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HL vs SL?

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I have to decide whether I will take HL or SL history very soon.

I am aware that while the HL exam includes paper 3, SL's doesn't, but other than that, I really don't know what the difference between them are.

How much more extra things have to be memorised in HL? From your personal experiences, is HL a lot more difficult than SL?

Thank you for helping!

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This is kind of difficult to say for sure, because May 2010 is the first year with the new syllabus, and I only have experience with the May 2009 one (yay, I've graduated!), but I'll attempt to help you anyway.

At my school History is only offered at HL, because the differences are pretty insignificant but the number of hours is a fair bit more extensive at HL than at SL, so those doing HL generally did better than those at SL back when both levels were offered. I would have taken HL anyway, though.

At least in the syllabus where 2009 was the last year, the the papers for P1 and P2 were the same for HL and SL, and the mark schemes were also the same. P3 was only for HL, but the questions weren't exactly harder than those in P2. The IA was worth more at SL (25%) than at HL (20%). Since the most important papers are the same, you gain on being in HL: stuff like historiography and the WHYs become clearer in all topics as you study more events all over. Also, many of the topics are applicable both to P2 and P3, so you get the chance to cover them in more detail; some topics can even be used for all three papers.

Still, remember that this is for the old syllabus - there seem to be some pretty significant changes for the new one, so don't make up your mind solely from what I've said. That said, if you like history, go for HL! It's fun, and you learn to write good essays without using a lot of time. History has probably been the only one of my subjects where I haven't had periods of "oh no, don't wanna" in the two IB years.

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Like hyperbole, only HL is offered at my school. In fact, we're forced to take it, so I may be biased.

The new 2010 syllabus is the same as the 09 one for Route 2 [History of the Americas] but for Route 1, Islamic history has been added as options, as far as I know.

If you don't take history at HL, you'll take another subject at that level. If you're not taking a course in a science-y field, then you won't want to make the last HL a science. Then you can do history HL [or econ or something else!] I know nothing really about you, so I can only advise to that extent.


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