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Which IB subjects do I do to study Medicine?

Which IB subjects do I do to study Medicine

Stuck and confused on what IB subjects to pick to study medicine? We’ve got you covered. Read further to understand what the IB board is, what subjects they offer and what IB you need, to study the medicine program.

IBDP or International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a two-year educational programme for Grade 11 and 12. This board allows students to pick 6 – 7 subjects; 3 to 4 at a higher level (HL) and 3 at standard level (SL). The students learn their HL subjects for 240 hours and SL subjects for 150 hours thereby combining broader education with detailed study.

A lot of students pursue IB subjects to study medicine for their higher education because of their carefully curated curriculum that IB provides for the required subject. When the student chooses the right subjects,

it gives them an upper hand for two reasons namely:

  • They are allowed to transfer college credit from the IB course depending on what level they chose their subject at
  • IB has a curriculum which teaches them basic college-level concepts thereby making the transition easier from high school to university.

Sometimes, university requirements vary as to what subjects you need to take. Therefore, it is best to do the research in prior to understanding which subjects would help you transfer college credit.

You can pick 6 subjects from 6 different groups that IB provides. They are:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: Arts

The table below shows the subject breakdowns from each of the groups: 

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6
Language A: Literature Language B Business and Management Biology Mathematical Studies Music
Language A: Literature and Language Language AB Initio Economics Chemistry Further Mathematics Theatre
Literature and Performance Classical Languages Geography Physics Mathematics (SL/HL) Visual Arts
History Computer Science Dance
Information Technology in a global Society Design Technology Film
Philosophy Environmental Systems and Societies Literature and performance
Psychology Sports, Exercise and Health Science
Social and Cultural Anthropology
World Religions
Environmental Systems and societies

However, depending on your school, you may choose to take 1 or more subjects from the same group. For instance, if you do not want to pick a subject from Group 6, you can pick another subject from Group 1-5. As for medicine, you may need to take a minimum of 2 sciences and choose the rest based on your interests.

In addition, a lot of universities require you to take Biology and Chemistry. Since these are two major subjects that you will further be studying in your higher studies (medicine), taking up these subjects would give you a headstart with respect to the concepts.

As for the other subject option, universities sometimes also require you to take Mathematics and or Physics. However, these two are not majorly studied in medicine. So, depending on your strengths, pick your subjects wisely. If you believe you’re better at math, take that as one of your subjects. Likewise, for any other subjects, you find an interest in. 

To begin with, let us delve deeper into the Group 4 subjects: Sciences. The sciences are taught both practically and theoretically. Students have the opportunity to design investigations, collect primary data using the laboratory, analyze results from the experiment/investigation and evaluate their findings by collaborating with their peers. The experiments can be done in the lab or done through simulations and existing databases. 

Also Read: Should I study IBDP Psychology

Recalling the 6 subjects that Group 4 consists of:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Design Technology
  • Sports, Exercise and Health Science

Out of which, you must take up Chemistry and Biology in the higher level if you are to pursue medicine in university. The other subjects that you take can vary between standard and higher level.

However, subjects like Psychology from Group 3 can be a good addition to your subject choices as well since it is associated with biology to an extent.

Nevertheless, if that is not your forte, it is better to refrain from picking a subject that you may not do well in since universities look at your total IB score. As for mathematics, it is always better to choose the subject for general basic knowledge even though you wouldn’t study it in depth.

For this reason, and if you do not like mathematics, it is better to choose Math SL over HL since the course content for HL is a lot more difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, it would divide your attention from the subjects that need your focus more. 

All in all, you would need to take Chemistry HL, Biology HL, Mathematics SL, Psychology (optional), and English SL. The other subjects are purely based on what you find interesting and what you like to study. At the end of the day, you need to be able to score well in your exam.

Therefore, make sure to choose your subjects wisely depending on the list that the schools give you.

All the best for the next two years ahead of you!

Further Reading: 


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