IB: Another Pre-U programme in Malaysia
Published on: Monday, May 27, 2019

We are used to hearing STPM, Govt Matriculation, UEC, A Levels, Foundation Programme, etc.  There are also other Pre-u courses offered in Malaysia, such as the IB. Since it is offered locally let us find out more about IB. 

What is IB? 

International Baccalaureate (or its full name, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, sometimes known as IBDP or just IB) is a Pre-University programme from Geneva, Switzerland.

It prepares SPM or O-Level leavers for entry into a Degree at university. 

The course is approximately 24 months long, and is known to be an academically challenging and demanding course, requiring you to take a wide range of subjects across various disciplines.

How Is IB Structured?

IB is one of the more academically-challenging programmes that is often compared to A-Level, but is viewed as more balanced and well-rounded. 

You will take a total of six subjects, one each from the following six broad groups:

Group 1:  Language and Literature 

                   (e.g. English)

Group 2: Language Acquisition 

                   (e.g. Spanish, German, French)

Group 3:  Individuals and Societies 

                   (e.g. Economics,  Geography, History)

Group 4:  Sciences 

                   (e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Group 5:  Mathematics 

                   (e.g. Mathematics, Mathematics Studies)

Group 6:  The Arts 

                   (e.g. Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts)

 

Within each of the subject groups above, you have a choice of choosing either Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). 

Higher Level (HL) subjects normally require more studying time (total 240 hours of classes) compared to Standard Level (SL) subjects (total 150 hours of classes). 

In total, you need to take three subjects at Higher Level (HL), and three at Standard Level (SL).

In addition, you must also complete the following courses, often known as the three core components of the IB programme:

(1) Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

This is an interdisciplinary course, linking all six subject groups. It is intended to promote critical and creative thinking on knowledge gained, both inside and outside of the classroom. You will be assessed based on a 1,200 – 1,600 word essay and presentation.

2) Extended Essay

This component encourages independent research skills. 

You will be required to produce a 4,000-word research paper in a topic of your own choice based on any of the IB subjects studied.

3) Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

This component teaches you to engage and collaborate with others and the local community through:

Creativity:  Arts, music, writing and other experiences that involve creative thinking

Action:  Physical activities, such as training or learning a new sport

Service:  Unpaid and voluntary work for the community

You are expected to clock in at least 150 hours for projects under this component.

How Will You Be Graded?

You will be graded on a combination of internal assessment, final exams plus the IB core components.

Why Should You Take IBDP?

Here are some of the reasons and benefits of taking the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme.

1) Promotes critical and independent thinking

IB isn’t just about passing exams. With its unique Theory of Knowledge component and continuous internal assessment, the IB curriculum will help you grow to be a critical and independent thinker, encouraging you to ask challenging questions and perform research.

2) Balanced and well-rounded programme

IB requires you to cover a full range of subjects, including foreign language, sciences and art, in addition to creative and physical activities, as well as community service. 

This will give you a more well-rounded perspective, ensuring that you are active intellectually, physically and emotionally.

3) Recognised by many universities worldwide

The IB is accepted by over 100 countries worldwide, so you will not have to worry about having an unrecognised qualification once you’ve completed this course. 

While universities used to have higher entry requirements for IB, many universities worldwide are now more familiar with this programme, and are making realistic offers to students who choose to take IB.

Who Is IBDP For?

You should consider taking IBDP if:

You are an all-rounder and enjoy learning subjects across a broad spectrum covering language, arts, science and humanities

You are able to multitask and manage your time well, juggling academic studies and other activities, such as creative pursuits and community service

You are prepared to take up a challenging and demanding course

What Subjects Should YouChoose For IBDP?

The most common subjects that are available at IB programmes in Malaysia are:

Group                                                  Subjects

Language and  Literature                    English, Malay

 

Language Acquisition                          Malay, Mandarin, French, Spanish     

          

Individuals and Societies                     Geography, History, Economics, Business and Management, Psychology       

 

Sciences                                              Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Systems & Societies               

              

Mathematics                                         Mathematics, Mathematical   Studies

 

The Arts                                                Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, Music and Film

 

Remember that you will be required to take 6 subjects, one from each group. However, for The Arts group, you may opt to study an additional subject under Sciences, Individuals and Societies, or Languages groups, instead of a subject in The Arts.

3 subjects need to be at Higher Level (HL) and another 3 subjects will need to be at Standard Level (SL). 

HL subjects have more extended syllabi than SL subjects.

As a guide, here are some tips on how to choose your IB subjects:

For Higher Level subjects, choose subjects that you are good at or have a strong interest in.

For Higher Level subjects, choose subjects that are most related to your university degree. 

For example, if you want to study Engineering, you should choose Physics HL and Math HL, since certain universities may demand this as an entry requirement

If you are not interested in The Arts group, you can choose to take an additional Science, Language or Individual & Societies subject that supports your interests and degree choice

For your Standard Level subjects, you can choose any subject of your choice

Where Can You Study IBDP?

IB programmes are offered at private colleges, international schools and selected MARA colleges in Malaysia

Q and A

If you have a career related question send to: krishnan@ark.com.my.





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