The Subject Selection in the IB Diploma Programme: Interest VS. Aptitude
- February 14, 2022
The IBDP is an academically demanding and rigorous programme that moulds students into independent and proactive thinkers. To fully benefit from this curriculum, it is highly encouraged to plan your subject choices in advance. This can be a daunting task however, when you have multiple IBDP subject groups, levels of difficulty and future college requirements to keep in mind. CourseLeap can help students make informed subject selections based on their aptitude, interests and strengths. With a variety of Pre-IB preparation courses and personalised tutorials on offer, students can familiarise themselves with new subjects and discover or hone their aptitudes and skill sets.
In the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, students must choose six subjects, with three at the Higher Level (HL) and three at the Standard Level (SL). It’s essential to select subjects that students are genuinely interested in, as strength and interest are typically correlated. Assessing one’s strengths and weaknesses is an excellent strategy for making informed choices.
For instance, if a student has an aptitude for writing, they may opt for English at the HL level. However, this shouldn’t preclude them from taking Mathematics at the HL level as well. Developing an interest in Mathematics is crucial, as it equips students with lifelong problem-solving skills. Similarly, if a student is interested in STEM, they may choose Mathematics and Group 4 (Science subjects) at the HL level. However, to ensure a student’s overall development, the IB program mandates a choice of subjects that balances risk-taking with grade-oriented choices. For example, Group 3 subjects like Economics or Business Management at the SL level can complement STEM-related subjects at the HL level. Some students also choose History at the HL level to improve their writing skills for academic papers.
It’s worth noting that each subject at the HL or SL level has its own demands and criteria, which students must be aware of. Settling into the IB program can be challenging, and students may find themselves struggling to keep up with intensive and demanding HL subjects. However, schools often provide students with a buffer period of three weeks to change their subjects if they feel their interests or aptitudes lie elsewhere. With that said, students should avoid choosing all their subjects based solely on the ease of scoring. Instead, they should adopt a practical approach, considering their prior exposure and opportunities to study a subject, and their level of interest and aptitude. With consistent practice and motivation, students can succeed in even the most challenging subjects.
In pursuit of holistic education and with a passion for students’ future success, CourseLeap offers immersive courses to help students prepare for the rigour of the IB program. We offer Pre-IB courses in Mathematics and other subjects in HL and SL . Each course provides personalised progress reports and expert study tips to compensate for any lack of academic exposure or discipline. At CourseLeap we believe that following a deliberate and dedicated approach can result in top grades for our students. We empower our learners to position themselves for success in university and beyond. With CourseLeap’s support, students can have a smooth and fulfilling journey through the IBDP program.
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