Going from IB Math Studies SL to AP Calculus or AP Statistics in 12th grade senior year?

Hello! I am a student who is in the IB Diploma Program. In 11th grade, I took IB Math Studies SL and even though the school was to suppose to have IB Math SL or HL for 12th grade, their was nobody to teach IB Math SL or HL. Therefore, I still want to continue with Math because I want to major in computer engineering or computer majors in colleges/universities. However, I have never taken pre-calculus before AP Calculus. Alot of people said that it would be extremely hard even for a person who is really good at math and loves math. Although AP Statistics maybe the safest way to go, it may be frustrating and depressingly hard for me to take Calculus in college if I want to major in computer type courses. What should I do? I really am good at math and math is my favorite subject. Should I take the risk of going into AP Calculus from IB Math Studies SL which only covers differential calculus or should I go directly with AP Statistics which most of my friends who don't like math as much as I do and take calculus in college/university while majoring in computer engineering, computer science, etc. other computer type courses.

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I recommend the AP Calculus.

    I've taught both IB (mostly HL, some further math, some computer science) as well as AP calculus (mostly AB, some BC, and some computer science) for several years each. The IB is a superior program but if you cannot get it, take the AP Calculus. If you like and really are good at math, you will be frustrated with the AP Stats. The versions I've seen emphasize low level arithmetic and the use of formulas introduced without mathematical justification. Indeed, much of the justification requires calculus! Serious math students should do calculus before serious statistics.

    Since the SL version of IB math methods includes a lot of the calculus in the AB version of AP Calculus, you should have most of the prerequisites. Mostly likely, just logarithms and some advanced trigonometry might have been left for next year, along with the linear algebra - check with your current teacher on that. You say that you lack "pre-calculus" but talk of taking AP Stats, then doing calculus in college/university? AP Stats is certainly not pre-calculus! If you are thinking of taking a pre-calculus course along with either AP Stats or AP Calculus, I still recommend the AP Calculus. (If you have good algebra skills you can do them together - just be prepared to do some self study if, for example, you need logarithms in calculus before you get to them in pre-calculus.) If you were thinking of leaving pre-calculus until college, I would strongly recommend trying to get it in high school.

    Hold on, you say you are taking IB Math STUDIES SL. I thought that was strictly for non-science majors (non-engineering & non-commerce & ...). You probably mistyped. Math studies doesn't include any calculus and doesn't even fully cover pre-calculus. AP Stats would be a suitable continuation if you really are taking math studies. But if you want to take computer science, you need to get into a pre-calculus program.

    Note: All three of IB Math Studies SL, IB Math Methods SL, and IB Math Methods HL are normally done over two years, so I was assuming you are completing the first half of IB Math Methods SL, and that your school is now abandoning the IB program. I certainly would not trust someone to teach AP Calculus if they were unable to do IB Math Methods SL. The extra content in the IB should be basic to anyone with a good math background.


    Source(s): Try these (follow the link below), if you can do half the questions on the Euclid contest, you are better prepared for Calculus than most students entering university: http://cemc.math.uwaterloo.ca/contests/past_contes... If you can do ALL those problems, get involved in your local math contests and earn a scholarship to a good university! You might also want to look at some high school computer science competitions: http://cemc.math.uwaterloo.ca/contests/past_contes... Here is my reference for the Math Studies curriculum: http://www.amersol.edu.pe/hs/math/curriculum/studi... which would be only a basic high school graduation, not university prep, in this province. I've never taught at a school that need to offer it.
  • 4 years ago

    All the professions you want to go into require a decent deal of math. And if you want to possibly be a biomedical engineer you will be doing tons of calculus. I'd go with calculus unless you don't like math or have a tough time with it. To be honest, you don't really need a strong pre-calculus background to do well in calculus. Pre-calc concepts don't really show up much in Calc AB, except some trigonometry and limits. I personally find AP Calc AB much easier than I found AP Stat last year. Most people feel the opposite. This is because you do not have to be good at math at all really to do well in AP Stat. Most of the "math" is done on the calculator. There is a lot of memorization too. Calculus is much more mathematically rigorous and conceptual, which is why many people who hate math flee to AP Stat and find it easy. The kids in my calculus class don't like math and thus hate the class and fail tests. On the other hand, I love math and am finding the class to be a joke.

  • 9 years ago

    Please avoid everything IB. They are more interested in making a global socialist out of you than anything else.

    Source(s): www.truthaboutib.com
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