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IB History HL Difficulty

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Hey guys

how hard is History HL? Are the exams passable if you have a good memory, can write and are commited to the class?

If you were to give it a ranking out of 10 for difficulty in comparison to the other IB HL courses what would it be?

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For me, the class is simple enough. The more effort you put in, the better off you are. And I'm not as stressed about the history exam as I am for the bio HL, English A1 HL, and math SL exams.

Those qualities are quite relative, but yeah, if you have a 'good' memory or just put a lot of effort into remember the sequence of events & the reasons behind them then you'll do fine. Better than just passing, probably. I haven't taken the exam yet, but all we do for history tests is write essays. It doesn't seem as taxing as bio or math tests!

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I don't really enjoy the History HL course, but I don't think it is too challenging. I think that my class is really behind though. As sweetnsimple said, history is pretty much essays and extended responses, so good writing skills are obviously important. I have a good memory, so maybe that helps me, but really if you can understand the big picture of what is going on and present decent analysis in essays then you should do fine.

I think that it is easier to bs in a subject like history than say a group 4 subject. People who are good at English should be good at history.

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In terms of the difference between HL and SL, History is probably one of the ones where there is the least difference. As far as I can tell the only difference is Paper 3 (which is long but as far as I can tell not too challenging). So if you do pretty well in exams, and in class essays, then go for HL, especially if it is instead of another subject that you are worried about.

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Personally I find History HL quite simple. It's enought to have an overview of all the topics covered throughout the course during the first year and this is what makes it simpler. In the second year you go over the course again but this time ignoring the general overview and focusing on the details. It's the least of my worries compared to English A1 HL, Biology SL and Math SL.

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I am in Year 1 IB History HL and I love it.I find the things that we learn are really interesting. It can be difficult because a lot analysis and historiography is expected,something that my friends in regular history don't have to do. However, I find that if you put in the effort and are actually interested in the subject matter, you'll do well. You'll also improve your writing, which is helpful if you're taking english or any other course that requires writing.

Hope it helps! :P

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I'm in HL history and I think it really depends on the teacher. If you have a good teacher, it can be a really awesome class to take. If you don't however, it's tough. Exams are definitely passable and if you're committed and you have good analytical skills I don't think it's too hard of a class. It's one of those things that if you really don't like the subject it will be terrible, and if you like it it won't be a hard class =) I find Economics ten times easier, but that may be because I don't really like history as a subject.

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I would only recommend you to take History HL if you love the subject. It will be suck to take something HL that you dont like because you will probably end up finding yourself amongst millions of fact and histography that you have to remember (if you want a high IB score in hist). I gotta agree though that having a good teacher is one of the factors to consider. I have a really awesomely awesome hist teacher so if anyone in my school asks I will say "why not" :D I also personally love history so memorising fact as I go is easy enough. Hope this help.

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I'de say that 7 out of 10 works best. there are three tests which is the hard part, paper 1 and 2 are from one year of class and then paper 3 is from another (at least thats how mine is set up). In order to succeed, you really have to study a lot. Paper 2 is two essays in 90 mins, and paper 3 is three essays in 150 mins so there is a great deal of writing.

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I think this depends A LOT on your school. I'd love to have it like HanoBee, since I get to confused by learning so many details at once. Doing an overview, then letting the whole thing rest and learning details later certainly would have improved things for me. And still I have a really good teacher, I just think there's so much. Also the questions on paper 3 seemed to me a lot more focused and precise than paper 2, and therefore harder to answer. Then also, I'm having problems because I'm totally uninterested in the topics (I'm soo not modern history). I totally agree with coffee addict: if you love it, then go for it! Otherwise it's going to be a lot harder.

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I think History is one of the most enjoyable classes while you're doing it and one of the worst when you're preparing for exams. It has been my favorite class all of IB, but right now there are just soooooooo many things to remember (and remember well!!!). The assignments and questions are easy, the hard part is remembering all the events, years, names and interpretations for all the topics even though one a small part will be used in the exams. HL is a lot harder than SL since the amount of stuff we cover is about double what the SL's have to.

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History HL is NOT as tough as it seems. I realized this when preparing for my exams. The syllabus says that you have to know a million things but the good thing with history is that you can get away with knowing only 10% of the material that is assigned to you.

For Paper 1 you don't necessarily have to study at all to get a 7, although I would recommend reading about the events just to get an overview since that will help you interpret the sources. This exam is all about showing the examiner that you understand the sources and then you also have to compose an essay based on the sources. I had problems with paper 1 in the beginning but I gradually improved.

For Paper 2 you can really save a lot of time if you know what questions are typically asked. For example, my class did Topic 3 (The Rise and Rule of Single-Party States) and Topic 5 (The Cold War). On topic 3 you can be sure that there will always be a question about the rise to power of one or two dictators. Of course the IBO can phrase the question in different ways, e.g. To what extent was Hitler's rise to power due to personal appeal and ability?, but if you know the causes behind the rise to power of the dictators you will be cool. I only studied the rise to power of Hitler and Castro for topic 3, learned a whole bunch of historical interpretations for them and I managed really well. On topic 5, you can always be certain that there will be a question about the origins of the Cold War, i.e. the events that took place between 1945 and 1949, and so you only have to study those really. Typical questions are usually whether the Cold War was inevitable, who should take the blame for it, etc.

For Paper 3 my class took the History of the Americas. I would say paper 3 is the toughest of the history exams in terms of the workload but it doesn't have to be that tough if you know what to study. For example, you can be certain that there will always be one question about the Great Depression (either the causes, the impact or the solutions), one question about the foreign policies of U.S. presidents from Truman to Bush, and one question about the domestic policies of U.S. presidents from Truman to Bush. Really, if you focus on that you will be able to get a good grade on paper 3 without putting in that much work.

So, if you are smart you can narrow down the workload connected to history a looot.

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While its obviously going to depend on your passion for the subject, I definately recommend it. I don't think its really challenging, but it is a lot of content to learn, and some people simply have trouble remembering that amount of stuff! If you have a good memory, or are at least interested enough for it to stick, its a really interesting course to take. I particularly loved the Russian history option we took- so much fun to learn the history of a non-western country!

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The syllabus says that you have to know a million things but the good thing with history is that you can get away with knowing only 10% of the material that is assigned to you.

This is so true, and imo the key to doing well in history without working yourself to death especially in your HL Paper 3 topics. I'm taking the European option and you're guaranteed to get something on Alexander II, one of the 1917 Revolutions, probably WWI causes... If you've done the 'correct' options for P1 and P2 much of the material overlaps also (e.g WWI causes in both P3 and P2...)

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Yeah, what you should do for Paper 3 topics is look in the syllabus at three options that you've studied, and just learn a well-rounded amount of material for each topic. Memorizing just three topics isn't that bad, I've found.

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i haven't written any Paper 2 or Paper 3 yet, but so far i give it a 8 out of 10. it's a great subject! (:

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I actually think it is the easiest class I have taken in the DP so far...albeit I have only had one year of it but the practice tests are very easy.

If you have troubles I would recommend doing outside research and historiography. Also, attempt to learn about other schools of thought. If you master these skills the class is a joke...

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