Exploring International Baccalaureate Subjects

How to choose International Baccalaureate Subjects

A rising popular alternative to the curriculums in India is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). It is a rigorous course of study that aims to develop “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”.

The IB teaches students how to think, and it provides numerous skills and knowledge to overcome the various challenges in life. One of the main reasons students undertake the IBDP is due to the increasing recognition of the curriculum over the past few years.

Additionally, the top international schools provide it. As parents would like to provide the best education to their children to pave a bright future ahead of them, they tend to opt for the IBDP. 

Now that you are aware of the benefits that the International Baccalaureate DIploma Programme (IBDP) provides to students and have decided to commit to the rigorous two-year course, an essential first step is figuring out what subjects to choose.  

One of the major benefits of choosing the IBDP is that students have the freedom to seek out what truly interests and inspires them.

Unlike most boards, IB students have the liberty to pick subjects of interest from the following subject groups: studies in language and literature; language acquisition; individuals and societies; sciences; mathematics; and the arts.Students will take some subjects at higher level (HL) and some at standard level (SL). 

HL and SL courses vary 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 a higher level.

What you choose also chooses you. – Kamand Kojouri

Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level. Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours.

Students may opt to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages course, instead of a course in the arts. When entering IB, it is preferable to have a vague idea of what it is that you would like to pursue in the future.

Also Read: How IB Learner Profile Traits Promote International Mindedness in Education?

If not, this is your time to pick what subjects seem to interest you and try out various things. 

  1. Interact with the teachers. Now that you have an idea of what subjects you may want to study for the next two years of your life, it is highly recommended to interact with the teachers handling that subject. You could set up a one-on-one interaction and also attend their classes to get an idea of their style of teaching and their compatibility with your needs. Accordingly, you can pick the subjects that are handled by teachers that you prefer. 
  2. Think about what you want to pursue in the future. If a student wanted to pursue medicine, then they would take up certain subjects like Biology and Chemistry as this may either be a requirement for when applying to colleges or to familiarise yourself with the field. Based on the career you see yourself doing for a long period of time, you can pick whatever subjects match that field and are provided by the school. 
  3. However, if you are unsure about what you want to pursue in the future, you will have to assess your own strengths and weaknesses. If you think that your strengths lie in quantitative and technical subjects, then physics, computer science, or chemistry may be where your potential lies. If you consider yourself as a more creative person, then you would excel at subjects such as film studies or visual arts. 
  4. Another important factor to consider when choosing IB subjects is to figure out what your priorities are. You will do best in a career based on what you want out of life. Now that we are moving towards a world where everything is consumed by technology, programming, and other computer-based skills have become a necessity. So if you are willing to adapt to the changes and constantly learn, then taking subjects like computer science may help.
  5. If you are unsure about what you like and what you want to pursue, you are free to take as many subjects and attend various classes so that you get an idea of what you may potentially be passionate about. This will allow you to narrow your subjects down and study what you enjoy the most.

The IB provides the opportunity for students to discover their passion by studying a wide range of subjects, and are not compelled to specialize.

Pursuing the IB diploma program comes with benefits that open up various opportunities in the future, equips students with essential skills and is therefore an ideal course for any student.

Overall, the IB offers significant educational and developmental benefits for students. By nurturing intellectual curiosity, the IB programme enables them to embrace a wide range of skills and attributes.

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