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Which science should i choose

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I am finding it difficult to decide which science subjects to choose and would appreciate some help and guidance.

First of all, I am not entirely sure what I want to study in the future (perhaps economics, although the sciences really interest me too). That being said, I am sure about studying in the US. 

I have done a summer course in IB biology (also math which I am fairly well at), also had a brief look at the content that appears in IB physics. I have no prior background in chemistry however. 

These are my subjects in general: 

Economics HL

English HL

Science HL

Math SL

Ab initio SL

Science SL 

I want to pick 2 science subjects, one at HL respectively SL. 

1. How is physics HL? Is it the ‘broadest’ science in terms of future studies? Does it differ largely from SL - is SL in that case quite a bit easier? Easiest / hardest topic?

2. How is chemistry SL? I am not to keen on HL, and have heard that SL is easy. Easiest / hardest topic? How do you study for it? Is it quite mathematical? 

3. Lastly, is biology HL much more difficult compared to SL? Is bio SL pretty much the same level as chem SL?

In case I take bio and physics - is that a weird combination, from universities perspective? Since the subjects don’t overlap that much at all..btw, which subjects do overlap the most and would this ease study?

Here are the combinations I am considering:

Physics HL + Biology SL or vice versa

Biology HL + Chemistry SL 

Thanks in advance! Also, please do share any additional insight/your experience with the subjects besides from my questions. 




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Since you're taking Math SL I would stay away from Physics HL. SL might be fine.

Bio and chem do overlap in some parts and they work well together. I took both of those and really enjoyed it. Bio is a lot of memorizing, chem is more applying formulas. 


If you do take bio and chem, your schedule would be really similar to mine (except for ab initio language). I found it easily manageable.

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1. The difference between physics SL and HL is the one that I'm the least certain about. SL is mostly applying formulas and using basic concepts. HL is the same with more complex concepts. I have heard that SL is quite a bit easier since HL physics compares to HL math (one of the hardest IB courses if not THE hardest) in difficulty for some students.

2. The beginning of chemistry HL is identical to all of SL. Some schools even put SL students with HL students at the beginning. HL gets difficult after the common part it shares with SL, which is also around the time that HL students start taking things a little too lightly then get shocked at the increase in difficulty, lol. The HL part is just going back to the SL part with 1000x more detail. 

3. Biology is mostly memorization. HL is pretty similar to SL, except you will have to memorize more.

If you like math, I'd recommend physics. If you prefer memorisation, I'd recommend biology. If you want to go to university in the US I'd recommend doing chemistry along with the other science you prefer. As you said yourself, biology and physics is a bit of a weird combination, especially from a university's point of view. The vast majority of students who do two group 4 subjects do chemistry along with either biology or physics. If you still really really want to do biology and physics, go for it. It's all up to you, just go with what you like best. Hope this helps :) 

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