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Choosing HL in IB2?

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I'm a little confused about this after reading the contents in some forums.

We were told that for every subject except maths, we only have to decide which we want to do as HL at the end of Yr 11 for a start in Yr 12.

Are all schools like this? Only doing the HL stuff in the second year?

Thanks heaps!

Edited by Eydie

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Different schools do this in different ways. The syllabus IS split into SL and HL stuff and delaying the decision in terms of what to choose probably does help people, so I can see why your school might do it. We had a lot of swapping and switching around in our first year. Certainly where I did the IB, however, you had to pick from the start as you got more time allowed for HLs that way (we had more lessons a week than for SL). Similarly it means you can do all similar contents at once (such as in Chemistry where the HL stuff is really an extension of what you're learning in SL, so it makes a lot of sense to do it all together). For the way your school is doing it, the only subject other than Maths I can imagine this being awkward for is English where you have to study extra HL texts for every single segment of the course that I can recall, so I think it'd be very weird to split it into SL year one and HL year two. Unless you do no coursework at all until year 2, but even then you'd be doing coursework on books from ages ago.

Anyway, schools have very different ways of approaching the IB, especially in terms of the divide between schools in the USA vs. other schools around the world. I don't think it's terribly common to do what your school is doing, but I'm sure it's not just yours!

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Cool... I did notice that the book list for English has one book which is specified for HL students. So that might be it as most students are pretty sure if they are going to do English HL.

Chemistry is probably going to be weird... ah well~ : )

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My school is kind of like this. However, most of the teachers do tend to cover a little bit of higher level things in year 11 as well so that we get an understanding of the different between HL and SL.

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Our school is the same as Eydie's. Personally, I think it is a terrible choice. Seriously, having SL and HL students for the 1st year is fine for certain subjects like English and History, but for the sciences it's a recipe for disaster. In theory, SL and HL Bio students should be done with the core & options in their first year, so that HL students move on to do AHL in IB 2.

...But that didn't work out. Instead the SL bio seniors still didn't even finish their options and the HL students have around 7-8 chapters to finish! And the exam is in 4 months! It's crazy.

I think our school implemented this policy because separating SL and HL students would be too much trouble. When you think of it, there are 4 classes a day, each one being 80 minutes, so splitting HL and SL in the first year will cause too many classes for 1 subject and it'll be too confusing for the teachers. Also, a common thing about students who sign up for IB instead of A-levels have no idea what they want, so they end up switching their HL and SL subjects a lot. For example, when I started I thought I would take Eng HL, Bio HL, History HL, Chem SL, Math SL. Now I think I'm certain I'm going to do Eng HL, Bio SL, History HL, [i switched to ITGS SL instead of Chem SL] and from Arabic A2 SL to Arabic B HL. So yeah, only subjects unchanged were English and History!

But I do agree though, it's best to split HL and SL because HL students can finish whatever syllabus they have in time and be able to be separate classes where they are paid more attention.

Edited by Dreamer94
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In my school, students have to chose whether they'll do HL and SL from the first year. Some classes have mixed HL and SL students, with one lesson a week dedicated only to HL students (my computer science and economics classes were like that). Other classes are either just HL or just SL, which I prefer to be honest, but I would find it weird to hold off until the second year to chose between HL and SL, simply because in some subjects the HL syllabus is much more bulky than the HL.

For example in computer science, the SL have 3 topics, and the HL have 7. Would have been impossible to cover in only the second year of IB.

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Hey!

I reckon it is like that in most school, although I might be mistaken. I'm halfway through IB Year 1 and we've been asked to finalise our HL and SL subjects but I don't think they've sent the infomation to the IBO because just recently, the staff came around for another round of finalising our subjects.

Hope this was useful to you,

Work hard party harder!

Cheers! xoxo

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In our school, we decide on HL and SL at the beginning of year 2. It doesn't really affect me, only in subjects like Music where we're reviewing the entire Syllabus (Higher Level included), and i'm taking it as a SL. But oh well, a little more knowledge doesn't hurt anybody XD

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When you work on IB registration in 10th, you will plan out your SL and HL exams. You can still retake a class and do the exams over again I think, but unless there is an extenuating circumstance, then you would stick to what you planned out. I think that is how all IB schools operate.

EDIT: nvm, i guess not all schools do that. my school is odd (or unique, take your pick XD )

Edited by 2401 I Hate Tangents

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When you work on IB registration in 10th, you will plan out your SL and HL exams. You can still retake a class and do the exams over again I think, but unless there is an extenuating circumstance, then you would stick to what you planned out. I think that is how all IB schools operate.

Negative. You can change courses in your IB1 year (11th grade, I believe) and I think it's actually possible to change up until you are registered for the exams (around October of IB2 year). You don't even need a good reason for it, some schools allow you to switch just because you want to.

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That's how it's done at my school too, for every subject except English (there are pretty different book choices between SL and HL) and Maths. We cover most of the HL topics in IB2, with a few snippets in IB1, but those who are sure that they're doing SL can skip those lessons. I think most people come into their subjects knowing what level they want to do, and it is nice to have the flexibility. Also, with a small year group, it allows us to have more subject options, which is always a good thing.

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