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Does 4 HLs, 2 SLs, along with 2 AP classes sound too crazy?

HeliumYangHeliumYang 11 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hey,
I'm a sophomore thinking about doing IB next year, it's still too early on in the year to choose IB classes for next year, or even have a talk with the IB counselor, as she has her focus on mainly the current IB students for now.
I'm pretty much settled on what classes I'm choosing for next year, but I still want to know how heavy it is. I know other IB students deal with this workload, but I've overall been getting the mixed messages between "it's extremely hard" and "it's not bad." I do have a reason for all my classes, so hear me out. I'd appreciate any suggestions/constructive criticisms, thanks in advance!

Literature HL(My school only offers this in HL, it's required for Group 1)
History of the Americas HL(My school requires us to do this for Group 2)
French SL (My school only offers SL language for one of the three languages we've been learning since as far back as middle school)
Math HL (I am taking AP Calculus AB Seminar next semester, as my school uses that to separate the HL and SL students for math. I'm going to be one of the two future leaders for my hs's math team, so I'm obligated to do this)
Biology SL (Biology seems more useful than Physics SL, because I'm trying to pursue medical, also, no, my school does not offer AP/IB Chemistry due to neither of the Chemistry teachers wanting to get AP/IB training)
Design Tech HL (Seems like a fun course, might be useful for Robotics? The non-practical reason for this choice is that my favorite teacher teaches this, and none of the IB arts classes appeal to me. Yes, they only offer this in HL.)

So for the 2 AP classes, the state requires us to have credits for US Government and Econ. I have the choice of either doing Honors Gov/Econ, or AP Gov/Macro-Econ, because my school doesn't offer the IB variants of those two. Most of the IB students are taking the AP route, and the seniors are suggesting me to do that as well, as it's not that much harder than the Honors variant, and it's worth trying to get the AP credit instead of Honors.

I am taking 4 AP classes this year (Physics I, Statistics, World History, and Calculus AB Seminar next semester), is there any suggestions / What should I expect (Other than just restating the fact that IB is rigorous)?
edited November 2018
22 replies
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Replies to: Does 4 HLs, 2 SLs, along with 2 AP classes sound too crazy?

  • CannonBall256CannonBall256 7 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I am currently in HL history, lang and lit, and Math. History is honestly pretty easy if you pay attention and take lots of notes from the book, only hard part of history is writing decent essays with enough historic detail. lit can be a bit of pain because, in lang and lit at least, we usually write a 5 page essay every week. We also read a reasonable amount, which I enjoy, so the class is in a way fun. In math HL the hardest part for me was getting used to doing things the way IB wants them, but after that it honestly felt the same speed as my AP calc class. I am in Bio HL... there is a lot of memorization involved, a lot. I am assuming its a bit less for SL but its still a substantial amount of information, but this class is probably the hardest IB class i am in. I do not have any experience with DT HL so I am not going to comment there... but as far as the rest of your IB schedule I think its doable.

    As far as the APs go, I am assuming you have 2 gov classes available, I took both AP gov classes and I preferred AP United States gov. For me it was a similar amount of information I needed to digest as my bio class. I found it interesting because in HL history we spent a lot of time on us independence and I could connect the 2 classes a bit. I do not know much about macro econ... but I do not really see a reason to not take it.

    The only thing I would change if you want to peruse something medical I recommend HL bio or taking anatomy and physiology if your school offers it.

