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International Baccalaureate or A Levels?

(7 Posts)
AlpacaLypse Fri 14-Nov-14 16:02:26

DTD2 is agonising between IB, with Maths, Physics and Something Else as the three Highers, and A level Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

She is stratospherically good at Maths, predicted A*+ and predicted As or A*s for everything else.

Anyone any experiences with outcomes for Science/Maths geeks doing IB? There are some stories going round that if you want to read Sciences or Maths at a RG uni you're better off with a set of A's at A level than a good pass at IB - basically that it's easier to achieve three A's than the 38 points needed to be a good pass.

It doesn't help that she's not sure if she wants to go for a Science/Maths degree or head straight towards Law.

The IB course looks fantastic, and the emphasis on self management of learning seems to really help students make the transition from Sixth Form to University.


Stuffofawesome Fri 14-Nov-14 16:09:11

Ib is really hard. I did it as it suited me because I liked arts and sciences but if she really wants to specialise in science and knows it now I would go A levels. I wouldn't do it if I was choosing now

turkeyboots Fri 14-Nov-14 16:15:41

IB every time. Even maths and science geeks need to be able to communicate well and IB will require English and a social science which will pay off in the long run. Can't help with what unis what though.

summerends Fri 14-Nov-14 16:27:16

One of my DC had a similar dilemma.
Points for consideration.
How well does the sixth form do for either the individual IB subjects or A levels? That might swing your DD one way or the other.

If your DD has an evens chance of doing physics or chemistry at university than further maths is a positive choice for the A level combinations and therefore needs at least 1.5 A level slots. Higher maths has the advantage of being nearly as strong as maths / further maths.

How flexible is the sixth form in combination of subjects? Is your DD potentially bright enough to do 4 or 5 A / AS levels?

The IB is quite regimented timewise and she would have to relish the time spent doing all the add ons it involves.

TheWordFactory Fri 14-Nov-14 16:48:17

I second what summer has said.

Check how experienced and successful the school is with IB. A school near us decided to offer it to a handful of their brightest students and their final grades were poor in comparison.

Check also the marks required by universities for IB. How do they compare?

AlpacaLypse Sat 15-Nov-14 10:21:26

Thanks everyone. We've got until January to decide, meanwhile lots to talk over.

georgettemagritte Sat 15-Nov-14 10:30:53

I work in admissions at a RG uni and I would advise A-levels for a student wanting to go on to do maths at a RG uni. IB often does not have the sane depth as the A-level for traditional academic subjects like maths, sciences, English, history. It's good if your child wants to go on to do something like languages or a degree that isn't part of the school curriculum (law, psychology, etc), but less so for science or subjects that are taken in depth at school level. Particularly for Maths, as you'd really need further maths A-level to get into a good RG uni for maths (and any of the "hard" sciences, ideally - physics in particular really needs further maths), and importantly to be able to cope with the course.

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