great help in my decision between A levels and IB DP!

My choice now is A levels even though I AM capable of doing IB.

The reason behind that really is my crap handwriting (it's worse than you think) and this affects my grades negatively in subjects where lots of writing is required (history, economics, english, etc.) in addition to dumb mistakes and also decreasing concentration over time of an exam.In math and science, since I don't have to write whole essays, I can make an effort and write clearer if needed as I do have the time as well (I finish all exams 10-20 mins early). 

I also am avoiding TOK, CAS, and literature :P though I think I will take EP for the A levels as it will teach me a useful skill for university. Might as well take critical thinking depending on how it defers from TOK.

I can also focus on what I like most and with my broad IGCSE subject choices, I still can show skills in other subject areas (except computers and arts). Since I know what I'm best at, it is my best bet to do A levels.

Lastly, taking A levels will allow me to have a more enjoyable time because I can do the subjects I really like and not any that I dislike.

This EP thing is kinda new to A levels I believe. Cambridge sure does respond well to new competitors in the education market.

Thank you guys for helping me decide as I couldn't do it without your help :].

A levels it is!

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