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Math SL or Studies? Psychology at Unimelb

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Hi guys!

 I'm going into the IBDP program this coming fall and my current subject choices are as follows:

English Literature HL
Chinese B SL
Psychology HL
Biology HL
Math Studies SL
Chemistry SL

I've been told many times about the futility of taking math studies if I am going in a "sciency" direction, but I really want to major in psychology, and the University of Melbourne is currently a top choice, and math isn't my best subject. The bachelor of arts doesn't require any math prerequisites and has psychology, but considering the nature of my IB subject choices, a bachelor of science would be more suited for me? However the issue is that the course requires at least a 4 in math SL or HL. Taking SL is not impossible for me, but obviously I wouldn't be able to do exceptionally well.

I was wondering if there's the chance that I could still be admitted with math studies, especially if I'm not planning to specialise in any course involving very complex maths such as physics or chemistry. Or the possibility of completing some kind of class before university to satisfy the math requirement? Or should I take SL?

How about the other GO8 universities for psychology?

Does anyone with experience of applying to Australian universities know?

Thank you!

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Getting a 4 in SL isn't very difficult, you need about 40% on the exams. I am beyond terrible in maths, truly just abysmal, but got around 40, even up to 60% in the past papers I did before the Math exams (my predicted is 4, so that's what I need). If your overall grade isn't important (because a 4 in one subject will reduce your total score quite a bit), then consider SL. However, if you want a very good score, you should take Studies -- from all I've heard, it's a picnic compared to SL.

I can't help you with Australian unis, however I recommend you write to them directly. Uni admission offices are usually very helpful, they don't want to alienate prospective students. :') Good luck!

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If the course requires that you take SL Maths, then it's probably best to try it. At my school we have a system where you can start in a higher level of maths, and then drop a level if you find it too difficult. Melbourne is a really good uni so it's probably best to try to meet their requirements - especially if your course has a lot of applicants, I'm pretty sure psychology is quite popular?

Also, here you can take bridging courses before uni if your level of maths isn't enough for the course you want to get into (I live in NSW but I imagine it's the same in Victoria), so in that case you could take studies and then do that before starting uni.

Good luck!

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I'm not too familiar with how Australian universities view maths studies with respect to psychology, though I do agree with terribletouw and am going to echo all that was mentioned above. If your school permits you to switch subjects midway (At our school, we were allowed to change subjects before the report cards were out for IBDP year 1), then go for maths SL. If it doesn't work out, drop to studies after - after all, you never know how badly you'll do (Or how great you are at it!) before you try it! I'd definitely give a shot at maths SL if I were you - although this isn't a prerequisite in the course, it can't hurt to build a little more foundation to what you may need in the course - while I don't take psychology, I do know psychology involves statistical analysis, and having a stronger maths background could come in handy.

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As far as I'm aware, Australian universities don't look too closely at the particular subjects or the levels you take them at. At melbourne you do an undergraduate degree first anyway, so for phycology you have to do either a science or arts undergrad. As far as I can see, studies should be ok unless you want to do an arts undergraduate majoring in economics. When they say standard or higher level, I think studies counts as a standard level course. DO NOT QUOTE ME ON THAT but yeah cause its standard level studies. Maybe look in more detail?

Melbourne is really flexible in the way they organise their courses, BUT they are also quite competitive. So choose the level you think you can get a high score in, as thats what they mainly look for.

But, I would say at least in the beginning try to do standard level, even as a booster so the stuff in studies feels like a breeze. No harm in trying, even if you drop in a week. Sorry for rambling, but also know you could go to another university and transfer, just as a way to get around the course requirements.

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