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How does Stanford view the IB students? And what is considered a good IB score?

samMITsamMIT Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
edited October 2013 in Stanford University
Hello everyone :)

Most students that get into Stanford do the AP. However, where I live, there is no international exam besides the IB diploma. Does Stanford accept students regardless of what exam they have taken?

Also, I'm currently taking the following subjects (first term predicted grades in brackets)
Biology HL (7)
Maths HL (5 :/)
Physics HL (6)
English Lang&Lit SL (6, Maybe a 7)
Spanish ab initio (7)

(For the people that do not know, 7 is an A+, 6 an A, 5 a B)

Is my courseload heavy enough for stanford?
(Btw Maths HL is considered THE hardest subject in the IB diploma, followed by Physics HL)
Post edited by samMIT on

Replies to: How does Stanford view the IB students? And what is considered a good IB score?

  • samMITsamMIT Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    Wow, no replies yet :(
    Maybe there is no IB student in stanford lol
  • International95International95 Registered User Posts: 1,523 Senior Member
    Isn't it just nice how people base the comparative difficulty of subjects on their limited experiences? Difficulty is subjective -- some may find IB math utterly easy, but others might not. Some of my friends told me that IB Chem is more difficult than math. (no need to tell me about your friend who takes both math and chem now and finds math more difficult. that proves nothing.) Were you trying to indirectly justify the score?

    Your course-load is standard. Nothing out of the usual expected from IB students. That said, assessment of rigor of academics is made from your school's individual circumstances. They will not compare you with kids who take a gazillion APs. If you have taken the maximum workload available at your school, you are fine, and a little below that is not a problem either.
  • samMITsamMIT Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    IB Maths HL is arguably the hardest IB subject, followed by physics HL. You do not have to take my word for it. If you search "hardest IB subject", you will find out that many students agree with this statement. Of course, if you do bad in english, english HL will be the hardest subjects. What is considered a hard subject choice in IB?
  • International95International95 Registered User Posts: 1,523 Senior Member
    You're just reinforcing the idea that difficulty a subjective thing, not based on consensus.

    Anyway, I am yet to be convinced that particular subjects would sway admission decisions in any way. Sure, natural sciences are difficult, but people who take them are often self-selected: they are interested in those subjects. Same case for social sciences. What is required is a mastery of those subjects -- difficulty will not be taken into account. End point is you need to do well on the courses you take because you CHOSE to take them. I'm not entirely sure about the requirements for the IB diploma, but I'm under the impression that there are some distribution requirements? Is that wrong?

    PS I looked up IB Math. The content seems pretty digestible. Sounds like the examination questions are very stimulating and rigorous. That's why it's "hard". People need to practice a lot, that's it.
  • samMITsamMIT Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    Yes, the IB diploma has certain requirements. You have to take:
    •First Language
    •Second Language
    •Humanity or History
    •Natural Science

    However my school does not offer as many options as other schools:
    •First Language:
    -English Language&Literature SL/HL
    -English Literature SL/HL
    •Second Language
    -French SL/HL
    -Spanish Ab Initio
    -A local language SL/HL
    -Geography SL/HL
    -History SL/HL
    -ITGS (Information Technology in a Global Society) SL/HL
    -Business&Management SL/HL
    •Natural sciences
    -Biology SL/HL
    -Physics SL/HL
    -Chemistry SL/HL
    +ESS (Environmental Systems and Societies, can also be humanity) SL
    -Maths SL/HL
    -Mathematical Studies SL
    They also offer Visual Arts SL/HL as an elective.

    The only natural science that I'm not taking (I do not consider ESS to be a solid science) is chemistry, but I might selfstudy and take the AP chemistry exam

    Well, the curriculum for maths HL is not so hard. Meaning, it is hard, but not as much as people say it is. However the exam questions are killer!
  • International95International95 Registered User Posts: 1,523 Senior Member
    AP Chem is really easy compared to A Level Chem. However A Level Chem is considered to be harder than IB Chem due to the content density. AP Chem is not really hard, though, so you should be able to do it.
  • NavalTraditionNavalTradition Registered User Posts: 1,060 Senior Member
    Fixating on a parenthetical remark about the difficulty of one class is not a good use of time.

    AP vs IB makes essentially no difference for admissions. Most US colleges are more generous in accepting AP scores for credit once you've been admitted, but that is a separate topic.
  • International95International95 Registered User Posts: 1,523 Senior Member
    Actually, I was just pointing it out to him that it's not going to be very difficult to do AP Chem on his own terms. Not trying to make a point that difficulty differences would have any influence in admissions. In fact, I have maintained a different pov here.
  • SarahBradshawSarahBradshaw Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    I think you might have a chance of getting in.
  • aqua62aqua62 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    To answer your initial question, yes your coarse load is extremely heavy and Stanford should be impressed (assuming your grades are in the A/B+ range). I know at my school we are not allowed to take more than 4 HLs, and HL math is extremely horrifying. About the IB test scores, the great thing about this is that if Stanford decides to accept you, they WILL NEVER SEE YOUR FINAL IB TEST SCORES. Many people do not understand this, but you will receive your scores after your application is accepted/denied. The only reason you should be concerned about the IB test scores is if you want to use them for college credit, I'm pretty sure Stanford will let you transfer HLs you have gotten a score of a 6/7 on for college credit, but there is a limit to the amount of credits you can redeem.
  • verylumpyverylumpy Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    really? not sure about the IB - but they certainly see final A level results - don't know why the IB would be any different.
This discussion has been closed.