Choosing IB Subjects in Singapore

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When it comes to the International Baccalaureate curriculum in Singapore, students have plenty of opportunities with regards to the subjects they can select and align with their interests.  Although the IB curriculum is challenging, it creates a clear roadmap where students can excel & learn necessary life skills that will help them secure their future.

Selecting subjects is important when entering IB schools, and it may be extremely complicated when kids start studies. Parents and kids should be mindful of the grade they are looking to enroll in, distance between home and school, along with some research on school fees in Singapore leading IB schools.

What is an IB (International Baccalaureate)?

The IB curriculum includes three core components, namely TOK or (Theory of Knowledge), EE (Extended Essay), and CAS (Creativity, Action, and Service). Besides this, there are subject groups in which students must study three Higher Level (HL) topics and three Standard Level (SL) subjects. Students can also select subjects based on their interests, aptitudes, and future goals.  

IB school fees in Singapore  is charged for each subject a student takes, which can also influence decisions to pick certain subjects.

6 Tips for choosing IB Subjects in Singapore

1. Choose Subjects that Align with your Goals 

Consider your life goals before choosing IB subjects. Pick subjects that will get you closer to your goal. If you have a certain career path or objective in mind, it will be beneficial to choose subjects that align with those goals.  

It will also help with university entrance exams. Finding the appropriate subjects to help you prepare will be simple if you already know what you want to study in college. However, each university has established its own set of requirements for applicants based on the course level. Ex: Some schools may ask IB students to pursue science subjects at the HL level and not at the SL level.      

Even if you aren’t sure what you want to study yet, picking the proper topics at the right levels for the courses you might be interested in ensures that you don’t limit your alternatives.

2. Select a Balanced Combination of Subjects. 

To ensure most universities keep their entrance door open for you, choosing a balanced combination of subjects that impart immense knowledge with less stress levels is ideal. This may include determining one or two more demanding subjects, compensating with other subjects more manageable to produce a balanced IB subject mix, or selecting more challenging subjects solely at SL.

Choosing the simplest combination of topics and levels to maximize your overall points score is generally not ideal because colleges want students who challenge themselves intellectually beyond merely scoring well.

3. Do Your Research 

Most students are daunted by the subject’s name and do not take the initiative to learn more. However, students frequently believe they are uninterested in a topic only to discover that it is a perfect match for their interests after learning more about it.

Research can assist you in locating extensive information on each subject, making your selection easier. Your research should include the school fees in Singapore, as costs are charged for each issue.

Fortunately, there are many avenues to research a particular subject, such as contacting your professors, IB Coordinator, or university guidance counselor, borrowing a textbook for the course from the library, chatting to students who study the subject or investigating the syllabus data on the IB’s website. Doing so can help you pick the best subjects for you.

4. Understand the Difference  between HL and SL 

Opting for a subject at the HL level will ensure all SL materials are covered along with an additional extension. Therefore, it is always better to find out what additional content & assessment is needed for an HL subject beforehand.

The HL extension material in specific disciplines is more substantial and demanding than in others. Therefore, you can pick which subjects to pursue and which to avoid at HL. Besides, certain IB HL extra extensions and tests are challenging, so it is always a good idea to learn more about them.

Having a good balance of HL and SL subjects is essential, so you can give yourself a challenge without overexerting yourself.

5.      Extrinsic Variables Should Be Kept to a Minimum 

 Sometimes students decide to take the same topics as their peers or ones taught by their favorite teacher. While having social support or trusting a reputable instructor might be beneficial, making decisions based solely on these variables is not viable.

Similarly, students may avoid taking specific disciplines because of rumors about their perceived difficulty or incapacity to perform well in the subject. Ensure you don’t depend too much on fear-mongering and obtain all the information before dismissing a subject based only on hearsay.

6. Grace Period 

Most schools provide a grace period at the beginning of the school year and a deadline for changing topic selections. You can always use the grace period to learn more about each topic and decide whether or not to continue with it.

To ensure the best use of your school fees in Singapore, choosing the right IB subjects through detailed research is important. Unfortunately, without the proper preparation, it is too easy to give in to pressure and fail. However, with study, early practice, and essential counsel from individuals you trust, you can glide through the program with the chosen topics and easily attain your goals.

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About the Author: Mark Callaway

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