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It comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to start making decisions. For many students, choosing IGCSE subjects is the first opportunity to do so, and it can be very stressful. There’s no need to panic, as your IGCSE subjects will not map out your future. However, if you know that you are doing the IB Diploma after you finish IGCSE, there are some tips that could help you decide which subjects you should take for your IGCSEs. Read on to find out more.
IB subject groups: brief intro
It’s worth knowing how the IB works before explaining how to choose IGCSEs. IB students have to take six subjects from the following groups:
International Baccalaureate ©
There are several subjects in each group, and each school offers different subjects, so you would have to check with your IB school to see what they offer in each group. You can also replace a Group 6 subject with a Group 3 or 4 one.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here is what to keep in mind when choosing IGCSEs.
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Compulsory IB subjects
As you’ve seen above, the IB does not give you complete freedom when choosing subjects. You will have to study literature, maths, a foreign language, a science and a humanities subject. Therefore, you should not neglect some subjects at IGCSE: make sure you make an effort in your maths and language/literature courses so that you are better prepared for the IB. Your IGCSE school will almost definitely force you to take at least a science, foreign language and a humanities subject, but if for some reason you have complete freedom to choose, make sure you do one of each to give you the balance preparation you need for the IB.
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Your plans for IB
You definitely do not need to know your IB subject choice at this stage, but if you do, it should affect your IGCSE choices. For example, if you know you want to study French as your IB foreign language, try to do it for IGCSE too. Choosing the subjects you will do at IB for your IGCSE will put you in a better starting position when you actually begin the Diploma Programme. However, previous preparation is not a requirement for the IB, so don’t worry if you end up doing a new subject after IGCSE.
You should never forget to pursue your interests. If you see an IGCSE subject you enjoy or would like to learn about, don’t miss the opportunity. Don’t think you have to sacrifice a subject you like simply because it won’t be relevant to your IB studies. The IB is two years away, which is more than enough time for your interests to change, so don’t think you have to use IGCSE solely as a preparation for the IB.
Overall, do not stress about choosing the “correct” IGCSE subjects for IB. If you can, choose subjects that will help you in the future, but remember that your success in the IB is independent of your IGCSE subjects, as the IB will only assess you on what you learn during the two years of the IB.