Diploma Programme Course Selection
In the DP, the curriculum consists of six subject groups and the three elements of the DP core: theory of knowledge extended essay and creativity, activity, service .
Whether you are enrolled in the DP or enrolling in several DP courses, it is important to know which course selections will help students achieve their goals and career aspirations.
Guidance counsellors and university careers counsellors can help students make course selection decisions. They know what universities in different countries will look for and what combination of standard level and higher level courses students should take to be eligible for admission to university. Students are also encouraged to check admission requirements with individual universities.
Refer to the following resources as you develop your course plan: example subject choices and DP subject briefs, located below. SL and HL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at higher level. Each student takes at least three subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level. The table does not include school-based syllabi or pilot subjects and neither SBS nor pilot subjects have subject briefs. Note for students: Not all IB World Schools offer every course listed below.
What Are Your Interests
The number one rule weâd like you to apply when deciding what IB subjects to consider is identifying your interests. Consider what you know from experience and what you would like to explore even if you havenât studied the area yet. Have some moment to reflect back to your high school year and identify the things you were most passionate about and why.
- Do you have an economics mindset?
- Have you always wanted to study languages in addition to what you already know from high school?
- Do you have a passion for biology because of the opportunity it gives you to study organisms and cycle of life?
- Or maybe you find yourself constantly looking into historical and current issues from all over the world?
These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to determine what exactly interests you in the first place. It may take a while to figure things out here and thatâs okay because you should spend enough time to determine exactly what your interests are and how those interests can influence the IB subject combination that you choose.
Is There Any Cost Involved In International Baccalaureate
It does not cost anything to become an IB student. However, the IB assessment tests, which can lead to college credit with a passing score, do have fees ranging from $10 to $170. Learn more about registration fees and subject fees at the International Baccalaureate website.
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Limit The Influence Of Extraneous Factors
Sometimes students make their choices for superficial reasons such as choosing the same subjects as their friends or choosing a subject taught by a teacher they like. While it can be sometimes helpful to have social support or confidence in a reliable teacher, basing decisions on these factors alone Is not a good strategy. Similarly, students sometimes avoid choosing some subjects because of rumours around perceived difficulty or inability to score highly in the subject. Make sure you dont over-rely on scare stories and get all the facts before ruling out a subject on hearsay alone.No matter how good the planning, it is common for students to change their level choices, and sometimes even their subject choices, in the first weeks of starting the Diploma Programme. Perhaps a subject is not what they thought, or the demands of taking a subject at HL are simply too high. Most schools have a grace period at the start of the academic year and a deadline by which changes to subject choices need to be made. Teachers do not cover HL content at the start of the course, so changing levels is unlikely to be problematic. That said, being as accurate as possible with subject selections now gives schools the best chance of being able to facilitate your choices in the timetable. Time spent now can avoid disappointment later!
Guest Article written for Honeycombers
Choose The Most Rigorous Combination Of Subjects And Levels That Is Still Manageable
To ensure as many doors to university entrance are kept open for you as possible, you should choose a rigorous combination of subjects, while ensuring that they are not overburdening yourself with an excessive level of challenge. This might mean choosing one or two subjects that are more of a stretch and compensating with other subjects that are more manageable to create a balanced Diploma subject combination, or choosing more challenging subjects only at SL. Choosing the easiest combination of subjects and levels to maximise total points score is probably not the best strategy as universities look for students who push themselves academically beyond just scoring highly.
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What Is The Most Crucial Decision That You Have Made For Yourself
It is often best to look at your past experiences when deciding for the future. The same principle can be applied as you choose your IB subjects. This question is perhaps the most important one and will help you put on your thinking hat. Reflect upon the most crucial decision that you have made academically. Did you decide to attend a rigorous course for your middle school or did you not bother too much with the curriculum? While neither of the two has any hierarchal value attached, evaluating the most crucial academic decision of your recent past helps you understand your natural inclination and the ideal pathway for the future.
