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4 HLs? SL/HL Math?

ikeyodaikeyoda Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hello everyone,
I am a sophomore in a predicament with my IB scheduling. Next year, I will be entering IB. Last year I completed Algebra 2, and my teacher recommends that I start in HL math and drop to SL if it gets to hard. The problem is, I would like to take history, however, it is only offered as an HL at my school. Would doing 4 HLs, Chemistry, Math, Lit, and History be too much? I could just forget history, but I feel that I would enjoy it. Also, I have to choose between SL bio, economics, or theater arts, and am leaning towards econ or theater. Thanks!

Replies to: 4 HLs? SL/HL Math?

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    It's often better to take precalculus before Maths HL. However your math teacher said you could, so.... How common is it for students atbyour school who took algebra2 to go straight into HL?
    Do you want to apply to Engineering or Physics?
    Your IB choices should be linked to your interests.
  • Kona2012Kona2012 Registered User Posts: 186 Junior Member
    I would definitely think you need pre-calc before taking HL Math. At our school if your highest math was Algebra 2 then SL or math studies were your only options. HL math is a very challenging course and I would only recommend taking it if you are a strong math student.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 1,822 Senior Member
    Both HL and SL math do review algebra and precalculus, at our school. However if you look the HL math exam,
    is one of the harder exams to pass with a 5,6 or 7, if you are looking to earn math college credits.
    . Are you very vested in getting an IB diploma? Then maybe take SL math
    to be sure you pass the math exam. If you don't really care about the diploma, then challenge yourself with HL math,
    especially if you want to study physics, math, engineering or computer science in college, but maybe other science majors as well.

    HL math contains proof based mathematics that is very good to be exposed to, for some college majors.
    SL math will not expose you to proof based mathematics,
    so your first exposure may be in college. SL math is a very good math survey class that reviews algebra, geometry, trigonometry and some calculus. HL math goes into more depth with calculus and proofs.

    IB Students often take 4 HL's without a problem, but it will depend on your study skills.
    SL 20th Century History has a lot of longer essays and projects, and very time consuming. HL History at our school
    is a combination of European History and 20th Century history over two years.
    . Ask other students about workloads in history.

    To earn the IB diploma you need to take HL English, if in the USA, so no option there.

    HL Chemistry has a lot of labs to complete, so you will have a lot of homework in 11th grade, and it eases
    off in 12th grade, but you will have to review to test well.

    12th grade is easier in IB, as it is test review in part for the HL exams.

    our kids took HL Chem, HL physics, HL English and HL Math and could
    get all the work done easily, but they had more math background, including precalculus and BC Calculus
    and then took HL math in 12th grade. (We have two paths, take SL math in 11th followed by HL math in 12th or take BC Calculus in 11th grade followed by HL math in 12th grade, both can work well. )

    Your high school may ask you to choose now, it seems between SL and HL math, but if you can switch down, maybe try the harder math, but be sure it reviews precalculus, ask the HL math teacher now.

    There are students who take five HLs and pass, but they are working really hard in 11th grade in particular.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    ^ this high school seems especially competitive.
    The NORM as defined by the IB Board is 3HL and 3 SL +TOK, CAS, EE. This suffices to qualify any schedule for 'most rigorous' for any college adcom. The IB Board allows for 4 HLs but it doesn't really help much with admissions although it may be necessary for certain majors.
    For a student who completed algebra2 sophomore year, I would recommend Math SL which is still pretty advanced as far as math goes (it packs precalculus honors, AP stats, and Calculus AB in two years).
    Some states do require English at HL so check whether yours does.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,811 Forum Champion
    Why not drop English to SL?
  • ikeyodaikeyoda Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Haha sorry my reply is a little late, but unfortunately our school only offers Lang and Lit HL. Actually, I found out that my school is not offering HL math at all. It's a little hard watching my math class struggle to graph linear inequalities, but I guess that's better than getting a 1 on the HL math test XD
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