How to Choose IB Subjects

OWIS Nanyang IBDP IB Diploma Programme students

The IB Diploma Programme is known as one of the best global curricula for pre-university students, primarily because of its emphasis on inquiry-led learning and its multicultural approach to education. There are an array of International Baccalaureate subjects to choose from, allowing IB schools, such as OWIS Nanyang, to offer the subjects that best align with their core values and the needs of their students.

What is the IB Diploma Programme?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, or IBDP, is an international curriculum designed for Secondary students between the ages of 16 and 19. It is considered one of the world’s leading programmes and is respected by universities both in Singapore and abroad.

Why Choose this IB Programme

The IBDP offers many benefits, such as:

  • Providing students with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that allow them to truly connect with the subject.

  • Giving students an unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge in a given subject, allowing them to develop expertise in a specific area before they reach university.

  • Allowing children to have a say in the education they receive. They have autonomy throughout the IBDP and can personalise their learning experience to obtain a more valuable and rewarding education.

  • Encouraging students to develop a global mindset and allowing them to become culturally aware. The IBDP emphasises the importance of multiculturalism in every aspect, which enables children to become more aware, empathetic and responsible.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing IB Subjects?


OWIS Nanyang IBDP Student in Science group lesson | Leading international school in Singapore

The IBDP is known as an inquiry-led, skills-based curriculum with a rigorous academic foundation. Students within the IBDP must complete the DP Core curriculum, which includes Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). In addition to the DP Core, they must complete six subjects across at least five different subject areas. Three of those subjects must be completed at the Higher Level, while three have to be completed at Standard Level.

As a result, students can exercise voice and choice as they select the IB subject combination that works best for their needs. Choosing IB subjects can be an exciting yet overwhelming task.

These are the factors you should consider when choosing IB subjects:

  • Academic Strengths

The six subject groups within the IBDP include Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics and Arts. Students must complete six subjects within five of these areas, so it’s best to consider their academic strengths and future career goals when choosing IB subjects.

  • Personal Interests

Personal interests can and should influence which subjects students choose within the IBDP. There are a range of options that allow students to enjoy a well-rounded education that is both interesting and engaging, and this is the ideal time for students to continue exploring their personal interests and passions through their education.

For example, if they are interested in art and design, they could select the Visual Arts subject within the Arts subject group. This would give them an opportunity to experience what life as an artist is like while fulfilling a requirement for the IBDP. 

  • Career Goals

Students should keep their post-graduation plans in mind and select subjects they will be able to highlight as part of their university applications.

For example, if they are interested in studying business at a top international university, they should select High Level IBDP courses in subject areas such as Business Management or Economics. The depth and breadth of these High Level courses will give them the foundational knowledge and core competencies needed to begin studying business at the university level.

It is also important to keep in mind that every subject will include both internal and external assessments and the student will wish to secure the grades that are required for their future university destinations. Hence, they should work with the University Counsellor to create the necessary and balanced blend of IB subjects.

Explore the IB Subjects at OWIS Nanyang

At OWIS Nanyang, we ensure our students have access to the educational opportunities they need to accomplish their goals. Our school leaders and experienced teachers and college counsellor are available to help with IB subject selection. Students have the opportunity to select subjects that will meet the criteria of the IBDP while allowing them to gain valuable skills and insight that align with their interests, abilities and career aspirations.

For more information about how to choose IB subjects and to learn about how the IBDP is implemented at OWIS Nanyang, contact us today.

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