It is well established that when taking the IB, there is one combination of HL subjects which stands above all others in its difficulty and impossibility: taking higher level Chemistry, Physics and Maths AA. These option choices are the nightmare of art students and the bane of humanities, but most importantly, they appear as a herculean undertaking to the students who would be interested in taking them. We are repeatedly given the talk about the IB being a point game and that we should take subjects which would optimize the overall outcome all while being acceptable to any university course. It is for this reason that students are apprehensive of taking the two sciences and maths as higher levels as they are notoriously difficult and time consuming while the yield of high results is low. Though it is true that these courses are challenging and, at times, can appear insurmountable, they are possible if those interested in them are motivated, ready to work and have the preexisting grades to take the courses head on.
Briefing and Benefits
Though taking these three HL subjects seems daunting, there are many upsides to them. The first and most notable being the attractiveness to universities. These choices seem made for one another, and form a perfect listing with which to adorn your applications when attending universities. They make for an optimal scientific profile and draw the eye from their notoriety. They fit well into any course which involves physics or maths (and to a lesser extent chemistry), to such an extent that some of the more prestigious universities require them for considerations for their bachelor courses. That is another positive which can be born from pain: prestige. There is no denying that the courses are difficult, each in their own right renowned as the most difficult course offered by the IB. But there is no parallel to their notoriety for a science student.
Another advantage to the courses are the content that they offer. Many parallels can be drawn between them, from material to skill set and what is taught in one classroom can be applied in the neighbouring one. An excellent example is the link between physics and chemistry: both are group 3 subjects, and both are recognisable by their involved lab reports and IAs. The lab report in particular is common in both domains, and that which is taught can be applied in both scenarios, in terms of format, data processing and protocol.
A Real Choice
Though possible, these option choices are not for everyone, and in fact there is a reason for their awful reputation. It is advised to any students to talk in length with relevant teachers before picking these classes as they eat up a lot of time out for the day and the homework which is set is far from easy. The truth of the matter is that if you choose this route, then classwork will take up evenings and weekends and to stay atop it, no slacking can be permitted. It is not a choice to be taken lightly and should be carefully thought out. It should also be noted that if these HLs are picked, bit farther down the path of education they are no longer the best choices to be made, then there is no shame in dropping out, as it is always better to have the diploma with less special option choices than not to have it at all.