a year ago

Is it too much to take both IB Chem SL and IB Bio HL my junior year?

Hi! I'm a rising junior and aspiring nurse. I'm seeking advice about my schedule next year, specifically relating to the IB sciences.

Disclaimer: I am an over-thinker, so this post will be very very very long. I am so sorry for all the words, I really tried to make my thought process as clear as possible.

Background: My school has both IB and AP classes and I've started to plan for my last two years. I know I definitely am going to take IB Bio, but I've been enjoying my chem class this year and have begun to think about taking IB Chem next year as well. It would also help with classes in college as I want to become a nurse. My school only offers IB Chem as a one year SL course, so if I end up taking it, either junior or senior year I'll be taking with IB Bio. I've talked to a student that is taking both classes junior year and they don't recommend it.

IB course load: So I don't plan on doing full IB because history is definitely not one of my strong subjects and I think my grade will negatively affect my GPA. I took pre-IB history freshman year and barely scraped by with an A. I've also heard from many upperclassmen that the "regular" 11th and 12th history classes are a lot of fun and the teachers are all nice and laid-back. I currently don't have a job and my ECs are pretty flexible, so I think I'd be able to dedicate extra time to the bigger course load.

Current course planning: In my junior year, I plan to have 5 IB classes (English, Spanish 400, bio, math and chem) and 2 "regular" classes (history and newspaper). In my senior year, I plan to have have 4 IB classes (English, Spanish 500, bio, math) and 1 AP class (stats) and two "regular" classes (history and newspaper). So I could choose to take Chem junior year and take AP stats senior year or vice versa. My school also offers IB Psych and I wanted to take that as well before realizing it wouldn't fit. If I decided to take Psych, I would substitute it for Spanish in my senior year (which would've been my fifth year learning Spanish).

Concerns: I'm worried that this will negatively affect my GPA and my chances of getting into college. I'm also worried colleges will judge the fact that my school offers the IB diploma and I've chosen not to take that route. I am hoping to get into a higher-ranked college, so that does affect my thought process. I'm also worried it will take a toll on my mental health. Over the years, I've noticed that the classes trigger my anxiety + stress the most are history and Spanish so that's why full IB scares me.

Possibilities: The way I see it, there are many ways this could play out. One: I take both classes and don't attempt the IB diploma (my current plan). Two: I only take Biology and don't attempt the IB diploma. Three: someone convinces me to take IB history and do the IB diploma with both sciences. Four: I do the IB diploma with only biology as my science.

Questions: so I guess I accidentally asked more questions when describing.

Here's a recap:

Should I take both IB Chem SL and IB Bio HL my junior year?

Should I do full IB? If I do full IB should I take both science classes or just Bio?

extra bonus question: should I take IB Psych instead of Spanish 500 in my senior year?

(I hope this made sense. I tend to ramble and I've really been thinking about this a lot. Also, apologies for any spelling/grammar errors.)

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Accepted Answer
a year ago

It depends on your individual abilities and workload. Both IB Chemistry SL and IB Biology HL can be demanding courses, so taking both in the same year may be challenging. However, if you are confident in your ability to manage your time effectively and stay on top of your coursework, it may be possible to take both courses and do well.

Before making a decision, consider factors such as your other academic commitments, extracurricular activities, and personal life. Talk to your school counselor or IB coordinator for their advice, as they may have insights into the workload and expectations of each course at your specific school.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take both courses should be based on a realistic assessment of your abilities and the demands of each course. It's important to challenge yourself academically, but not to the point where it negatively impacts your overall performance and well-being.

Hope this helps!

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