Having said that, one also needs to consider that priorities change as time goes by. Your past decision should be a mere aspect while factoring in your decision to choose your subjects. It is only to give you a hint about the academic endeavours in which you want to embark. Asking this question will also help you highlight if you are biased towards becoming an athlete, forging a creative career, or conquering the corporate world? Look for clues where you have given priority to one thing over the other. For instance, look in your past and see if you were willing to skip multiple classes to attend sports meet or were you more excited about debate night than your homecoming?
Wrapping Things Up: How To Choose Ib Subjects
At this point, weve provided you with a range of factors to consider when selecting your IB courses. The most important thing to remember is to strategize how coursework material benefits you, your skills, and your professional career goals. Make sure to use our strategies to help minimize the anxiety when selecting such a wide array of courses in IB curriculum subjects.
If you found this helpful, youll love our other high school study tips.
You may also like our other IB related content:
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The Six Groups Of The International Baccalaureate Program:
Language and Literature
Previously called the First Language subject group, this group pertains to language and literature subjects taken up in the students native language or the language theyre most fluent in. Three subjects are taught in this group:
- The Language A: Literature subject
- The more challenging Language A: Language and Literature subject, and
- Literature and Performance.
Students who are quite proficient in a language other than their first language may also consider earning a bilingual IB diploma if their school offers it. This additional mastery of language will make them attractive prospects to global institutions of higher learning.
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The second subject group, Language Acquisition, is meant to familiarize IB students with languages that they have less extensive knowledge of. This category includes subjects on the classical languages of Greek and Latin, a Language B subject that involves a language they have 2-3 years of experience in, and a Language Ab Initio subject for a foreign tongue that they will be learning for the very first time.
Excelling in this subject group will demonstrate a students adaptability as well as encourage deeper engagement with cultures outside of their own.
Individuals and Societies
Choosing Your Ib Courses: The Basics
The International Baccalaureate, or IB, is a diploma program offering advanced courses in various fields, just like the AP. If youre planning on pursuing the IB diploma, youll need three higher level and three standard level classes , along with a 1600-word essay known as the Theory of Knowledge, which explores the nature of knowledge itself, and how we know what we claim to know. You also have to write a 4000-word Extended Essay answering a research question about an IB subject of your choosing. If youre taking a few standalone IB classes, you dont have to worry about these diploma requirements, but its still good to know how the full IB program operates.
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All Hl Subjects Are Hard At First
Swapping and dropping an HL can seem like an attractive choice when classes get hard, but take a step back before making any hasty decisions! Its much harder to get a previous HL subject choice after dropping it once, so swapping and dropping should be your last option! Try sticking through with the class and more often than not, the coursework will begin to click with enough practice and determination!
Middle Years Programme Course Selection
The MYP curriculum consists of eight subject groups and the two elements: service and personal project. In years 4 and 5, students have the option to take courses from six of the eight subject groups within certain limits, to provide greater flexibility in meeting local requirements and individual student learning needs.
In countries such as India, Pakistan and the UK, completion of the MYP unlocks access to further study, as it is considered comparable to other qualifications taken around the age of 16. A Comparative analysis of assessment in the MYP and the GCSE shows that assessment in both programs is similar in cognitive demand and that MYP eAssessment is a reliable indicator of student success.
Read more about each of the subjects below.
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Strategic Tips For Choosing Your Ib Classes
You might be wondering how to make sure youre taking the best courses out of the options available to you from each group. Weve outlined some tips to guide you through deciding on choosing your IB classes:
Your transcript is an exceptionally important component of your college application and it all begins with the course selection process. Colleges will pay special attention to what kind of classes youre takingso be careful when choosing your IB classes. Its crucial to strategize early on because the decisions you make during your freshman and sophomore years often dictate the choices you make for your IB exams. And once its time to select IB courses, think about your strengths, interests, and career choices. Dont make the decision lightly. Good luck!
Carefully Read The Ib Guide For Each Subject
This was my main key to success and being comfortable. Here, you can find details about each subject, including their main topics, grade boundaries, and assessment areas, which can help you get an overview of what youre getting into. If you arent sure what an IB Guide is, here is an example for Biology HL. You can find similar ones for other subjects on the internet.
