IB Chemistry vs Physics.Which Subject Should I Pursue? Deciding between IB Physics and Chemistry can be tricky. Use this guide to understand the differences between the two subjects and make an informed decision that fits your learning style and goals.
If you’re deciding between taking IB Physics and Chemistry, understanding the similarities and differences between the two can help you make an informed decision. This guide will cover common topics covered in each subject, the learning styles, and benefits of taking either course.
Understand Your Goals.
Before you decide which course to pursue, clearly define your goals. Do you want to take your studies further and go for a science-related degree? Are you passionate about a specific area of scientific study and want to specialize in it? Answering these questions will help narrow down what type of course would best suit your learning style and interests.
Research the Broader Career Paths Each Course Offers.
Take time to understand the career paths associated with each course. With a background in IB Chemistry, you might look into medical research, toxicology, food science, or chemistry education. On the other hand, IB Physics offers routes that include medical imaging technology, quantum physics and cryogenics engineering. Conducting this research can help you better understand your options after graduating and what type of qualifications are needed for those positions.
Consider the Difficulty Level of Exams and Assessments.
IB Chemistry and Physics are two of the toughest exams you can take. The IB requires a level of understanding and problem solving that isn’t easy to achieve. Both exams have challenging labs, essays, and calculations that require rigorous preparation. Before committing to either subject, make sure you understand your own strengths and limitations, as well as which type of problem-solving skills come most naturally to you.
Understand the Depth of Topics Covered in Each Course.
Chemistry and Physics both involve a deep level of understanding. With Chemistry, you’ll explore topics like organic chemistry, thermochemistry, kinetics, chemistry of the transition elements, and biochemistry. In Physics, you’ll study mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity & magnetism, special relativity as well as quantum theory. Consider which subject aligns best with your own strengths and interests before making a definite decision.
Evaluate Potential for Laboratory Work and Hands-On Learning Experiences.
When deciding between Chemistry and Physics, a key consideration is the amount of practical work and lab activities you will be able to do. A significant portion of IB Chemistry programs involve laboratory work and hands-on experiments. On the other hand, though Physics usually involves some experimentation, Physics labs are less common components of an IB curriculum. Consider your own preferences as far as engaging with lab exercises versus theoretical studies when making your decision.
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