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Choosing DP SL and HL Classes?

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I’m a little conflicted about choosing which subjects to take as higher levels. My school forces us to take English and History HL, so I basically only get the option of one other HL. That will probably be Chem, but I’m also considering Math HL. Because of my school’s requirements I’ve been considering taking 4 HLs since I hesr that colleges don’t often look at SL classes. I’m a straight A student, but I struggle with time management a lot, and I realize the commitment I’d need to make. Not sure if I’m making any sense here, I’d just appreciate some advice on deciding, maybe some perspective from people taking/who have taken 4 HLs? Thanks!

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Hi! 4 HLs here. In the US, most colleges will not give you credit for SLs, and you generally need to score at least a 4 (or higher, depending on the school) to get credit. From my experience, US schools are a little different from the rest of the world, and they don't put as much stock into the precise choices and scores of your courses. We generally don't have conditional acceptances, so you have more give in your choices. So your choices are more based on what you think looks nice on your transcript, and the scores themselves on the exams don't actually matter as much.

Depending on what you're going into, Math and Chem HL might be necessary. If you're going into any sort of STEM thing, you probably want them both at HLs just because the course will better prepare you to study those subjects in college. However, if you aren't, and you're looking at those courses purely out of interest, you can really make up your mind based on how much you like the classes and if you're willing/able to work at them.

4 HLs has been a rough ride for me thus far solely because my school requires us to do English, History, and our experimental science at the HL, and because Math HL is condensed to one year instead of two at my school. I don't regret taking 4 HLs though. It's a lot of hard work and you will have to improve on your study skills and time management skills if you want to pull it off. I learned that in IB1. It's not an easy task, however, if the courses you choose to take at the HL are interesting, engaging, and important to you, as long as you're willing to commit, it's worth it.

For the HLs you have choices in, never choose to take them unless it's purely because you're interested in the topic. Period. Colleges in the US don't care that much if you took Math SL or HL - it might be a couple bonus points on your application, but if you're failing Math HL, it won't make a difference. You should take the classes because you want to be in them, or else, the work is never worth it.

Good luck with IB1, I hope I could have been of help!

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