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I just moved to a school with IB, I'm currently a Sophomore in Pre-IB, with a few IB and AP classes.

Taking IB Pre-Calculus and it's not that bad at all.

I'm a straight A student.

What's the difference between Higher Level and Standard Level, what requirements are needed to be in a HL class?

Does IB have any requirements as to which classes are HL and which are SL?

What's the final requirement for the IB Diploma?

I just feel so lost when people try explaining it to me.

Thanks for any help ^.^

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I dont want to be mean , but it's a survey task to understand what its's about. Higher level subjects= more work , this is true in all subjects, though in the science subjects there are LOADS of extra work it you go HL classes. You will need 24 points to get your diploma, these points are gathered by 6 subjects, you can either do 3 sl and 3 hl or 4 hl and 2 sl . I would say it is much more IB doing four HL than three. You need to feel the stress , otherwise you will never love your IB diploma i think. Hope you understand more now after this short breef.....

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24 points for diploma, out of a possible 45, no?

Given that you don't get an E for either TOK and your EE.

You can take HL for any class, and SL for any class?

All ab initio languages and math studies can only be taken at SL.

Pick your worst two subjects for SL? Or what?

Umm... If you wanna put it that way, sure.

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you also can't get a 2 or a 1 on you exams.

if you plan to take 4 HLs and 2 SLs you need to get 16points in your HLs and 8 points in your SLs.

you need to complete 150 hours of CAS (usually 50 in each section).

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Everyone else seems to have answered your questions already.

Just wanted to add that you can't simply "pick your 2 worst subjects" as your SL..your school will offer specific courses at SL and HL and you will have to take them. So it all depends on what your school offers and at what level. I would've taken bio HL and maths HL if I was given the opportunity, but my school only offered them at SL and those are definitely by best subjects by far.

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You can have a 2 in an SL subject other than Mathematics, and still get a diploma provided that you fulfill all other conditions. Here's a useful link from my school website: click

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I feel obliged to point out that there is no such thing...

Only in America... IB Anything exists there.

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I just moved to a school with IB, I'm currently a Sophomore in Pre-IB, with a few IB and AP classes.

Taking IB Pre-Calculus and it's not that bad at all.

I'm a straight A student.

What's the difference between Higher Level and Standard Level, what requirements are needed to be in a HL class?

Does IB have any requirements as to which classes are HL and which are SL?

What's the final requirement for the IB Diploma?

I just feel so lost when people try explaining it to me.

Thanks for any help ^.^

IB HL courses are generally more in-depth in terms of knowledge and content, which requires a longer period of study (3 semesters) whereas, SL courses only last for a year. There is barely any difference between SL and HL other than more IA's for instance and the length of study.

Final requirements for the IB is the IA (internal assessment) where you try to show the IB examiners your skills without the stress of exams through certain activities (math portfolio, presentation, etc.). Then you have your exam which is worth 70-80% of your final mark ;)

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Again you Americans (yes, Canada is geographically in America) mix up the difference between SL and HL. SL is NOT a one year course. IB has simply given the opportunity to anticipate a SL course already after the first year of IB. However, the vast majority of IB students in the world do not anticipate IB SL courses. You Americans seem to do that for some unknown reason, and I have no doubt it is reflected in the grades you get.

There is also much difference in the level of difficulty between SL and HL for most subjects. HL is, in general, far more demanding than SL. Math and natural sciences are a prime example of this.

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I found this topic useful to me too. I didnt know that you can take 4 HL subjects as everyone in my college take only 3 HL subject. Pity me...

Well, as mentioned, HL is more detail compared to SL but not to say that SL is easy. (at least for me)

Since that yo are a straight A student, I dont think it's a big problem for you either it is HL or SL.

Just chose your favourite subjects and have fun with them.

You are going to love IB.

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Ok, what you need to do is go to the IBO website and read about it. Or talk to the co-ordinator at your school, trying to understand it just from typings over here will make life hard. All throughout IB you will need to draw on a crazy number of resources to understand what is happenning, so it's natural to do a lot of research before you choose IB.

Yes you should do your weakest subjects at SL or those you cannot do at HL (either maths studies, ab initio languages or anything else your school prohibits) andmy school only lets us do 3 HL's so as to not overload us. There aren't any university courses that require you to do 4 HL subjects, so why stress yourself unneccessarily? Talk to your teachers about what they think you should take at HL and SL and play to your schools strengths. my school is very strong in english so I chose to take that at HL, instead of another science subject.

