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A level versus IB - what to do?

(14 Posts)
lovemygarden15 Wed 18-Sep-19 21:40:34

My child is not sure whether to do IB or A levels. She's two weeks into school and lower 6th doing her A levels - Art, Economics and Computer Science - and has become a bit nostalgic about her GSCE subjects she won't be doing now. They offer IB at her school but she's worried about the workload, the absence of computer science (you can't do that in her IB courses) and she's not a patient or organised learner. She got much better GSCE results than we anticipated so I'm not sure how to advise her - whether to push her (since she seems capable) or whether to accept that at this stage she isn't organised, that it will just cause us all a lot of grief keeping track of her workload, and stick with deeper A level choices? Any advice welcome

OP’s posts: |
BruceFoxton Wed 18-Sep-19 22:05:19

Don’t leave decision much longer as it’ll be too late to catch up. To go from these three subjects to doing the six IB subjects plus TOK and EE would be a huge leap. Art is very different and without being able to do the CompSci she’ll only have the economics to build on. It’ll be going from 20mph to 90mph just to keep up.if she’s not organised IB will be torture.

BringOnTheScience Thu 19-Sep-19 00:03:10

If she's not organised, the IB is not for her. It's vast amounts of work, utterly relentless, with multiple deadlines to juggle for the coursework elements.

She can do other subjects for fun, eg languages at evening classes or clubs.

ShanghaiDiva Thu 19-Sep-19 03:16:19

Agree with BringOntheScience - if she is not well organised the IB is not for her and the workload is huge.

staedtlerpencil Thu 19-Sep-19 03:22:33

IB has more advantages - ends earlier so first pick of uni places, understood and liked overseas, popular in certain industries - but it is a different workload.

Think about how she managed her GCSEs, was she a worker and organised?

Teddybear45 Thu 19-Sep-19 03:28:57

Economics and Computer Science at A Level can often be mickey mouse subjects - it’s why when you study computer science or economics at uni they don’t ask for them (many universities prefer maths or science subjects). So from that perspective an IB sounds better on paper. However, she definitely does need to be organised. The level of work is far beyond GCSE and there’s a lot!

titchy Thu 19-Sep-19 07:36:40

* Economics and Computer Science at A Level can often be mickey mouse subjects*

Neither are Mickey Mouse subjects at A level don't talk shit. Or does Cambridge now take Mickey Mouse A levels?

CherryPavlova Thu 19-Sep-19 07:47:42

We’ve had children do both.
A levels were definitely harder because IB had a coursework element and not everything was at the higher level. Standard maths was a walk in the park, for example.
Doing a broader range of subjects opened up options at university entrance. Ours was certainly not organised (and still isn’t) but came out with 42 points.
She’ll need to make the change soon though.

Ironoaks Thu 19-Sep-19 08:01:50

Does she know what she wants to do after sixth form? Does she want to go on to university? Or an apprenticeship? Or straight into employment?

My only concern about that A-level combination would be that it doesn't open doors to an Economics degree (requires Maths) or a Computer Science degree (many places require Maths). But if she doesn't want to go on to study either of those subjects then that is irrelevant.

Which GCSE subjects is she particularly missing studying? It might be that she could study some MOOCs in those subjects, or do an EPQ that involves them.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Thu 19-Sep-19 08:07:24

The workload in IB is relentless. She will have, at the most, one or two study periods in a week. 3 Higher subjects and 3 Standard subjects, plus ToK, the Extended Essay and her CAS. If her GCSE grades suggest that she is a good all-rounder, and if she's not afraid of hard work, she might thrive on the IB. There are deadlines throughout the course, though, with a wide range of internal assessments.

She needs to decide quickly, as catching up in six subjects plus ToK will be miserable for her otherwise.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Thu 19-Sep-19 08:14:16

titchy - as your link demonstrates, the problem is less with Economics and Computer Science as A Levels and more to do with the fact that they are only useful (in terms of applying to Trinity) for candidates who want to study those subjects at degree level. And in both cases Maths is either required or preferred alongside - which the OP's DD is not doing. So while her A Level subjects are helpful, they are not deemed necessary in the way that Maths would be with either of those subjects.

titchy Thu 19-Sep-19 08:35:55

* the problem is less with Economics and Computer Science as A Levels*

Yes exactly. They are not MM subjects, just Maths is the most beneficial subject to study for both the above.

The point is they are well regarded subjects as A levels - just because a subject isn't facilitating doesn't mean it's MM.

HugoSpritz Thu 19-Sep-19 09:58:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edgeofheaven Thu 19-Sep-19 10:08:48

Agree that her A-level course choice is more of an issue than A-Levels vs IB. That is not a great combination to be honest - as mentioned to study either Economics or Computer Science at university, most good courses will expect a Maths A-Level alongside.

What would she take if she went to IB?

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