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Hello,

I have finished Grade 10 and will embark upon my IBDP journey starting this August. Quite a few people seemed to be concerned with the difficulty of my course selection.

I have chosen the subjects below:

Mathematics HL

Physics HL

English Language and Literature (A2) HL

Chemistry SL

Business and Management SL

Chinese B SL

I want to pursue Computer Science in university, hence is why I think Math HL is a must, and I also think that Physics HL would be useful.

I am very fluent in Chinese and B SL would not be a problem. What concerns me is Math HL and Physics HL; I enjoy Math and Physics a lot, but I am not necessarily 'good' at Physics. Could anyone give advice on my choices?

Help would be appreciated :)

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Math and Physics go hand in hand but I dont think I would recommend taking Physics HL if you are not good at it because it is 100x more demanding than 10th grade physics. The rest of your choices seem great but if you want to do computer science I would recommend taking Physics (at least at SL level) and also I would recommend taking 4 HL's to start with, just to be sure when you want to drop either Math or Physics to SL, if your school allows it.

 

Hope this helps :) 

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Your courses look quite alright for computer science. In fact I've just finished my bachelor in computer science myself, and your course selection is very much similar to mine. Math HL is a must for CS, there is no way around that. As for physics HL, it's not really necessary. I mean even if you go into things like 3D programming or hardware (where knowledge in kinematics, circuitry, and quantum mechanics will prove useful), physics SL is usually enough. However, I've heard that many Canadian universities require CS students to have at least one science at HL. So I'd recommend you to keep physics HL as well, since it would give you more options to study abroad.

As for difficulty, it's highly subjective. Many people think that math HL and physics HL are hard, but that doesn't mean the combo is going to be difficult for you. It all depends on your efforts, your way of study, and perhaps on how good your textbooks are. Besides, difficulty can change over time. In grade 10, physics was my worst subject. In grade 11, it was my best subject. And in grade 12, I fell in love with it.

A few tips: Spend a lot of time on math and physics. Use your summers and other vacations wisely. Read and study your textbooks beforehand by yourself. Take an active role in your study. Go through the textbooks one chapter at a time and take serious notes, and don't forget to do practice questions as well. Also, I think you should spend your free time (or CAS time) to read a little bit about computer science. Maybe you can do some programming (I'd recommend learning Java or Python), and then use your programming skills to solve some problems on Project Euler, or maybe develop some games. These will be very useful when applying to top universities, where personal statements and interviews are part of the selection process.

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On June 17, 2017 at 2:11 AM, shellziess said:

Math and Physics go hand in hand but I dont think I would recommend taking Physics HL if you are not good at it because it is 100x more demanding than 10th grade physics.

 

Funny IB Advice.png

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Also, on a more serious note, your courses are great and I think you'll be happy with them. 

Just, as a side note that you might be interested in, I don't know how much clout students have in regards to trying to get courses to be taught but if you can try to get your peers interested in Computer Science and then ask your school's administrators if they'll give one class at the SL level for Grade 12 (they obviously need time to hire an instructor, set it up, etc.). It will almost certainly be more immediately helpful than business and management, though there is nothing wrong with taking business and management if you want to. I had a small amount of experience with coding before going into Comp Sci SL and taking that course made me 100x better because it forced to become more multi-dimensional, a more professional coder, and really understand concepts. You don't need to take it because schools in the U.S. are absolutely fine and actually expect a large portion of CS majors to have no prior experience, but the course is worthwhile because it really prepares you so you enter university with a huge advantage. Another bonus is that it exposes you to CS before you go to university so if you really hate it then you'll know it isn't the right major for you as opposed to taking multiple classes in college before realizing that. 

IB CS gets criticized a lot; I admit that the quality of the class can be determined by your instructor. In my class, we spent a huge amount of time doing object-oriented coding which in my opinion gives students the best experience.

I also just wanted to touch on what Vioh said. Math HL would be recommended, but if your primary interest is in software then you really won't be doing too much math. I obviously don't have the experience of going through uni, but I only expect to take a Calc 3 class and and another class on vectors for the entirety of my university career. 3D geometry and matrices is critical for graphics, but IB recently removed matrices from the syllabus so even going math HL you wouldn't necessarily get that experience. There are some specific areas where specific math knowledge is needed, but there's a lot of other stuff where only strong fundamental knowledge is called for. I say this because even though I took HL, I'm definitely not a math superstar so I don't want anybody to be discouraged from doing CS because they think they have to be a math genius. 

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