Hey, I’m a junior right now looking to apply to a few schools in the UK for PPE next year, specifically Oxford, LSE, Durham, and Birmingham. My dilemma is that I’m taking AP Calculus BC this year, which is the highest level of math my school offers. Next year, I have to pick one of two other schools in my city if I want to continue taking math without going back to an easier course, one offering multivariable, the other IB HL. IB seems much better known by UK schools, but I’m leaning towards multivariable because it’s relevant for economics, seems more interesting, and I prefer the school I’d be taking it at. Would it really impact my admission chances all that much? If so, which would be the better choice in your opinion?
Multivariable calculus will be the obvious next step in math after single variable calculus (AP calculus BC). IB math HL is single variable calculus again with some other topics added in, so it will significantly repeat what you already know.
However, you should check the UK universities that you are interested in to see what their expectations are.
Multivariable, for both your reasons and the reasons posted above. You don’t need IB + AP, and your app will be plenty strong enough.
Absolutely multivariable, IB would be mostly repetition. In UK schools, the professors admit, not adcoms, and they will know what multivariable calculus is just fine.
Do you absolutely have to change schools for that, though, even though you may not want to? How about taking a math class at a CC?
My son who is reading Maths & CS at Oxford took AP Calc BC in junior year and the Stanford on-line MVC course his senior year as his school didn’t offer a taught MVC class. A 5 on the Calc BC AP is probably all that you need to establish your math bona fides for your PPE application, but I second the advice that a MVC class is the next logical step for you.
Thanks! To clarify, I’d only be taking the one class at the other school, not completely switching.
Thanks to all of you! I’m happy to hear that MVC is actually the better choice of the two.