“How do I select my DP subjects?”
Question: What do you want to do in the future?
Student B: How about computer programming? I want to be a programmer.
Student C: I want to learn Finance and be an investor.
Student D: I’m interested in aerospace engineering.
Student E: Psychology seems popular, and I find it interesting.
During the discussions, the students have the beginnings of their plans for their future. Among all the answers, we found that STEM majors are favored by many students.
What is STEM?
As IB students who face a variety of subjects, what will be the best combination of courses to get themselves into the right colleges and majors?
Based on the IB DP framework, this article is going to give some introductions about how to choose DP subjects and make the combination the best fit for students.
To broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills, IB developed three core elements:
- TOK (Theory of Knowledge)
- EE (Extended Essay)
- CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service)
- Studies in Language and Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals and Societies
- It is mandatory for every DP student to choose six academic subjects to learn over 2 years. Three subjects are studied at higher levels (HL) and three standard levels (SL). Each subject is graded both Internally (via IA tasks) and Externally (via Examinations). A maximum of 7 points are awarded for each subject (42 points maximum for six subjects).
- Additionally, TOK and EE contribute up to 3 ‘bonus points’ to the overall IB Diploma Score, making a total 45 points IB score.
- Meanwhile, CAS is not formally assessed. However, CAS helps students to develop their ‘story’ when it comes to university or job applications.
Combination of six academic subjects
What combination of IB subjects is preferred by STEM majors?
Our College Counsellor has given some suggestions as a reference:
Generally speaking, if a student is planning to study STEM related majors, he or she should at least choose 2 subjects from Mathematics and Sciences. In ideal conditions, 3 subjects would be better.
College Counselling Program in BIS
At BIS, we have a strong College Counselling team consisted of our college counsellors and secondary teachers. Our College Counsellors, teachers and DP coordinator will work closely with each student and family progressively as the student moves throughout his or her high school years from the period of choosing DP subjects to the college application process.