How to choose the appropriate IB subjects?

3 June, 2021
How to choose the appropriate IB subjects

giasuib.com – You are wondering how to choose the right IB courses? Here are some tips on how to choose the appropriate IB subjects.

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IB program

IBDP is a 2-year university preparatory program equivalent to grades 11-12. IBDP is results are approved by most universities around the world.

IB has 6 subject groups, students have to choose 1 subject in each subject group, only group 6 (Arts) can be replaced by one of the above 5 groups instead.

  • Group 1: The first language (usually the mother tongue).
  • Group 2: The second language.
  • Group 3: Personal and social.
  • Group 4: Natural science.
  • Group 5: Mathematics.
  • Group 6: Arts.

For more: How can find suitable IB Biology reference books?

How to choose the appropriate IB subjects?

  1. Identify subjects that interest you and are relevant to university entrance

Every student has one subject that they find interesting. Even in their free time, they do not mind finding out more about it or ruminating about what they learned in that particular subject. This way will help you narrow down subjects that you will choose in your HL. For example, if your favorite subject happens to be Economics, then only should you take Economics as one of your HL but you can also take Business Management HL to complement your interest.

Your favorite subject should be the one in which you should write your Extended Essay (EE). Doing your EE in your favorite subject will not only allow you to do in-depth research in that subject but will also let you pick up a major related to that subject for your university.

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  1. Consulting with a teacher

Often it happens that students do not understand what the course structure of IB is like and assume that their skillset is fit for a specific IB subject combination when, in fact, it is not. Consulting with a teacher who has taught you before will help you avoid making this mistake. Teachers are excellent at gauging their students’ strengths, and they often know what the IB courses in respective fields involve to steer you in the right direction.

  1. Understand how subjects are assessed

In year 1, students will learn about 60-70% of the program. In year 2, students will learn the remaining 30-40% and Internal Assessment (IA) will be taken. All IB subjects are assessed to some extent by your teacher through coursework (called Internal Assessment) and by examiners (called External Assessment).

However, the balance between internal and external assessment varies from subject to subject. Most subjects are examined through exams, but some, such as Visual Arts and Theatre, do not have any written exams. Some subjects require more essay writing, such as History, while others will require short answers, such as Business Management. Knowing subjects are assessed is how to choose the appropriate IB subjects.

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  1. Understand the difference between HL and SL

IB is divided into 2 levels: Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). Each student must choose at least 3 subjects (in 6 subject groups) in HL and no more than 4 subjects in HL. In SL, students will spend about 150 hours in class. In HL, students will spend about 240 hours in class. Students can switch levels during their studies if they do not keep up with the lesson, but still, have to ensure at least 3 subjects in HL.

Taking a subject at HL means covering all the SL material and then an additional extension. It pays to find out exactly what additional content and assessment is required for a subject at HL. In some subjects, the HL extension material is more extensive and challenging than in other subjects. That might help you decide between which subjects to take at HL (and which to avoid).

Students who take subjects such as Design Technology, Visual Arts, Music, and Theatre will need to spend more time on project work so make sure you have budgeted time accordingly if you are thinking of taking more than one of these subjects at HL to avoid overstretching.

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