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IB Calculus vs UK uni calculus -Urgent!

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I'm an IB graduate -may 2009

I am going to uk in 2 weeks to study chemical engineering.

I took 6 at math SL - i took a full score at my 2 -portfolios !!

I heard that the calculus courses that 1st year students take in UK universities are extremely HARD even to ex-IB math HL students, and many even find it hard to pass, so they end up trying to catch up over the holidays and summer.

cuz the IB sylluabus is very narrow when it comes to calculs when compared to other programmes like the A-levels.

I am not worried about coping with the pressure, but i'm scared that my foundation wont help me and i'll have to struggle allot throught my 1st year.

So is it ture that IB students are unprepared when it comes down to calculs, and how hard are the UK ui courses???

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Well I did IB SL alongside people doing AS and A2 Level Maths and I'd say that there's not too big a gap between them. Mostly it seemed that the A2 Level people did a lot more mechanics than we did (I don't seem to recall we did any mechanics) but I didn't notice a huge gap in terms of calculus. Perhaps for those people who take Maths and also Further Maths A Level they might do considerably more, but even Maths + Further Maths combined aren't meant to be as hard as HL Maths.

I can't speak for how hard the calculus is in a Chemical Engineering course, but I personally don't see how you could be too badly out of your depth compared to people who've just done the normal Maths A2 Level if you did SL. Have you tried looking up the A2 syllabi (for the main exam boards) to see what extra they cover? That might set your mind at rest that as to how far out you are. A University wouldn't've taken you if they thought you'd never be able to cope off the back of SL Maths (with the offer they gave you) unless they thought you could handle the course. You can't be their first ever IB-qualified student, and they'll know what you have and haven't done before (or definitely should do!!). Think of it that way :)

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Just a couple of things to add... I can't speak for UK unis but the calculus that a chem engineer would take and the calculus that an graphic designer would take would be the exact same if they took the same course. And I think that was redundant, so I'll clarify. An engineer's and an art major's math course load would only be different in the amount of math classes each student took. The first calculus course is the same. So for the US, it doesn't make sense to say that a Chem Engineer's Calc 101 class is harder because it's not tailored based on what major the student is taking.

I've experienced my friends freaking out when they take calculus in uni [this is US, once again]. I'm supposedly taking Math SL, but I could have taken the IB exam this May although I graduate next May. Last year, calculus wise, I learned limits and basic derivatives and integrals. But this year I'm taking a course that'll allow me to exempt two semesters of calculus. I interpret that as just Math SL not covering enough to let you have an easy year in your uni calculus class, but like Sandwich said above, the unis wouldn't find math SL to be acceptable if they thought that students who score above a four or five or whatever still can't cope with the intensity of their classes.

I say be prepared to work your butt off in that class, along with the other classes. I'm not downplaying the difficulty of the other courses, but make math a priority. Good luck =)

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