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6HL + 1SL Subject

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Hello,

I was wondering why IB would have a maximum amount of HL's one can take in order to get a diploma (i.e. 4 HLs)? If the worry is about workload, I don't understand why people are allowed to do 4 HLs and 2 SLs plus 2 extra HL classes (amounting to 6HLs and 2SLs) but a person isn't allowed to do 5HLs + 1 SL and 1 extra HL class amounting to (6HLs and 1 SL) which is less work?

Thank you!

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I think the main reason is the fact that IB is hard even with 3HLs. Doing more than 4HLs is, for most cases, pointless, which the IB has recognised. Cases of people doing more than the standard IB diploma with 5+ HLs are extremely rare (so rare that I am yet to meet a person who did that). Some schools simply allow people to do more subjects, and the reasoning for that can really depend on the individual case. Certificates, and therefore subjects which are outside of the "core" IB diploma, aren't therefore affecting your IB score (except for the fact they distract you from your IBDP subjects and could result in lower grades). This is why there are schools that allow doing this combo.

Personally, as someone who did 4HLs, I think it is less about the workload but more about keeping young teens' sanity. After all, we are all between the ages of 16 and 18, and putting so much pressure on us even in the regular diploma just wouldn't be healthy. Not to mention HL requires 90 more hours of teaching, which would cause issues in small schools with a limited numbers of teachers. 

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Hi, thanks for your replies!

I was just wondering because I am doing the work of 6 HLs and 1 SL already and IB refuses to recognize my last HL as an HL and only an SL. Would you know of any way to get my HL credited as an HL for IB?

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Guest TheMagical7

Before we proceed any further, please tell me why you are doing 6 HLs. Now I don't want to discourage your ambition or make you feel bad, but I will be harsh. To get a 7/7 for each subject, you're competing against exams set internationally set for students who usually do 3HL and 3SL subjects. To get a diploma and not a certificate, you have to do CAS and you have to do one EE overall, and TOK. Even for a certificate, you will have to do at least one IA for each subject. In my school a 4th HL is not allowed since the quality of your understanding for the HL subjects is better than the quantity of HL subjects you've taken. I cannot begin to imagine a career that requires 6 HL subjects to enter. Do not over-exert yourself where you do not need to.

Now the way you phrased your request is 6 HLs + 1 SL. So, you want to do a 7th subject at HL? Please don't. I advise you to pick your favourite 3 subjects at HL, and do only 3 other subjects at SL. Do not do 7 subjects.

All geniuses focus their efforts into one particular area, and those who look at everything like Da Vinci spend their lifetimes doing it, not just 2 years.

Edited by TheMagical7

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I chose to do 6 HLs because I have an interest and liking for all of them. I am already a quarter into Year 2 and understand the requirements for IB. I am currently doing a "base" diploma of 4HLs and 2 SLs with 1 HL certificate extra. However, in one of my 2 SLs, I am doing all HL work because I am the only student in SL for that class. That is why I was wondering if I could get IB to credit that class as an HL instead of an SL. I do not have one specific area of knowledge that I like, which does have its problems, but also has its benefits. If I were to drop my classes, I would just be wasting what I have worked on a year for.

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37 minutes ago, Ianccoco said:

I chose to do 6 HLs because I have an interest and liking for all of them. I am already a quarter into Year 2 and understand the requirements for IB. I am currently doing a "base" diploma of 4HLs and 2 SLs with 1 HL certificate extra. However, in one of my 2 SLs, I am doing all HL work because I am the only student in SL for that class. That is why I was wondering if I could get IB to credit that class as an HL instead of an SL. I do not have one specific area of knowledge that I like, which does have its problems, but also has its benefits. If I were to drop my classes, I would just be wasting what I have worked on a year for.

Well, you kinda answered your question. The IB only every allows 3 or 4 HLs, and extra certificates on top of that. They would have no issue with 4HL + 2SL  combo, together with 2HL certificates (in fact, there was someone on this forum who did exactly that 2-3 years ago), but they simply can't allow you to do 5HLs as part of your regular diploma. It's the rules, sadly, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Unlike the rule where you can do the irregular diploma with 3 sciences, there are no universities that require a student to take 5HLs, so there's no way around this. 

Plus, you wouldn't have wasted a year. You expanded your knowledge and your wisdom in that specific area, which is always good. Yes, you worked hard, and it might not "pay off" by the fact it has 'higher level' next to the subject name. But if that's how you quantify your work and whether it's wasted or not, then it's not a good approach to learning. At the end of the day, you know the extra effort you put into that subject. That is all that should ever matter. 

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Guest TheMagical7

Yah ultimately you will just do better that other people in SL exams, having HL knowledge XD

Edited by TheMagical7

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My problem is that the course I do HL work and am an SL in for IB is Theatre. In theatre, there are no end of the year exams and the only thing that separates HL from SL is a Solo Theatre Project. Both my teacher and I agree that this project would benefit my IB grade for Theatre, and thus would like to have it count as part of my Theatre Portfolio. I understand that the IB doesn't allow 5 HLs + 1 SL in their diploma, and that I did gain the knowledge through doing the extra work, but it's just a shame that I won't be allowed to have it count as a grade because it could potentially boost it.

(if anyone is wondering about my classes it's HL: Math, Chem, Econ, Eng LangLit, SL: "Theatre", and Mandarin, with an extra certificate in HL Music)

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I considered doing that but my schedule wouldn't allow it. One of the main reasons I like my HL courses is because for the majority of them the HL things that we learn are easier to grasp for me. Another reason I wouldn't like to switch is because I hear plenty of people complain from the SL class that their teacher is no good :(

I now have accepted the fact that IB doesn't allow this (although still don't really understand why) 

Thanks for your replies :) 

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Guest TheMagical7
7 minutes ago, Ianccoco said:

I considered doing that but my schedule wouldn't allow it. One of the main reasons I like my HL courses is because for the majority of them the HL things that we learn are easier to grasp for me. Another reason I wouldn't like to switch is because I hear plenty of people complain from the SL class that their teacher is no good :(

I now have accepted the fact that IB doesn't allow this (although still don't really understand why) 

Thanks for your replies :) 

Okay there is not much else I can say. IB doesn't allow so many HLs because everyone does 3HLs + 3 SLs. You are putting yourself at a disadvantage when you do not need to be, as much as you may love all these subjects.

If it's a matter of teachers, you might consider staying in the HL class and doing the SL exam at the end - this also means you will only have to do SL IAs.

Edited by TheMagical7

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