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Talk To Your Teachers
Sometimes, it can be hard for students to figure out what their strong and weak subjects are. Fortunately, you can get a clear idea about it if you reached out to your teachers. They will be able to tell you your learning style, how well you are doing in a certain subject that you plan to take in IB and what challenges you may face as you take up these classes.
They will also be able to tell you some techniques on how to maximise your test results and the best ways to study if you are taking the higher level courses.
How To Swap Or Drop An Hl Class
Lets say youve chosen your subjects and decide sometime during the two-year long course that youd like to change your selections. This is possible and very common, especially for students looking to swap their HLs and SLs. Just tell your IB Coordinator at least 6 months before examination season just to make sure you have time for the required change to be submitted to the IB Board. You cant outright drop any classes though because you need to have a total of six subjects in order to apply for examinations.
Its important to note some HL subjects are a lot harder to swap into halfway through the coursework, so please be careful before making a decision to swap selections.
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The Complete List Of Ib Courses And Classes
What are all the International Baccalaureate courses available to take? Here, we give you the complete list of all Standard Level and Higher Level IB classes.
Every IB school is different, so your own school might not offer all the IB courses below. However, these are all the classes the IB has created a curriculum and test for. There are in total 57 classes . I have categorized them by the categories that the IB defines as the six subject groups.
Here’s a you can use to jump to the different subject groups:
To receive your IB Diploma, you must take classes from all six categories. Note that you may study an additional science, individuals and societies, or languages course instead of an arts course. You must also complete what is known as the core, which includes an additional class called Theory of Knowledge .
I’ll dive into more detail on each below.
Ap Vs Ib: Choosing Advanced Placement Or International Baccalaureate
Students and families who are looking into more challenging alternatives to the traditional high school curriculum may come across Advanced Placement options along with IB. Both programs offer college-level courses to high school students, but there are many key differences that should be examined before determining whether one is a better fit over the other. Noting the similarities and differences between these programs can help students make the right decision for them and their academic and personal goals.
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Choose Subjects That Connect To Extended Essay
Weâve written quite a lot on Extended Essay. Just to mention, some of the guides weâve put together on the subject include:
- The World Study Extended Essay: The complete guide for IB students
- The time spent writing the Extended Essay and so much more
We provide such guides for the simple reason that IB students must complete a mandatory Extended Essay to earn the diploma.
The EE is usually 4,000-word essay that requires students to do a research on a particular subject and present that research within a given period. Beyond testing your research skills, the Extended Essay will give you a clear picture of the kind of research to expect at college level and give you an opportunity to investigate related areas of interest.
So when it comes to choosing IB subjects, itâs important to choose from a subject group that will connect to the EE. In other words, pick subjects that allow you to look deeper into research topics and train you to perfect your writing skills.
Tip #: Check Out The Syllabi
But what if you want to be extra sure that the subjects you’re thinking of choosing are actually up your street? In that case, check out the syllabi! A syllabus is basically a road map that the IB provides their students. It tells us the content we will be asked to cover and understand over the diploma program. These are free to access and are easily findable online. Download them and have a flick through. This process will help you identify whether the concepts are going to interest you and thus whether choosing that subject is for you. Looking at these is also a cheeky way of getting a head-start…why not check out some of those concepts that you’ll be exploring over the next two years!
Want to find out how to get even further ahead? Click here to download our starting DP1 guide!
So there we have it, three top tips for how to choose your IB subjects. Need some more advice before you start? We’ve got lots of super useful free guides you can download here. Moreover, if you’re an IGCSE student needing some support, click here to find out more about the online tuition we offer!
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How To Choose Your Six Subjects
All the subject selections in IB are split into subject groups. There are 6 groups as listed:
- Group 6: The Arts
All 6 groups cover ranges of classes and material, but its important to note that students can omit group 6 classes and just take an extra group 4 class if required.
During subject selection, which takes place in the first few weeks of the program, youll tell your school which subject from each group you wish to enroll in. For example, for Group 5, you can choose from Mathematics HL, Mathematics SL and Further Mathematics . Say you did take Mathematics HL, that leaves you with 2 HL slots left to choose from in your other groups.