    If you wanted to give your self a bit of a break id recommend doing ap gov and honors econ.
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  • HeliumYangHeliumYang 11 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @CannonBall256 Thank you for the info and suggestions! I looked into Anatomy and Physiology, but there was no way to fit it into my schedule, and I think I'll stick with AP for both (US)Gov and MacroEcon, because from what I heard, it's either both AP or both Honors.
    I chose to do Biology SL mainly because I've heard a lot of rumors about the HL teacher being just overall bad at teaching, and the only way I can do HL(due to the 4 HL limit and the specific grouped classes for IBDP, since my school will only let us take IB if we do the full DP) for it is if I drop Math HL(Which I need to lead my school's Math team next year), or drop Design Tech HL to do Physics SL, but I'm doing AP Physics 1 right now, and I don't want to waste a class on reiterating the same things for half a year.
    Although, I'm planning on doing the AP exam for Biology after doing SL bio. Do you know if it's plausible or if it even covers the same topics?
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3383 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    What is your proposed schedule for grades 11 and 12. That is not clear form the classes you listed.
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  • GoldPennGoldPenn 158 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Yes, this does sound too crazy! 4HL classes and 2SL’s are already going above and beyond the “most rigorous” box check needed for college admissions. Adding two AP classes to that already heavy load seems like overkill My D attends an IB school where several students have gone on to Ivy League schools and none of those students added AP classes to their IB curriculum.

    It’s better to do well in fewer classes, and to have time for meaningful extracurricular activities, than it is to be bogged down with a potentially stressful course load. Top colleges regularly see rigorous course loads with perfect grades; you’re better off differentiating yourself with research or extracurriculars while maintaining an appropriately (but not over-the-top) rigorous schedule.
    Best of luck to you!
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  • CannonBall256CannonBall256 7 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Sorry for the late reply. I'd say it's possible to take the ap bio exam after sl, but I'd recommend you pick up a few books that are designed for the ap exam, there are probably a few things that you didn't learn/ are taught differently.
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  • yucca10yucca10 1262 replies37 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This sounds fairly crazy. My son did an IB diploma plus AP classes, but he didn't take more than 7 classes per semester, and usually 6. That was more than enough work but still left some time for the ECs which I think is best.
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  • HeliumYangHeliumYang 11 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @VickiSoCal My proposed schedule thus far for 11th and 12th should look something like this:
    11th:
    AP US Gov
    AP Macro Econ
    IB Math(Analysis and Approach, due to the new IB curriculum for Math next year) HL 1
    IB Design Tech HL 1
    IB History of the Americas HL 1
    IB French SL 1
    IB Eng Literature HL 1

    12th:
    IB Biology SL 1&2(double period)
    IB Math(Analysis and Approach, due to the new IB curriculum for Math next year) HL 1
    IB Design Tech HL 1
    IB History of the Americas HL 1
    IB French SL 1
    IB Eng Literature HL 1
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  • HeliumYangHeliumYang 11 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @GoldPenn I'll keep that in mind, thank you!
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  • HeliumYangHeliumYang 11 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @CannonBall256 Awesome! thanks!
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3383 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    TOK? Are you not doing the diploma?
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you should take Gov/econ Honors or regular, so that you have enough time to dedicate to the IB and enough time to dedicate to EC's. You have rigor thanks to IB, no need to add more - you won't get bonus points for taking these two classes as AP and it'll use up significant time that *would* make a difference.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3383 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @MYOS1634 my IB student took US Gov online over the summer through our school district the summer after sophomore year. Got an A and got that state requirement that didn't help with IB out of the way. Really helped!
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If one of these classes were taken over the summer, it'd certainly help.
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  • gate84gate84 12 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Are AP Gov & AP Econ semester-long or year-long courses? That would make a difference.
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  • HeliumYangHeliumYang 11 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @VickiSoCal Yes, I am planning on taking TOK, I just forgot to mention it, since it's one of the assumed DP cores, unfortunately, the only Econ and Gov classes offered online are "CP" or just the plain highschool level, which I'm afraid might look bad when all my other classes are Honors, AP, or IB
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  • HeliumYangHeliumYang 11 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @gate84 Unfortunately, both are year long.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Considering how demanding your program is, you'll be okay with these two classes see es as regular classes.
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  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3383 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Both my kids took regular US Gov in the summer. I don't think colleges care one bit that it was not AP given their huge number of other AP/OB classes. It is a state requirement and they knocked it out with an A and moved on.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5731 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Why is French taking 2 years? You may be able to open up a slot there.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41893 replies451 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    IB French is two years long.
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