In our article about what the IB Diploma program is, we mentioned that a large part of joining the program is selecting your courses with the help of your IB coordinator and briefly touched upon the IB course requirements. In this article, we'll take a look at what the IB course options and requirements are so that you can make the most informed decisions possible when selecting your courses. There are 6 groups that you can choose from when selecting your courses:
Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
Group 2: Language Acquisition
Group 3: Individuals and Societies
Group 4: Sciences
Group 5: Mathematics
Group 6: The Arts
Within these 6 groups, there are multiple courses offered at various levels. IB Courses can either be made available at the Standard Level (SL) or the Higher Level (HL). Higher Level courses tend to two-year courses that go more in-depth with the subject material, while Standard Level courses are typically one-year courses. Of these courses, students will be required to choose 6: one from each of the 6 subject groups. The IB requirement states that in order to achieve the IB Diploma, a student must successfully complete at least 3 (but no more than 4) courses at the Higher Level and the remaining of the 6 required courses at the Standard Level. This means that you can complete one of two options:
This should be available if you contact the IB Coordinator at your school, but let's take a closer look at all the IB course option in each group of study:
1. Studies in Language and Literature
2. Language Acquisition
3. Individuals and Societies
6. The Arts
Aside from the courses on this list, there is one more required course to complete the IB Diploma, and that is Theory of Knowledge (TOK). This is a one-year course that you will take in your Senior year of high school and in which you will learn about what knowledge is and how we know what we know: sounds exciting, right!
Overall, when choosing your IB classes, make sure of the following and you should be golden:
Even if you don't know much about the courses listed above, don't worry: we will be coming out with more articles about the individual subject groups and classes, so stay tuned! You can also get information from other IB students at your school to help you make your decision. Also remember that you can seek advice from your IB coordinator and current teachers: they will have lots of good insight on how the individual courses are at your school that can help you gauge how much you want to take on. Best of luck as you choose your IB classes, and remember that there are plenty of resources to help you as you start or continue your IB journey!
By Canon Pham
Canon Pham is an IB Diploma Candidate and Junior at Glen A. Wilson High School who is passionate about using her voice to raise awareness of important issues and build community among like-minded people. After her first semester of Junior year, she started the IB Student Chronicle to help provide more information about the IB experience for prospective and first-year IB Diploma Candidates. She also writes for The Teen Magazine, tutors with Reading Partners, holds several leadership positions at school, and plays varsity tennis. Canon enjoys spending time with her two younger siblings, her adorable puppy dog, and her incredible group of friends.