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"Soft" subjects to avoid, according to universities


Vvi

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I'm now newly (re)concerned that my subjects are somewhat "soft". I'm surprised Geography wasn't on that original list as far as I could tell, but maybe it isn't popular enough. I have to admit that Economics (the other social science I was considering) sounds better than Geography, but I like the broader focus of Geography. And the syllabus (seems) fairly good as well. And I have to admit it sounds easier/more interesting than the more technical Economics. Oh, don't we all have to make choices? Our school swears up and down that there is no bias for subjects taken when universities select students (apart from pre-requisites). Of course, it is Australia...

Maths HL and Physics HL ain't "soft". But if/when I drop these to SL, suddenly my subjects are sounding a lot less "impressive".

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm taking ITGS in SL and right now I'm sort of dying because I was 3 months late for this course and I'm so lost in class T_T

This website can help you http://itgsopedia.wikispaces.com/ :D Don't stress out, 3 months are nothing compared to the 2 years of the IB program.

If you have any further questions about ITGS, go to this thread http://www.ibsurvival.com/topic/17725-itgs-general-project-questions-here/ and read through it :P

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't seen much said about Theatre Art in here. I take TA HL and it may be seen that all we do is stand around, acting trees but we don't. TA does not just teah you about acting it teaches you about producing, set designing, costume design, director, lights, sound ect ect. TA is mentally and physically draining, the things we have to do really do take a toll. Just because it is an 'art' it shouldnt be seen as a soft subject. If you want to go do theatre,flim,tv (NOT MEDIA BIG DIFFERENCE) at uni, TA is the one to take.

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  • 2 months later...

You shouldn't worry, Oxbridge doesn't want to see ''more than 1'' of these subjects being taken (eventhough I get your point, the idea is stupid, I think all great unis have some kind of strange v. subjective manner in them) .

So basically if you have 0 or 1 of the ''forbidden subjects'' you are perfectly fine, but if you have 2 or more of the forbidden ones, then you are at a disadvantage.

I don't take visual arts because I don't love art, and my older sister took visual arts and I saw how much time and effort she put into it and still only scaped a 4 in HL art. So I definitely knew that visual arts was not a walk in the park. All people at my school complain of how demanding visual arts is compared to their other subjects. I definitely agree, visual arts is tough

I'll have to jump in on that. Waaait waaaaaait! I want to to Oxbridge. And I have two of those 'soft' subjects. I have VA and B&M, and I want to study architecture... My second choice are political sciences or management... So they'll be looking be differently because I have those subjects? :/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Choosing soft subjects does not have to be a disadvantage - it all depends on how you use it. For instance - think of such aspects of your course that are unique and you wouldn't be able to learn it from much more popular history, biology etc.

Moreover if you apply via UCAS there is a great opprotunity to mention it in your Personal Statement. If you are interested in humanities, understanding culture by literature and visual arts is much deeper. I have linked both of them in my personal statement and got very good offers.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello,

I have to disagree that BM and DT are easy or soft subjects.. I have all three of those soft subjects( BM, ITGS, and DT) so I should probably know. Maybe ITGS is easy because those are things which someone who is interested in IT should know even before, but there is the other side of it. That "global societies", is so weird. I really dont like talking how the tech influence on people, and all of those ethical and social issues, which are number 1 to know in ITGS. I thought that I will be doing some programming or something else when I took ITGS, but now, I see it is the whole different story..

Design Technology, is in my opinion, one of the "hardest" subjects in IB. Cmon guys, there is no official book , from where you can learn DT. The IA's are horribly hard, and in general it is very but very hard to get 6 and 7 in it.

BM, there is a lot of theory, and every question on papers asks from us to write in deep, and maybe the papers look easy and i don't know what, but there is still 800 pages to learn... It is not that easy. And BTW, many Universities(as I know), give credits for BM and ITGS.

If there are some English mistakes please forgive me :D

I think you and many other people in this thread are missing the point.

No-one disagrees that some of the "soft" subjects listed in this thread are actually quite time consuming - we all realise that most of the "soft" subjects still require large inputs of time and effort. However, the reason why these subjects are considered "soft" is basically because they are not as academic as mathematics, physics, chem, bio, eco... etc.

So, if you are applying to an competitive university (Oxbridge, LSE) for an academic course (almost every subject at Oxbridge is 'academic'), with many non-academic subjects then it makes sense that you will be penalised.

