Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Full IB diploma scheduling issues & rigor for college

lightsgooutlightsgoout Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
Hi everyone!
I'm a sophomore doing full ib next year
So far I've taken 3 AP's (definitely the most rigorous my school offers and I'm one of 3/500 sophomores taking AP Lang and APUSH sophomore year. We had to apply to get in).
I'm in honors algebra 2 right now because that's what I placed into in middle school, so I'll have IB math SL senior year. My HL's are English, history, and Biology.
I'm taking an AP as my elective junior year because I'm close with the teacher who teaches it (he's my debate coach) and I want him to write me a college recommendation.
This precluded me from taking Newspaper and getting an editorial position, which was really sad for me as writing is one of my passions and ECs. i also love the Newspaper teacher. One of my friends is on the track to become EIC and I'm just a little jealous but that's totally tangential and unhealthy.
ANYWAY, I want to take Newspaper again as my elective senior year so I can at least have SOME editorial position.

If I did that, these would be the "holes" in my schedule:
1) IB math sl senior year (NOT math studies, that's definitely not rigorous) covers some calculus topics but I don't know if colleges consider it as calc. It was the highest math I could have taken without doing an extra math over the summer or something.
2) I've taken science for four years----honors chem, honors bio, IB bio 2 years. I'll have no physics. But is this a problem? IB bio is a really, really rigorous class, probably just as rigorous as IB physics, but I'm really spatially challenged so physics wasn't going to be good. I'm not going into STEM.
3) I'll have taken Spanish to a very high level (IB Spanish 5 in junior Year), but I'll have to drop it senior year if I choose to do Newspaper. My school offers up to Spanish 7, but again, my middle school precluded me from going past level 6. But if I did Newspaper I'd only go up to 5. I actually really like Spanish but I feel like the editor position might be more of a priority for me.
I'm pretty sure my counselor would check most rigorous just by virtue of me taking Full ib + 4 AP's in high school, but even if he does, I'm worried it's just not rigorous enough. What do I do?
I'm targeting competitive colleges like a brown, Yale, Wesleyan, Pomona, etc, and I fully understand that course rigor is just one of many aspects that go into these colleges' holistic processes. Nonetheless, i need some advice.
Thoughts? Personal experience?

Replies to: Full IB diploma scheduling issues & rigor for college

  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,099 Senior Member
    Don't worry - Full IB is very rigorous and generally seen as a more difficult curriculum than APs. Your courseload is more than rigorous enough. Why don't you just drop the AP next year and do newspaper if that's what you prefer. Also, can't you somehow fit in Physics SL? It might look a bit odd not to have any Physics at all in high school.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,408 Senior Member
    I'm taking an AP as my elective junior year because I'm close with the teacher who teaches it (he's my debate coach) and I want him to write me a college recommendation. This precluded me from taking Newspaper

    If you really want to work on the newspaper, then you should drop your AP taught by a teacher who you imagine will give you a good recommendation. I'm guessing that the particular AP course itself isn't that interesting to you (as you didn't mention the academic subject) except that you think you will get a good recommendation.

    You seem too interested in planning your schedule around getting "good letters" and having an "editorial position" to list on your resume rather than selecting a course schedule that contains courses that interest you.
  • lightsgooutlightsgoout Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    I'm sorry. I don't think you understand, maybe I didn't convey myself correctly. I've been working with this teacher since 9th grade on debate. He taught me US Government in 9th grade which I loved, and next year I would take AP comparative government. I am considering a major in political science so I think it would be very interesting to me. But, I also want to continue my relationship with a teacher who I think knows me well and could provide me with a good recommendation. Is that wrong?
    Similarly, I want the editorial position because I love to write and I love newspaper. @cheddarcheeseMN

    @londondad thank you!!
    that's the problem, though. I only have 2 free electives throughout my next 2 years (one a year). physics isn't an SL at my school, it's only an HL or an Honors (non IB) class, so I'd have to use physics as one of my elective spots which would mean I wouldn't be able to take even TWO of the following classes: AP comp gov with my debate coach, Newspaper, or AP spanish. I don't think I'll go the physics as an elective route, but I'm a little worried about that....
  • londondadlondondad Registered User Posts: 2,099 Senior Member
    Okay, got it! I think that you should speak to someone who knows your school well and can advise you what other top students have done for jr/sr year.
  • politepersonpoliteperson Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    I don't think rigor is an issue, and math sl is fine. I do think the lack of physics may raise some eyebrows. I'd stick with your plan for next year, and you could consider in a year whether to take honors physics as a senior. Your interests may have changed by then. You don't mention what your third SL will be--art?
  • lightsgooutlightsgoout Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    @politeperson anthropology. Alright, I'll consider that. I'm just worried I'll really struggle with physics, but who knows
  • leennpleennp Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Well I can tell you my daughter's experience as full IB who just graduated, she took no physics in high school, was excepted at every school she applied to except USC, which is a lottery for anyone, so physics and math SL for her did not affect her college acceptances.
  • SalmerksSalmerks Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    @lightsgoout You have a great courseload and trust me, everyone is right when they say your courseload is rigorous enough. I'm a senior in IB and I definitely don't regret even doubling up and theater and visual arts ib instead of doubling up in science. One girl from my school got accepted into brown and she took IB art all four years (ib of course) and no physics. All you can do is just excel in the classes you do choose. Also, if you feel you can excel in newspaper, then continue to do so and make it happen! When you write your college essays, it'll be much easier to write about something you really enjoy, unless your EC can compensate for no newspaper. This is fine also. Because I am going in STEM, I do have to take physics, chem and bio unfortunately and because you are not, do not sweat it. Another kid I know got into Bowdoin and he never took physics. In fact he was full IB and did student government all four years. SO I cannot stress this enough, take classes you enjoy and you can follow through with. At the same time, another girl I know got into University of Virginia in STEM but she HAD to take physics, chem and bio or else it does look quite weird and slims down any chance of getting in to Ivy Leagues. I do think she was rejected from the Ivy Leagues because she had gotten 2 Cs and 2 Bs on her transcript in core classes that mattered A LOT. She compensated with a lot of EC, with clear dedication in Academic Decathlon, Volunteering, President of NHS/Spanish Club etc. You get the picture lol. Physics is HARD, but manageable if you dedicate yourself to be honest. Don't let people deter you or trick you into thinking it's impossible, it's not. If you do really think you need physics, make sure your other classes are not as hard to be honest. It will be a struggle if your courseload is stacked, and physics is included.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,926 Senior Member
    Full IB students rarely can take all three sciences and colleges know that. Don't sweat it.
    Also, your plan of taking compgov because you know the teacher well and vice versa, is a good one.
  • lightsgooutlightsgoout Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    @MYOS1634 @Salmerk you guys made me feel much better! I appreciate it!
  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 8,181 Senior Member
    Re: Math...All college curriculums start assuming you will take Calc 1. So if you have Math SL that will be pre-calc and some calc and you will be ready to take Calc 1 at college.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 3,204 Senior Member

    Math SL is AP Calculus AB at our school and Math Studies is the one that only introduces calculus concepts. Either will prepare you adequately for college although you should do at least SL if you are considering anything STEM related.

    Math HL is a different beast altogether!
  • lightsgooutlightsgoout Registered User Posts: 131 Junior Member
    @gardenstategal yeah, I think my school does things pretty similarly, although perhaps the Math SL class is slightly easier than AP Calc AB? It's just a bit different. I will definitely be taking the highest math class I can take while still doing IB, which is Math SL.
Sign In or Register to comment.