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English B HL or English A HL?

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I can't decide which of the two to take. I am fluent in English so the difficulty of the subjects is not really at question. I prefer the topics of English A, the teacher, and the class size which is smaller and thus enables more discussion. But, I don't really like literature that much and dread the concept of reading (not an avid reader at all). I think English B would be a breeze, I wouldn't have to work nearly as much for a 7, and I would have more time to devote to my ECs and college requirements. What do you think I should do?

What I want to study: Economics and Management/PPE at Oxford


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If you are looking to enjoy the subject and gain knowledge and skills in analysis and essay writing, go for English A HL. Sometimes enjoying the content, the class and the teacher can actually make you more motivated to learn and study. You will be challenged more in English A, and then you will come out of the IB with better skills, if that would be favourable. However, if you are only looking to get an easy high score on your diploma, without as much reading and literature as English A, pick English B HL. More time in the IB is a valid point, because of the workload and college requirements, so if that is more important to you make sure that is a high priority when making the decision, also just make sure you can handle your other language as a language A if you do this.

Also, if you really can't decide, you can email / call / talk to someone at Oxford and see if they have a preference of which they would want you to study. 

Good luck :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey, English A HL student here. I really like English A and find a lot of the topics more interesting than what my English B friends take. Of course, Language B would be easier and far less time consuming, but it really depends on what you want to gain out of this. If you'd like to improve your essay writing and analysis skills definitely go with A, if you just want the best possible IB score then maybe B would preferable.

There's also the matter of what subject you would take for language A, if you chose English as B. For me taking English B was never an option, cause Arabic is my second language and I'm pretty bad at it (currently struggling with B SL). So you should probably factor this in when making your decision (unless you're a course student in which two language Bs should be fine)

You should probably also check whether Oxford cares more about the final grade or the subjects studied, and maybe that could help you make your decision. 

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