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Maths Studies for top universities

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I'm considering taking maths studies next year, because Maths really hurts my brain although I am able to score well, I do not enjoy it one bit. I am not pursuing a degree with anything to do with Mathematics, so I feel like this will be right for me and I will have time to focus on on my other subjects. However, I've heard a lot of negative things about maths studies, people are telling me that although I am pursuing a degree without mathematics, it will hinder my application to universities. How much truth is there in this? 

My current subject choices are:

English A Literature HL

Japanese A Literature HL

Visual Arts HL

Psychology SL

Biology SL

Maths Studies SL

If i would like to enter a top university, preferably an ivy league one or UK's oxbridge, is this okay? Especially since I intend to go into languages or the arts, I've always assumed that they will not regard my mathematics. Top universities are very competitive these days. In a way, will I lose out to other potential candidates with a higher mathematics level than me, pursuing the same non-maths course? Or will they focus more on the overall IB score? 

I have to submit my choices very soon and any help or insight will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all very much!

 

 

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Simply put, and it's really only anecdotal evidence so it's not much, but over the couple dozen or so people I've met and known that got into Ivy League or Oxbridge, not one of them had taken Maths Studies. That said, none of them - as far as I knew - were planning on doing Arts or Languages too. I'm sure there are exceptions though, as about 20000 students are admitted into Ivy League schools every year, and several thousand more for Oxbridge.

Generally speaking, and take my advice with a grain of salt as I have no credible source, but it would not be a bad idea to stick with Maths SL so long as you're getting 5 or above. Ivy League admissions state that they expect students to pursue the most rigorous available curricula/course load available to them within reason, with relation to your future academic pursuits - that's not to say you have to take 4 Higher Level courses nor Maths HL, especially if you're not going into a Maths-related field - but as you've already noted, in reality you'll be competing with many students who will likely have similar academic achievements as you do, but taking more difficult maths courses e.g. Maths SL or AP Calc AB/BC. 

Still at the end of the day, the difference of one course is very rarely a make it or break it. There's so many factors to account for especially for Ivy League admissions that it's pointless to worry about everything. If you really hate or struggle with Maths SL, then by all means drop it, and just be sure to stand out in all other admission aspects.

But you've stated you're able to "score well". Staying with Maths SL won't hurt; taking Maths Studies MAY NOT hurt, but it also MAY hurt and there is unlikely a general rule for this i.e. some people may be scrutinized, others may not. From the uncertainty, and with your aims as high as they are, I would recommend just dealing with the brain hurting for another year.  

 

Edited by IB`NOT`ez
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Since you have to take SAT or ACT for Ivy Leagues, math ability below high school level (eg studies) can significantly hurt your application. It could be that SL help with preparing for such standardized exams in terms of problem solving skills which SAT and ACT focus on. I cannot guarantee that Studies will cover sufficient materials or expose you to enough problem solving techniques but SL will be mostly sufficient.

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I think it's probably far less likely to hurt your chances when it comes to studying humanities at UK universities, but if you're aiming for the Ivies, I'd stick with SL, especially if your mathematical ability isn't actually lacking. 

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9 minutes ago, Gaby said:

I think it's probably far less likely to hurt your chances when it comes to studying humanities at UK universities, but if you're aiming for the Ivies, I'd stick with SL, especially if your mathematical ability isn't actually lacking. 

Thank you for this! I see that you have taken Maths SL, which universities did you apply to and what is your university major? Did you do anything math-related? (And does it really matter if one takes MSL instead of MSSL? They are both SL subjects.)

Do UK universities pay a lot of attention to your SL subjects? Will they be alarmed if an oxbridge applicant has Math Studies in their list of subjects, or will they look at the HL subjects taken and consider the applicant based on the HL subjects relating to the degree they are pursuing? Say I take Math Studies, and I get a reasonably high overall score for IB, will they overlook the MSSL? How much attention do they give to your SL subjects anyway? 

Thank you so very much! :nicole:

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