What subjects should I pick in the IB? - YES IT MATTERS!

Navigating Subject Selection for the IB Diploma: A Strategic Approach

Choosing the right subjects is a pivotal step in any International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma student’s journey. With the right combination, students can not only excel academically but also pave the way for their future university and career aspirations. Here’s how to make informed decisions that align with your goals and interests.

Understanding the Basics

The IB Diploma requires students to select six subjects from six different groups: Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts. Students must choose three subjects at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL).

Balancing Passion and Pragmatism

While it’s important to choose subjects you are passionate about, consider your strengths and how they align with university prerequisites. For instance, if you’re aiming for a degree in engineering, Higher Level Mathematics and Physics may be essential.

HL or SL? Making the Choice

Higher Level courses are more in-depth and require a greater time commitment. If you have a strong interest and aptitude in a subject, HL can be rewarding. However, ensure you’re not overburdening yourself – balance is key.

Seeking Advice

Consult with your IB coordinator and teachers, who can provide valuable insights into your subject choices. They can help you understand the course content and assessment methods, ensuring you make choices that reflect your abilities and ambitions.

Looking Ahead

Consider how your subject choices will impact your university applications. Some programs may require specific HL subjects. Researching university requirements early can prevent last-minute surprises and ensure you’re on the right track.


Selecting your IB subjects is not just about meeting diploma requirements; it’s about setting the stage for future success. Take the time to reflect on your interests, seek guidance, and choose wisely. Your IB subject choices are the first step towards realizing your academic and professional dreams.


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