Also, it would be unfair to consider someone who taks VA HL, B&M HL and ITGS HL and some who takes Math HL, Physics HL and Eco HL equal for entry to an academic course such as Economics, or a science. As a VA HL may be time consuming, but Math HL is probably even more time consuming and drastically more difficult - furthermore it is more relevant to the nature of the University course.

So yes, some of the "soft" subjects may be time consuming (ever subject in IB is time consuming) but their are generally not relevant to the courses at these selective universities and they are not as hard as well. Basically its a fairness thing.

I should add that if you wish to study Fine Arts at uni, or management (If that's offered?) then yes, it would be perfectly fine to take VA or B&M in the IB. Just don't claim that VA's high workload is relevant to an Economics course.

Edited by jmw
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yup competely agree with above post, I don't want to start a debate but it is fact that some courses are not accepted everywhere:

few examples: ITGS, Math Studies, ESS, DT, Business and Management, Visual Arts, Music, Theatre/ Dance,...

Just two examples:

Germany does not accept ITGS, Math Studies, ESS, you have to take either a science at HL or math at HL, and so on

Switzerland does not accept Music, Visual Arts, Psychology (no idea why not) or any Group 4 subject that are not History, Economics or Geography

moral of the story: INFORM yourself before chosing subjects, what you take may involuntarily hinder your future studies!

Edited by Eastcoast93
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  • 1 month later...

What about Maths Studies? I'm always told that it is viewed the same way as SL but I'm really worried that it won't be as well regarded as other maths courses. Obviously, the reason that i'm taking studies is because I don't intend to take any Maths related courses but does this impact how the Unis/colleges look at your grades?

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  • 3 weeks later...

What about Maths Studies? I'm always told that it is viewed the same way as SL but I'm really worried that it won't be as well regarded as other maths courses. Obviously, the reason that i'm taking studies is because I don't intend to take any Maths related courses but does this impact how the Unis/colleges look at your grades?

Some universities require SL maths if you're an international student for a few courses. That's because you haven't taken GCSE maths. Do I'd recommend checking with some of the universities you're interested in. Though I'd assume that it's usually ok because there's a greater emphasis on your HL subjects.

i'm thinking of studying medicine and for my group 3 i'm planning on taking psychology, does anyone know if oxbridge considers psych as a soft subject?

Hmmm. Trinity college have it down as a subject of 'limited suitability' but IB psychology is different from A Level psychology. I think you'll be fine with psychology.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If I'm taking Visual Arts HL, will I be rejected from Politics and International Relations at Cambridge? my school pretty much has no choice in our subjects: economics isn't offered, and they told me not to take a language B in french/spanish because the kids were taking the languages since 7th grade and I joined in 11th.... instead I'm taking Arabic A2 Self taught. what can I do? can I make them let me take the language B? or do I just study the curriculum and syllabus on my own?

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Hey guys! I'm going to apply to study computer science at Cambridge and I would like to know if Language B is considered a soft subject. Right now I have 4 HLs but our school is highly agaist it so I will have to drop one of them to SL. I currently have a choice between psychology and finnish B. Finnish B is a VERY easy 7, but I'm afraid Cambridge might be aware of that and say that I've been lazy here and shoo me off, whereas getting a 7 in HL psychology is quite a challenge, but on the other hand Cambridge will probably not consider it a soft subject.

So guys, is language B a soft subject or not? I will have to make the decision this week, so I would really appreciate any help :D.

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Hey guys! I'm going to apply to study computer science at Cambridge and I would like to know if Language B is considered a soft subject. Right now I have 4 HLs but our school is highly agaist it so I will have to drop one of them to SL. I currently have a choice between psychology and finnish B. Finnish B is a VERY easy 7, but I'm afraid Cambridge might be aware of that and say that I've been lazy here and shoo me off, whereas getting a 7 in HL psychology is quite a challenge, but on the other hand Cambridge will probably not consider it a soft subject.

So guys, is language B a soft subject or not? I will have to make the decision this week, so I would really appreciate any help :D.

Sorry I could not answer whether Language B is considered as a soft subject in Cambridge or not.

But, I think if you are taking computer science they don't really judge you with Fiinnish B.

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Hey guys! I'm going to apply to study computer science at Cambridge and I would like to know if Language B is considered a soft subject. Right now I have 4 HLs but our school is highly agaist it so I will have to drop one of them to SL. I currently have a choice between psychology and finnish B. Finnish B is a VERY easy 7, but I'm afraid Cambridge might be aware of that and say that I've been lazy here and shoo me off, whereas getting a 7 in HL psychology is quite a challenge, but on the other hand Cambridge will probably not consider it a soft subject.

