A Guidance for Every Aspiring IB Student

By: Mr. Vito Camarillo – Senior High School Counsellor


“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its reward.” – Amelia Earhart

One of the most prevalent education systems worldwide is The International Baccalaureate curriculum, which is based on well-defined standards. It holds students liable for their work. This program is not only recognized by top universities all over the world but is also highly transferable. 

Hence, it is one of the strengths of Stella Maris International School Secondary Department. In this curriculum, students are given opportunities to pick the subjects suited to their abilities and capabilities. 

As part of the yearly Subject Selection of the incoming Grade 11 IB Students, SMIS Senior High School Department conducted a guidance and counseling session for the Grade 10 IGCSE and 10 IB Students to help them choose the best subjects for their chosen IB paths. It was held at the Secondary Department Library last December 1 to 9, 2022. In this Subject Selection session, the Senior High Counsellor and Academic Leaders had an active discussion with both the students and parents to discuss their future planned majors and universities. This discussion is aimed at having a more accurate decision in choosing the subjects the incoming IB students will take for the 2 year International Baccalaureate program. Subjects that are chosen for the 2 year program should be directly connected to the requirements for the majors and universities. 

Each IB aspiring student is required to select one subject from six Subject Groups to supplement the three compulsory core components of the IB: CAS, Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge. Three of the six subjects must be at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL). This then involves a large spectrum of work and a variety of knowledge, which can only be achieved with organizational action and hard work. The following are the Six Subject Groups that the students can choose:

  • Group 1- English A Language and Literature, Indonesian A Language and Literature;
  • Group 2- German Ab-initio, English B- Language Acquisition, Mandarin Ab-initio;
  • Group 3- Psychology, ITGS, Economics;
  • Group 4- Biology HL/SL, Physics HL/SL;
  • Group 5- Mathematics Application and Interpretation HL/SL, Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches SL; and,
  • Group 6- Business and Management, Chemistry, Visual Art.

Overall, the Subject Selection session is a crucial point leading to the next step of our Grade 10 students who are moving to the IB program. It can lead to lasting satisfaction and happiness in their fulfillment of the IB Programme which in turn prepares them for their future majors and universities. 

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