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Which class to take?

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Well, hello guys, I'm new here. I'll be applying to an IB high school and in case I get in (lottery) I signed up on this site ( In regards to the forum title, is it really that bad? XD ).

Looking into the maths section of the IB courses, they only have 3 - that is - IB and not Pre-IB. Unfortunately all are SL.

One of them is an 11th grade math, IB Trig, or Pre Calculus Honors. I'm assuming the former is the more challenging one?

Since I hope to be a physics major I was looking for something for more rigorous but this is what they have (12th):

IB Math Studies SL

IB Math Methods SL

When I do get to this point in time to decide the class, which one is more challenging?


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Math methods is harder, and it's an actual IB course, whereas the "IB Trig" and your honors precal class aren't official IB courses. Your 11th grade classes should prep you for your 12th grade ones. You should ask your teacher or an upperclassman if both prep you for either class or if one is specifically for if you're thinking about math studies versus math methods. I took pre-calculus my 11th grade year, and I'm taking Calculus BC this year. Precal is a bunch of random topics and it does a pretty decent job of covering what the IB wants for math methods. Plus students in the US who don't take IB take precal then calculus, if they get that far, so your course is pretty much comparable. I took trig as part of my algebra 2 class before I started IB. If you did the same, then I don't think you need to spend an entire year of math on trig--not for the math methods class, anyways.

Honestly, for physics, you need to know elementary math and you need calculus, when you get that far. Basic knowledge of trig is important, and being able to add and do some vector stuff [which we covered in precal] is needed, but you don't need to be great at math or have a phenomenal understanding of it to do well in physics. And ironically, I found my Physics C teacher teaching me calculus before my calculus teacher did.

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I'm in 8th grade, I plan to do Alg. 2 in 9th, if not, dually with my Geometry class online (latter not likely)...

Do they even teach you SOME calculus in IB Trig? If not, well, I'll just stick to Pre-Calc.

Learning Calculus eventually is essential for me... but this is a magnet only school - we have no APs, excepting the exams you take along with your IB course.

Edited by KlavierKid

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Woah... you have a lot of time!

I'm taking a class online, and I'm watching some friends take AP Statistics online... DO NOT DO IT! There are different types of online classes. We're all doing web-based where the only contact with the teacher is via email. For math, you're going to want a real teacher [no offense to anyone]. If you can avoid an online class, then avoid it. The only thing my online class has taught me is that I wasn't ready for college this semester. It's a real wake-up when you don't have someone making you do work. Anyways, that lesson won't help you in 9th grade.

Here's the thing. I don't know what you're going to learn in your IB Trig class. Your teachers made that course up. It's not an official IB course. I've heard of just American trig classes where you pretty much learn trig and applications of it.

I'm sure there are benefits of the trig and precal classes. You should look into both, but you shouldn't be worrying about that right now.. If you want to be mathematically stimulated, look into math team if your school offers it. Study by yourself, if you really want to--not just because you want to go into something physics-related but because you think it's fun. If you're really interested, now's the time to build up your speed with computational math and algebra. Don't worry about trig or anything. In 8th grade I was doing Algebra 1, and I think we worked just being comfortable with more mental math while being able to manipulate x and y variables and learn how to solve problems.



Edited by sweetnsimple786
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Thank you!

Where to start... lol... all the knowledge! Indulgence!

Hm. Yeah, I really do think Algebra is great, but I loathe Geometry with all its proofs and corollaries.

I was thinking "Oh, this is going to be a breeze, all I'll do all year is calculate the surface area of three-dimensional objects."

They have a math club but it doesn't go past Geometry since our school only offers up to Geometry, which is still better than most middle schools.

I might move out of state and attend an IB high school with Mathematics HL (Thank god!), and Physics HL... which would be great if I do.

Well, thanks for all the info, and if I decide to take on this IB thing I think I'll know what to expect.

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