How to Choose IB Subjects: The Complete Guide for 2023

The IB diploma program requires you to write internal assessments for standard and higher level on a topic of your choice. However, the internal assessment topic you choose must fall within the six subject groups approved by the program.

As such, it’s important to learn how to choose IB subjects, so you can have an easy time writing your IAs.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure that you pick the right subject combination. Your choice will have a direct impact on which course option you can choose at college.

So, allow us to show you how to get the subjects selection right.

Key Takeaways

  • You must pick, study, and write an IA for one of each of the six subject groups.
  • These subject groups are individuals and societies, language and acquisition, science, arts, language and literature, and mathematics.
  • If you choose the right subjects and earn high scores for each of the six IAs, you stand the chance to earn college credits.

How to Choose IB Subjects for Your Internal Assessments

We understand that IB is not an easy program. However, you can make it feel less strenuous by simply choosing the right combination of subjects.

Here’s how to do that:

1. Focus on Your Interests

Merely choosing a subject because it’s popular in a career field or looks easy isn’t going to get you anywhere. 

You have to determine what exactly interests you and then use that as a baseline to choose the best set of subjects.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my personal interests?
  • Can I choose a subject based on my personal experience or will I too blinded by my biasness?
  • Does the subject have an area I would like to explore even if it’s currently unfamiliar to me?

You may want to pause and contemplate your high school years and pinpoint the activities or subjects that ignited your passion and the reasons behind it.

Then, ask yourself more questions like:

  • Do I frequently find myself engrossed in global historical and contemporary issues?
  • Do I possess a natural affinity for Economics?
  • I’m I enthusiastic about Biology and intrigued by the study of organisms and their life cycles?
  • Have I consistently harbored an interest in acquiring in new languages alongside my existing skills?

You get the idea, don’t you?

Determining your personal interests may require some time and introspection, but investing effort in selecting an IB subject combination that closely aligns with your interests is just as valuable.

2. Determine What You Love to Study

During your first and second year in high school, you might have encountered certain subjects that genuinely captivated your interest.

These subjects may have been so interesting that you left every class session with eager anticipation for the upcoming lessons. 

You may have even taken it upon yourself to explore these subjects beyond the classroom because a desire to explore and know more about the subject drove you for those 24 months.

If this description resonates with you, the process of selecting your Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) subjects should be easy.

3. Ask Your Teacher for Help

You will mostly work on subject selection independently.

However, asking you teacher for guidance can help to speed up the process, as they’re likely to provide valuable insights that you use to make your subject selection easier.

Your teacher knows something about you because they spend more time with you than your parents ever will in your school years. In this respect, they know your weaknesses and strengths, and thus can get you the guidance you need to choose the right set of subjects.

Then main reason why you should consult your teacher is that they have a great depth of knowledge on different subjects, not to mention they understand the diploma’s requirements with respect to the IB leaner’s profile.

4. Choose Subjects that Connect to the Extended Essay 

While this platform doesn’t focus on the IB extended essay, it’s important to ensure that the subjects you choose can easily connect to self-directed assignment.

The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word report that entails conducting independent research on a specific topic within a designated timeframe.

In addition to assessing your research skills, the extended essay assignment provides valuable insight into the kind of research you will encounter at the college level. It offers you an opportunity to explore areas of interest related to the subject that you choose

So when selecting the IB subjects, it is crucial to consider whether they align with your extended essay project or otherwise.

If your chosen subjects enable you to delve deeper into research topics and to refine your writing abilities, they are a suitable choice for you.

5. Start Early

One of the reasons why students fail their internal assessment is the tendency to wait until the last minute. There’s often the illusive sensation that if the deadlines are longer, then it’s fine to wait a little longer before starting.

However, that’s a wrong approach especially when it comes to IB.

The diploma program is a tough course, one that honestly leaves zero room for procrastination. You don’t have the luxury of time here.

So select the subjects early. Find topics that fascinate you, as long as they align with IB requirements, and start working on your internal assessments right away.

6. Take Your Time

The last thing you want to do is to rush the subject selection process. These are long-term assignments after all. So take your time to ensure you get the subject selection right. 

Remember, IB requires you to choose only 6 subjects from the approved subject groups. You’ll have to pick three subjects at Standard Level and three at Higher Level.

However, do keep in mind that your teacher will require you to write 3 to 5 IAs, not 6.

Professional Writing Assistance

If you’ve already chosen your IB subjects and now you need help to write your internal assessments, you can get in touch with our team. We focus on helping you write great IAs, so you can bump up your overall IB grades.  

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