/ International Baccalaureate

IB Diploma Programme, whether to choose Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) course?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a two-year assessed programme catering to the educational need of 16 to 19-year-olds. The programme is an accepted qualification for entry into higher education and recognised by leading universities across the globe.

Students have to complete the assessment in six subjects, one from each group - Language Acquisition, Mathematics, Studies in Language and Literature, Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, and the Arts; and three core elements, i.e. the Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS).

And the subjects taken can be either Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL). SL courses are meant to expose students to a variety of disciplines that they might otherwise opt out of, and HL courses enable students to spend more time with subjects they are more interested in by exploring in depth. To obtain the full diploma, a student needs to take at least three subjects at HL but not more than four. SL courses will have at least 150 hours of instructional time, and HL courses will have at least 240 hours of instructional time and the duration of the exam ranges from 45 minutes for some SL exams to 3 hours for some HL exams.

The following illustration of the DP physics course highlights the nature of the difference in curriculum and assessment between HL and SL courses.

HL and SL courses comparison

HL and SL courses comparison

Source: https://www.ibo.org

So the depth of the subject matter varies between HL and SL from subject to subject. A student can decide whether to go for HL or SL on the basis of his/her interest, proficiency in that subject, the career goal and the possible course to be taken in college. Also, in the United States, most colleges give credit for HL IB exams. The complete list of colleges can seen here: https://blogs.ibo.org/blog/2018/05/05/getting-ib-credit-at-university/

Vidyalai offers online interactive one-to-one classes from subject experts for IB (all) subjects, providing a personalized learning experience i.e. individually-paced and targeted learning.

IB Diploma Programme, whether to choose Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL) course?
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