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Choosing Your IBDP Subjects: Tips and Guidance from Sally

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Ask Sally About Your IBDP Subject Choices HERE!


Why Your IBDP Subject Choices Matter


At this time of the year, many students are grappling with their IBDP subject choices. Understandably, it can feel daunting given the vast array of subjects and combinations available. Your goal is to ensure that your choices align with your career aspirations and make your life easier during the IB program. After all, the workload is substantial, and you don't want to choose the most challenging subjects across the board.


Understanding Your Interests and Strengths


What Do You Enjoy Studying?

This might sound obvious, but it's a crucial starting point. Consider the subjects you genuinely enjoy. If you don't particularly enjoy any subject, then select six that you find tolerable. However, if you have subjects that you like, make sure they are part of your subject choices. For instance, back when I was in school, I enjoyed studying physics and math, along with French and history. These naturally became part of my subject selections.


What Are Your Strengths?

Next, think about the subjects where you excel. I was pretty good at chemistry, even though it wasn’t my favorite. But it complemented physics well and broadened my career options. So, alongside the subjects I enjoyed, I added chemistry. Reflect on your strengths to make informed choices that leverage your natural abilities.


Future Career Aspirations


Aligning Subjects with Career Goals

While considering your future career, don't focus too narrowly on a specific job title. Instead, think about the subject areas that interest you. My career has seen many facets—teaching in schools, creating lesson plans, and now helping thousands of students online. Despite these changes, I've always centered my career around physics. So, choose subjects that align with the broader area you're interested in.


Balancing Your Workload

The IBDP is rigorous, so it's essential to balance your workload. For example, taking both Physics HL and Maths AA can be demanding. It might help to pair these with subjects you find easier. Personally, I found French easier since I could speak it quite well, so it served as a more manageable subject for me. Identify which subjects might offer you that balance.


Long-Term Perspective


Thinking Long Term

It's important to remember that the exact subjects you choose now won't define your entire future. Once you reach your early 20s, nobody will ask what subjects you took in high school or what grades you achieved. They will care more about your knowledge and skills. Make subject choices that are important for your immediate goals, like getting into a specific university course, but don’t stress excessively—if you make a less-than-perfect choice, it’s not the end of the world.


Need Personalised Advice?


How to Get My Advice

If you’re still unsure about which subjects to choose, I’m here to help. You can ask for my personalised advice using the form below. Just provide your name, email address, and your question. I will email you back with my advice tailored to your situation.


Ask Sally About Your IBDP Subject Choices HERE!


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If Physics is part of your subject choice, consider subscribing to my newsletter. Each week, I share valuable insights and resources about IB Physics. If you need extensive help with IB Physics, our TrIBe Physics program is a comprehensive online revision course designed to help you ace your exams. With direct access to me for personalised support, I'm dedicated to making your IB Physics journey as smooth as possible.




Choosing your IBDP subjects is a significant decision, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Think about what you enjoy, where your strengths lie, and how to balance your workload. Consider your long-term goals without getting too stressed about making the perfect choice. And remember, I’m here to support you every step of the way. Whether through my email advice, newsletter, or the TrIBe Physics program, you’ve got this!

I look forward to helping you succeed in your IBDP journey.

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