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Guest MissIB2011

I'm in 10th grade pre-IB and I was wondering exactly how IB works. I've seen a lot of HL and SL on this forum and am a little bit confused about what they mean. I would appreciate it if you guys could explain to my about how the entire IB system works. Thank you!

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This topic may be worthwhile to read: http://www.ibsurvival.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5

Basically, SL stands for Standard Level and HL stands for Higher Level. Like their names suggest, SL is more or less the watered down version of HL, that is, it's much easier.

If you're going for the Diploma, then you have to take 3 SL and 3 HL courses (you can take more but that's entirely up to you and not usually recommended). Grades for SL and HL courses range from levels 1 to 7. So out of the 6 courses, the maximum number of points you can get is 42/42. These 6 courses are divided into 6 groups: first language (A1 or A1), second language (B or Ab), social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and the arts. If you desire, you can take a subject from a different group to replace group 6 (the arts).

In addition, you have to take TOK which is basically a philosophy course - epistemology to be exact - that deals with what we know and how do we know we know it. For TOK, you have to do a presentation (20 marks) and write an essay from a prescribed list of titles (40 marks). You also have to write the Extended Essay which is basically a 4000 word research paper on a topic of your choice. You receive grades ranging from A to E for these two "core" areas, which may garner you an additional max of 3 points.

So in total, at the end of the 2 years, you have a score out of 45.

Lastly, there's also the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) component that needs to be completed in order to earn the Diploma. In the past, students had to complete 50 hours under each category, however, the system recently changed so I'm not sure how it is anymore. Maybe someone else can clarify this.

That was a bit scattered, so just post if you need anything explained in more detail. :proud:

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Guest MissIB2011
This topic may be worthwhile to read: http://www.ibsurvival.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5

Basically, SL stands for Standard Level and HL stands for Higher Level. Like their names suggest, SL is more or less the watered down version of HL, that is, it's much easier.

If you're going for the Diploma, then you have to take 3 SL and 3 HL courses (you can take more but that's entirely up to you and not usually recommended). Grades for SL and HL courses range from levels 1 to 7. So out of the 6 courses, the maximum number of points you can get is 42/42. These 6 courses are divided into 6 groups: first language (A1 or A1), second language (B or Ab), social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and the arts. If you desire, you can take a subject from a different group to replace group 6 (the arts).

In addition, you have to take TOK which is basically a philosophy course - epistemology to be exact - that deals with what we know and how do we know we know it. For TOK, you have to do a presentation (20 marks) and write an essay from a prescribed list of titles (40 marks). You also have to write the Extended Essay which is basically a 4000 word research paper on a topic of your choice. You receive grades ranging from A to E for these two "core" areas, which may garner you an additional max of 3 points.

So in total, at the end of the 2 years, you have a score out of 45.

Lastly, there's also the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) component that needs to be completed in order to earn the Diploma. In the past, students had to complete 50 hours under each category, however, the system recently changed so I'm not sure how it is anymore. Maybe someone else can clarify this.

That was a bit scattered, so just post if you need anything explained in more detail. :proud:

Ya, that was a bit confusing. What is a IA? What does CAS mean (for example who do I get hours of each)? What is a mock? What is the significance of the syllabus?

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IA - Internal Assessment. These are the assignments you do which are marked by your teachers. They include language orals, lab reports, and pieces of coursework. They usually account for 20-30% of your final grade in each subject.

CAS stands for Creativity, Action, Service (as stated above!) and you will need to get your projects approved by your school. I, for example, play the recorder and do various bits of sewing and knitting for Creativity; I do yoga for Action; and I tutor French and Maths for Service. You cannot get paid for any of the activities you count for CAS.

A mock is a practice exam. They're usually more formal than normal tests, because they're supposed to acquaint you with exam type situations. They're also the basis of your official predicted grades.

The syllabi are super important. They state exactly what you need to know, all exceptions, how much in depth you need to know things, et cetera. It is very valuable to have a copy of the syllabus especially in Science subjects, because there are so many details you need to know.

Very many of these questions could easily be found through Google, you know. I'm also sure that the answers are up on this site if you just take the time to look around before you ask.

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Ya, that was a bit confusing. What is a IA? What does CAS mean (for example who do I get hours of each)? What is a mock? What is the significance of the syllabus?

You don't need to know what the technicalities in IB are at the moment. That can wait until after you've joined IB: your teacher will fill you in on these items. If you're deciding whether IB is for or not for you, you should be either talking to your IBC (IB Coordinator) or current/past IB students. :proud:

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