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Whitgift School
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FAQs

I’m not sure I want to study Maths. Shouldn’t I do A Levels?

This shouldn’t affect your decision at all; you should choose Maths Studies at SL. The level is not much higher than IGCSE Mathematics and in recent years the lowest mark has been a 6. Students sit the exam not in May in the Upper Sixth, but in the May of the first year, which means that after that boys only study 5 subjects and have more time to focus on them. They can retake the exam in May the following year if they are disappointed with their result, thus no Whitgift boy should be put off the IB because of concerns in Maths.


I don’t want to carry on with a language I’m currently studying. What should I do?

There are a few options. Firstly, bear in mind the level you will have reached at Whitgift will stand you in very good stead indeed for a language at SL; remember the IB is an international qualification and Whitgift is well above the international average in terms of its results. You can also consider taking up a language from scratch (ab initio). This gives you the opportunity to try something new and add another string to your bow.


I’m not sure I want to study English in the Sixth Form. Shouldn’t I do A Levels?

By no means. If your idea of “English” is from the IGCSE, you will find IB a very different experience. The IB’s focus is not on learning passages, quotations and techniques by heart, and reproducing them in an exam. Rather, it is on your opinion and how you react to literature. We study a range of texts, including graphic novels; the drama, poetry and novels that you study are wide ranging and fascinating. Do speak to Mr Prestney or your English teacher, who can give you a good idea of what it is like to study the IB.


Is the course content the same at HL and at A Level?

All parents and students should compare closely the course content of their intended A Level / HL subjects as it does vary between subjects. Some (for example, Chemistry) are broadly similar in their scope; others (for example, English) differ considerably between IB and A Level. Boys should make sure they speak to their subject teachers about the differences.


I want to study Maths and Further Maths, or I want to study Mathematics at university. Should I take the IB?

No, you should study Maths and Further Maths at A Level. The depth offered in Further Maths at A Level surpasses that of Maths at HL.


I want to study three sciences. Can I take the IB?

No, unfortunately IB students can only study a maximum of two sciences.