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How to Choose your IB Diploma Subjects?

Students often have different opinions when it comes to the IB program. Some say it is the toughest undertaking any student can take because of the options available. Others say it is a challenge that can help them achieve their future goals and teach them important life skills  that will give them an edge in the future.

If you are considering taking the IB program, it can be stressful to decide what subjects you have to take and how you will proceed with the program. To help you out, here are some tips that you can do to make the choice more easy to do:

The six subject groups

If you take the IB program, you can check the six subject groups it will offer to design your ideal IB program. The six subject groups are as follows:

  • Language acquisition
  • Sciences
  • The arts
  • Mathematics
  • Language and literature
  • Individuals and societies

Students do have the choice to study for an extra sciences, language course or mathematics instead of only doing a pure arts track. Private IB tuition teachers can help students succeed in their chosen track like our selection of IB tutors. 

Students also have the option to take subjects at a higher level and others at a standard level. As their names imply, the scope of these subject levels vary but they will be graded similarly. A student can take three high level subjects while the rest should be at the standard level.

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Talk to your teachers

Sometimes, it can be hard for students to figure out what their strong and weak subjects are. Fortunately, you can get a clear idea about it if you reached out to your teachers. They will be able to tell you your learning style, how well you are doing in a certain subject that you plan to take in IB and what challenges you may face as you take up these classes.

They will also be able to tell you some techniques on how to maximise your test results and the best ways to study if you are taking the higher level courses.

Talk to your parents

Even though it will be your decision to take whatever IB diploma subject you want, it is also best to ask your parents about their experiences and opinions about the subjects you wish to pursue. Since you will be doing these subjects for the first time, your expectations may not be realistic.

If you ask your parents, they may be able to give you some tips on how to look at these subjects, especially if they have taken it themselves. Speak to them about their experiences when they were students and how did they deal with the challenges of attaining their current careers. This will definitely help you adjust your mindset, make the right decision and help you to set realistic study goals. 

Explore your interests

Considering the curriculum in IB schools, it can be hard to choose what you really want to do in the future with the subjects they offer.

Some students may not be as hard picked as others because they already know what route they wish to take. While you are studying, it is a great time for you to determine where you want to be in the future.

If you are truly hard pressed on what to take, you can look into your interests and see what subjects are included in the IB program that will allow you to pursue them. Or you can take our personality test to find out what careers are suitable for you. Even if it won’t be aligned with your career goals, it is still a great way to pursue it as an extra skill you can use once you graduate.

Some careers may even require you to have odd skills that are not always taught in school but are taught in certain curriculums like the IB program. Many companies are now looking for talented people who have unique skill sets because it will assist them in the future.

Look at what universities are looking for

If you already know what you want to pursue when you go up to university, it will be easy for you to find the right subjects to help you prepare.

But, every university has a different set of requirements for their applicants depending on the degree they aim to get. For example, some schools may require IB students to take their science subjects in HL level rather than SL level.

Check the universities you wish to apply for and ask what they will require from IB students. This will then help you design your IB diploma track and increase your chances in getting into the university you want once you finish your diploma.

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Think about your goals in life

You definitely need to have a clear goal in life which will guide you throughout the IB program.

Here are the top paying careers in Singapore. Don’t worry if you don’t have a clear goal yet.  Eventually, the career directions you want to reach for in life will come to you and with your IB track, you can definitely achieve it.

If you are someone who thrives on challenges, you can also look into your strengths and weaknesses to determine how you want your IB subjects to be. If you pick a subject that is too easy, chances are that you will get bored and lose interest in the goals you want to reach for yourself.

If you are challenged and pushed out of your comfort zone, you will be able to grow and help you see ways on how to deal with the challenges you will face in the future.


The IB Diploma is not an easy feat to take if you did not do your research about it before taking it. If you are not well-informed, it can be easy to succumb to pressure and fail in your attempt. But, with research, early preparedness and key advice from the people you trust, you will be able to breeze through the program with the subjects you selected and achieve your goals easily.

For IB related topics, check out our articles here:

The Integrated Programme or The International Baccalaureate: Which is the one for your child?
Complete List of International Baccalaureate Schools in Singapore


Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.