So guys, is language B a soft subject or not? I will have to make the decision this week, so I would really appreciate any help :D.

It depends on the requirements - If Cambridge requires psychology HL/language B HL (which is highly unlikely for computer science) then its necessary to have one of those, if they require other HL subjects then you need to take those subjects and not psycholog/finnish. On the other hand, in the highly unlikely scenario where they don't require any specific subjects, as far as I know Cambridge is looking for the highest scores, and if you feel you can achieve that more easily with language B HL then you should definitely go for that. As far as I know, no school considers language B a soft subject, however if the school requires certain subjects other than languages for a particular programme, then of course it is highly unlikely that you will be considered without those subjects. Sorry if you feel that I'm stating the obvious!

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You're talking about a bit further than just the "softness" of a course. This time, you're looking for the benefits of courses and their relative "softness". This should make your choice simpler if you think like this. Of course I don't know your priorities, so it's up to you.

On the other hand, supposedly there exists a course called: IB Political Theory.

What is it exactly and would you consider it "soft"?

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You're talking about a bit further than just the "softness" of a course. This time, you're looking for the benefits of courses and their relative "softness". This should make your choice simpler if you think like this. Of course I don't know your priorities, so it's up to you.

On the other hand, supposedly there exists a course called: IB Political Theory.

What is it exactly and would you consider it "soft"?

I can't comment on its "softness" or whatever, but to me it seems like it's a school-based syllabus subject that only a handful of schools around the world do.

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Hey guys! I'm going to apply to study computer science at Cambridge and I would like to know if Language B is considered a soft subject. Right now I have 4 HLs but our school is highly agaist it so I will have to drop one of them to SL. I currently have a choice between psychology and finnish B. Finnish B is a VERY easy 7, but I'm afraid Cambridge might be aware of that and say that I've been lazy here and shoo me off, whereas getting a 7 in HL psychology is quite a challenge, but on the other hand Cambridge will probably not consider it a soft subject.

So guys, is language B a soft subject or not? I will have to make the decision this week, so I would really appreciate any help :D.

It depends on the requirements - If Cambridge requires psychology HL/language B HL (which is highly unlikely for computer science) then its necessary to have one of those, if they require other HL subjects then you need to take those subjects and not psycholog/finnish. On the other hand, in the highly unlikely scenario where they don't require any specific subjects, as far as I know Cambridge is looking for the highest scores, and if you feel you can achieve that more easily with language B HL then you should definitely go for that. As far as I know, no school considers language B a soft subject, however if the school requires certain subjects other than languages for a particular programme, then of course it is highly unlikely that you will be considered without those subjects. Sorry if you feel that I'm stating the obvious!

Thanks a lot for the help! Cambridge only requires HL math for CompSci. And about the "stating the obvious" -thing, well it is still reassuring if its not just me who thinks its obvious :D.

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  • 1 year later...

So which one is "softer" you guys think?

I was taking B&M HL in the first year of IB but I kind of hated it. Also I want to apply for Oxford which almost gives me no chance of getting a 5 in any of my subjects.

So I was thinking of changing it into ITGS SL because I was told it was an "easy" 7.

I really don't know what to do right now.

Please help me out, deadline for changing the course is very soon. :sadbye:

Btw my courses are

Literature HL

Maths HL

Econ HL

B&M SL

Eng SL

Chem SL

right now.

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So which one is "softer" you guys think?

I was taking B&M HL in the first year of IB but I kind of hated it. Also I want to apply for Oxford which almost gives me no chance of getting a 5 in any of my subjects.

So I was thinking of changing it into ITGS SL because I was told it was an "easy" 7.

I really don't know what to do right now.

Please help me out, deadline for changing the course is very soon. :sadbye:

Btw my courses are

Literature HL

Maths HL

Econ HL

B&M SL

Eng SL

Chem SL

right now.

Both B&M and ITGS are considered soft subjects(!). ITGS is actually not that easy to get a 7 in. I think the course is very easy but the structure of it is poor and so people often don't seem to know what they're meant to be doing. A lot of technique seems to be involved in answering the questions, and despite not being that hard, fewer people get 7s than you might think.

B&M is also an 'easy' 7. At least it was at my school! So it's probably best looking at where your skills lie. Go and talk to the ITGS teacher and see if it's for you, because I expect it may have to be a little of an individual decision.

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