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Choosing Your Sixth Subject

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I know it's quite early to be deciding specific subject areas, as I am in my second year of pre-IB and sophomore year of high school. However, I am curious as to what courses seem most popular for the sixth subject?

I was planning on taking Visual Art (not sure as to whether take SL or HL, because HL eliminates two of my four electives for senior year) or Social Anthropology (I plan to go into psychology). I believe my school offers the previously mentioned, as well as Music and Physics.

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I'm not really too sure which ones are the most popular, but I know at my school, out of the group 6 subjects, Music and Visual Art are the most popular. I think, when choosing your subjects, if you are sure about your career path, choose subjects which will help you achieve that career, and if you aren't sure, pick general kind of subjects that will help you get into a variety of courses.

When deciding whether to take a subject as HL or SL, maybe have a chat to your teachers and see if there's a large difference between HL and SL, and go from there. As with Theatre, there isn't a huge difference between the two, and the amount of work you have to put into it, it's worth taking as a HL.

Also, choose a subject based on whether you'll enjoy it or not! Or else you'll regret it bigtime! It makes the IB a bit more enjoyable if the subjects are ones you feel passionate about ;)

I hope this helped :P

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For the sixth subject at my school, people take either Psychology SL, Physics SL, or Music SL. Psychology is the most popular and the only one that has an actual IB class devoted to it. [Physics = AP Physics B & Music = choir/band classes] The thing I learned about classes that are less popular either in your school or worldwide is that they are harder in terms of getting help. The psych kids were much better prepared due to many other reasons, but knowing what I know now, I would be very wary of going into a class that only has a few other students in it because if you're confused, most likely, so are your classmates and then you're all like... "so what do we do now?" haha but I think that social anthro sounds really cool. I've never heard of it before... so if you're looking at IA examples or things like that, the pool's very limited because it's not as popular a subject as say psychology. Don't not do something because it's not as popular, but keep it a factor. Also, I've heard that Visual Art and Music aren't classes that you breeze through if you're doing it right. If you're good in that field and you have an interest, then consider it.

P.S. I took physics. I loved it, but I hate the lab reports. So, so annoying. Love the class because you're kinda learning how the world works. Very cool if you're into applied maths. And useful for your math class as well. =)

Edit: I don't suggest taking Vis Art at HL if you want to major in psychology. You might be able to get some college credit for whatever HL you choose, but you have less of a chance for getting credit for Visual Art. Also, you're gonna want those extra electives your senior year! Don't wanna be bogged down! :)

Edited by sweetnsimple786

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Also, I've heard that Visual Art and Music aren't classes that you breeze through if you're doing it right. If you're good in that field and you have an interest, then consider it.

That's very true actually! Visual Art, Music and Theatre all require a lot of work, so I agree, make sure you do have an interest in the subject and a fair bit of knowledge about the subject. I also agree with you about how the smaller, less popular classes tend to struggle. It happened with my Theatre class, we were the first ones to take the subject in the school, and there were only 3 of us, and our teacher left us at the end of the first year. We struggled but we pretty much clung to the syllabus for guidance. Nooo idea how we went grade-wise though.

I think taking a subject with experienced teachers is also a huge plus, because you will probably do better in the end than what you would have if you had an inexperienced teacher with no resources :)

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firstly i'd consider how the subject will benefit you when you pursue a career pathway

also, i dont know bout the US but here IB students get credit for our foundation yr (1st yr of uni)if we study particular subjects for HL

since you want to study psychology, i would say go social anthropology simply because it should give you some form of an advantage in the future

and i'm probably parroting what's already been said BUT, art and music ARE NOT BLUDGE SUBJECTS. sure they're considered to be "soft" subjects but the amount of work is equal

personally i did double sci (bio and chem) because i plan to go into med/some field in sci so when you make your decision, don't only focus on what seems easy now, you also have to consider the future

lastly, in terms of what HL subjects to choose, it is dependent on what you plan to study at uni. the way my school did it is that basically for all subjects (except economics), we learnt the SL section first then the remaining HL section last

talk about it with your supervisor as they should be able to recommend what subjects are your strengths and weaknesses so you can figure it out from there

good luck and don't stress :)

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the way my school did it is that basically for all subjects (except economics), we learnt the SL section first then the remaining HL section last

wow! that's a really good idea I think. I wish my school did that. Did it give you more time to decide on your subjects? We only got around 2 weeks or so to decide on our subjects and it was all very rushed.

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At my school, the sixth subject is left open to a wide variety of subject areas. In the group 6 section of the hexagon, we have Theater Arts SL and HL, Visual Arts SL and HL, and Music SL. Other IB "Electives" are Psychology SL, ITGS SL, or an extra foreign language.Personally, I am in Music SL. I really enjoy it. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and if you are a lover of music like I am, it will really be interesting and satisfying to listen to wonderful pieces of music during school. People that take Visual Arts seem to be very stressed much of the time. I don't know from experience whether this is because of a large work load or because of poor time management (or both), but it seems like a difficult class for me (though I am not artistic in the least).

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At my school we only have 4 people out of 42 doing a group 6 subject(not an elective). 3 of us are doing music, and only 1 doing visual art.

What are the other 38 students taking?

Edited by Courtface

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the most common 6th subject that people take is chem then music then theatre then art all SL/HL i decided to choose theatre HL because i moved from a different school in which i had a wider selection as it was a small school i wanted to do econ but its fine i love theatre so if you don't get into the subject that you want it will be alright and don't be discouraged

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8 people -including me, in my class are doing Theatre Arts. We find Theatre Arts very stressful because our teacher is in her maternity leave while we are in the midst of doing the internal and external assessments....-.- and because these assessments involve practical realization = time consuming. Bottom line is, theories and practical exploration are what you should be expecting in case you choose this (HL).

Edited by SushiMonstar

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