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IB still not probably recognized...?

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Background info.: I've been on TRS recently and, as many of you probably already know, there is this huge debate going on over there about IB v. A-levels. Basically, they are saying that universities still don't understand the difficulties of the IB and are giving offers that are very high. Example: some universities offer 38, 666 HL while they also offer AAA in A-level. Apparently, it is a lot easier to secure the A level offer of AAA. The IB also have to do 6 subjects (while A-level students only do 3) and extra stuff like CAS, TOK and EE.

So what does this mean? That taking IB will reduce my chances of getting into a universities? I posted this here and not in the university forum because it's ultimately a topic about the IB and it's complexities and also because this forum is more active.

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It isn't really fair to say that IB isn't appreciated compared to A-levels. Universities weren't able to ask for anything more than AAA up until 2009 from A-level students. On the other hand, since a 45 in IB means you're practically godlike, not even Ox or Cam are able to require students to have anything close to the maximum points in IB. Instead, they look at the amount of IB applications they get and set a reasonable level, and apparently for most schools, the corresponding level to AAA has been 38 points. Hopefully the situation will be balanced in 2010 entry with the addition of the A* grade; for example, Cambridge's standard offer is now A*AA instead of AAA.

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I don't know how far this discussion will go on IBS, since unlike TSR we are not just UK based, and most of our user base is from Canada/the states/< insert random rest of the world country here> meaning they won't necessarily even know what A levels is.

I don't agree with this, as I got offered a 34 for my course, which required an ABB for A levels students, and I think ABB is a higher requirement subjectively. Not because it's easier to get an A in A levels, but because the whole of the requirement is just higher...

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That taking IB will reduce my chances of getting into a universities?

On the whole, yes. If you do A Levels you'll have a better chance of getting into University, unless you're able to do very well in the IB. You'll also have a less stressful time doing A Levels, based on what I've seen. That would be my feedback.

It won't necessarily reduce your chances to do the IB (nobody can give you a general rule for everything on that front), but, to dispell a popular myth among IB propaganda spreaders, doing the IB doesn't increase them! Universities still overwhelmingly have A Level applicants, and there's no pro-IB discrimination.

There also remains some ignorance (less so in more highly sought after subjects like Law and Medicine,more so in things like Physics, Maths etc.) as to what the IB is and what sorts of grades to expect. For instance somebody might want a ABB in at A Level, but then a 7 in HL Maths.

IMO picking the IB increases the risk of something going pear shaped, but doesn't necessarily reduce your chances. A Levels are the safe option.

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There's ALWAYS a debate on IB vs. A levels on TSR. It's been going on for ages, considering TSR is a UK forum. The verdict? Both has its pros and cons. Kind of hard to compare to be honest.

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I don't know how far this discussion will go on IBS, since unlike TSR we are not just UK based, and most of our user base is from Canada/the states/< insert random rest of the world country here> meaning they won't necessarily even know what A levels is.

I don't agree with this, as I got offered a 34 for my course, which required an ABB for A levels students, and I think ABB is a higher requirement subjectively. Not because it's easier to get an A in A levels, but because the whole of the requirement is just higher...

Well, that really depends on the course, doesn't it? I guess maybe it's just my course where I noticed the imbalance (medicine). Perhaps I should have explained it better, so I'll take a couple of universities as examples. We'll use Imperial and UCL. For medicine, Imperial and UCL require 38 points at IB (Imperial also state that a minimum of 6 in chemistry or biology is needed). For A-level they require AAA. I know that achieving AAA is more common than a 38 in IB. Also, in terms of UCAS points, doesn't 38 gather alot more points than AAA. I guess now, though, as previously stated, the new A* for A-levels will even things out.

Also, it would be worth checking out the UCAS points for your offer (34) and ABB. I'd be interested so see how that turns out...

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A-level's and IB shouldn't really be compared. I did a year of A-level's before i moved away. I can honestly say that the amount of depth in the A-level subjects is much greater than HL, no one should be fooled by seeing how many people get A's. The reason why so many people are getting A's is because they are freaked out by how hard the exams are. If you think HL maths= A-level maths you are having a laugh (don't even get me started on Biology). But at the same time IB is much more rigorous in terms of work load, but people shouldn't ignore the fact that it's much easier to get a 7 in a HL subject than an A. I'd say AAA is about 38-39 points(including bonus points).

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A-level's and IB shouldn't really be compared. I did a year of A-level's before i moved away. I can honestly say that the amount of depth in the A-level subjects is much greater than HL, no one should be fooled by seeing how many people get A's. The reason why so many people are getting A's is because they are freaked out by how hard the exams are. If you think HL maths= A-level maths you are having a laugh (don't even get me started on Biology). But at the same time IB is much more rigorous in terms of work load, but people shouldn't ignore the fact that it's much easier to get a 7 in a HL subject than an A. I'd say AAA is about 38-39 points(including bonus points).

Actually, it's pretty much generally accepted that IB FM > A FM > IB HL > A Maths > IB SL.

Sure, A levels going into more "depth", but exams are also split into modules which can be easily retaken. My friend retook certain modules for Econ and FM and ended up with AAA, even though he said he slacked for the two years (he's also ridiculously naturally intelligent, so this doesn't say much...) Bottom line is, both systems are different and there is no "harder" system. Imo, I think if your goal is to get into univ, take A levels. If you want a challenge, take IB. Don't forget to take into consideration the quality/experience of the teaching at the school you'll be going to. This makes a hugeee difference in terms of final exam performance.

IB does have its merits though. In hindsight, EE/TOK/CAS are beneficial; I hated them during the year too. :P

Edited by Irene

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