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Question about IB philosophy vs economics

(7 Posts)
ImpyCelyn Tue 13-Sep-11 10:14:20

I have an ex student who is just starting the IB. He wants to do PPE at university.

He's just contacted me because he's having a dilemma about whether to do economics or philosophy for one of his higher subjects. He originally planned to do philosophy, but someone has told him to swap to economics as it looks more impressive. Apparently it's harder to get the highest mark in economics than it is in philosophy.

My feeling is that it's only impressive if you actually manage to get a level 7, otherwise it'd be better to do philosophy and have a better chance at a level 7.

I don't really know much about the IB, so I'm not sure how much difference there is between the two.

Does anyone know more about it please?

Thanks very much.

Tortu Tue 13-Sep-11 19:04:04

Anecdotally, we haven't really classified one as being harder than the other.
What is his 6th subject? Any chance he could do both?

ImpyCelyn Tue 13-Sep-11 19:18:06

Thanks for replying.

I'm not sure about his 6th, he didn't give me a full list. I know he's taking Latin, standard level I think. I'm hoping he's taking Maths somewhere in there if he wants to do PPE.

His email didn't imply he could take both, it was definitely an either/or.

ImpyCelyn Tue 13-Sep-11 20:20:17

He's doing Maths, Ecosystems and Latin for standard and English and History for higher, so it's between philosophy and economics for the 3rd higher subject.

senua Wed 14-Sep-11 08:48:05

I don't know much about the IB nor PPE but it seems to me, since he is already doing English and History, that a numerical subject (Econ) would be better than a third essay subject (Phil).

senua Wed 14-Sep-11 11:37:03

Thinking about it some more, isn't Economics one of those subjects where, if you want to study it at University, the usual advice is don't do it at A Level (like Law). Would he do Maths at higher? It does seem to be a subject that if you are good at it then you are very good at it and get the corresponding grade - for example, in our latest A Level results a third of all A* grades awarded were in Maths, and two-thirds of all Mathematicians got A/A*

ImpyCelyn Thu 15-Sep-11 07:53:09

Thanks for replying senua. Economics doesn't seem to be a "don't do it" subject, but there certainly doesn't seem to be any advantage to doing it, from what I've read. Whereas the philosophy course say that doing philosophy could be useful. So I think it may be better to do that.

But ultimately I think he's better off doing something he'll find really interesting and do well at, so I've told him to pick based on that. There really doesn't seem to be any advantage to one over the other.

I sent him the Oxford page for PPE and they only want Maths to standard/As level, so I think he should be fine there. He is much better at essay subjects in general, so I think he's playing to his strengths.

Thanks again!

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