Which IB subject to choose?
This article will help IB students decide on their HLs (High Levels, like advanced courses) and SLs (Standard Levels, like basic courses) in the IB program by asking 6 important questions. Read this article to choose the best combination of subjects for the IB program.
So you have decided to take the IB Diploma. This indicates that you know the benefits and that it is worth the effort. Now it’s time to choose the subjects, how to do that is what all IB students ask themselves at the beginning of their journey. Here we want to help make the choice easier with some questions.
The questions are a proven method that has helped many students find the right subjects for them. The questions are as follows:
What is the most important decision you have made for yourself
It is often best to look at past experiences when making decisions for the future, as this is the only way to learn from mistakes and repeat positive decisions. You can apply the same principle when choosing your IB subjects. Think about the most important decision you made academically. Did you choose to do challenging assignments in middle school or did you not over-engage with the curriculum? While neither decision has hierarchical value, evaluating these decisions of your recent past will help you understand your natural inclination and ideal path for the future.
However, it is also important to remember that priorities change over time. Your past decision should be just one aspect that plays a role in your choice of majors. It should only give you an indication of the academic pursuits you want to get into. This question can also help you figure out if you want to be more of an athlete, pursue a creative career, or conquer the corporate world. Look for clues about where you’ve prioritized one thing over another. For example, look in your past to see if you were willing to skip several classes to attend a sporting event, or if you looked forward to debate club more than your prom?
What do you feel most uncomfortable about?
This question is pretty easy to answer. Over the past few years of school, you should have developed a sense of which subject or sub-subject you dislike the most, whether it’s solving a math equation or analyzing a poem. Think about the school lessons you were least looking forward to, this will help you figure out which subjects are best to drop or choose only as a foundation course/ SL. Good Tutors Finder is happy to assist you with subjects such as math, science, physics, German, French, English and more.
But also be aware of where this feeling of dislike actually comes from, because it is often the case that students dislike a subject because they don’t get along with the teachers involved.
What is something that you have found rewarding?
If you actually disliked attending a lecture because of the teacher, then you should consider how rewarding it was for you to do well in that subject. This will help you analyze your affinity for it. Let’s take the example of mathematics. Most people find it challenging to deal with the complex mathematical concepts. However, some find it rewarding when they can crack the code and understand what took them a lot of time, effort and brainstorming. The topic then becomes a challenge. It would be ideal if you choose challenging subjects for your Higher Levels (HL), provided you have the right motivation for the challenges they bring.
What are your favorite subjects?
All students have a favorite subject or even several. They find it interesting, look forward to the lessons and even read about it sometimes in their free time because the subject area is exciting at the moment. Finding out what these subjects are will help you locate their honors courses/HLs.
Your favorite subject should be the one in which you want to write your Extended Essay (EE) i.e. thesis, because then you can not only research that subject thoroughly, but also choose a focus in that subject for your university. Good Tutors Finder is happy to help you prepare for it, with a tutor at your home or online. On the other hand, it will help you to study the subject intensively for two years to find out if you really like it. You may come to the conclusion that your “favorite” subject isn’t the right one after all, after doing in-depth research on it. It will save you from wasting time on it! Either way, it will give you great insight about your academic self.
What is your learning style?
This is a particularly important point. There are several types of learning, but the most common are theoretical and logical. The former is a lot about memorization and knowing facts, so if you are this type of learner, subjects like history or social studies probably suit you quite well. The logical type of learner is all about deduction and getting to the essence, such as a mathematical equation, so STEM subjects (math, computer science, science, technology) suit this type of learner best.
What do your teachers say?
This is an unpopular and partly unpleasant point and therefore the last one to be addressed.
Although the choice of IB subjects is entirely your own, it can still be helpful to hear what your teachers have to say about the potential selection. It is best to get several opinions on the matter right away, as this will help you create an objective overall picture. This will help them avoid a false self-assessment.
How to choose IB subjects?
You often hear such sayings as “listen to your gut feeling” or “decide intuitively”, which of course makes sense, since no one can tell you which subjects to choose, but they don’t make the selection any easier. You can’t know how you like a subject until you’ve actually had it.
Choosing an IB subject should be a subtle combination of what piques your interest, but also challenges you in the right way. An ideal subject would be one that you have some level of knowledge about and would like to learn more about. It should also be challenging enough that you have to work for it, but not overwhelm you.
One way to test your intuition is to close your eyes, take a deep breath, empty your mind, like meditation. Then focus on a positive feeling and say the first subject that comes to mind. This way you know which subject you subconsciously like the most. After that, you can repeat this until you have a clear view of which subjects have priority and which do not.
This is one of the first steps in your journey to answering the question of how to choose IB subjects. Once you have your list prepared, you need to confide in those who know you inside and out and can better advise you on your IB subject choices.
During the IB Diploma, you will need to complete mandatory projects, such as writing your Extended Essay and creating your ToK presentation. To master all your IB projects, Good Tutors Finder provides you with the best resources.