Not many are aware of what the IB programme is and being first-timers in entering this so-called unconventional territory may be scary in a lot of ways. Choosing the right subjects is of paramount importance because it determines one’s career path; and parenthetically, this is exactly the reason why it is a stressful decision-making process. There are two aspects to making an informed decision: Understanding yourself or knowing what you want, and being informed about the kind of subjects available in the IB Programme.
Firstly, let’s take a look at how you can do an “inner-engineering” to understand yourself on many levels like interests, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
1. Think about your goals in life
You do not have to have a definite vision of the exact path that you are going to take. Calm down, you don’t have to panic that you can’t see your future because no one can. All you need to know is your area of interest. It can be as simple as being interested in performing arts, that you like learning different languages or that you enjoy watching documentaries related to astrophysics and reading about universe-related conspiracy theories.
This rough idea in your mind will help guide you to make certain decisions like participating in a language-related competition, writing school articles or signing up for creative writing workshops which will hone your skills, they will be in your testimonials or resumé, and all this will guide you to choose the subjects that you eventually want do; it will all seem like a full circle.
2. What challenges you?
You would generally know your area of strengths and weaknesses and this enables you to determine your limits. The reason why it is important to choose subjects that excite you and challenge you is that if it is too easy, there is a high chance of you getting bored of it over time. Being able to ace a subject is not the ultimate aim. Your decisions need to push you out of your comfort zone (while still keeping you excited and curious) and give you experiences that help you grow as an individual.
3 Discuss with your parents
Although it is your decision at the end of the day, it is important to remember that your parents have gone through the education phase and have had many experiences. Doing it all for as a first-timer, there are things that lie out of your direct line of vision and your parents may be able to point out and give you a heads-up. Having a meaningful conversation with them about your interests, ambitions, and dilemmas will help in the right frame of mind to make the best possible decision!
Secondly, let’s look at the technical aspect of the subject-choosing process, which is about being well-informed…
Though people may think that there are specific subjects which are extremely important to be chosen, there is no such thing. Choosing subjects is all about what you desire to pursue and it all lies within your area of strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Whatever the subject is, it will benefit you in a plethora of ways.
The six subject groups are:
- Studies in language and literature
- Language acquisition
- Individuals and societies
- The arts
Students may opt to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages course, instead of a course in the arts. There are many IB tuition teachers who are well-trained and understand the curriculum in and out in order to help students perform at their optimal best too.
Students will take some subjects at a higher level (HL) and some at standard level (SL). HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors but the greater amount of depth is required from higher level subjects. A student takes at least three (however, not more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level.
It is important to do your research to be well-informed and does not succumb to peer pressure and take up subjects that will not help you achieve your goal or make you happy. IB tutors are always there to be a great support for students so there is not much to worry, and it is essential to keep in mind that there is no one subject is inferior to another!