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is it possible for me to not take a group 4 subject?


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hi all, 

i am currently a year 11 student attending an international school in asia. as such, i am currently preparing to sit my igcse exams in 2023 and beginning the process of selecting ib options.

for some context, i am still unsure of what i want to pursue in my post-secondary education. my two main potential routes are classical music (i come from a musical family and play both classical piano and violin at a diploma level), and an undecided area of study in the humanities/social sciences (my main interests include economics, international relations/geopolitics, etc. - i have also  considered a ppe (or equivalent) degree as well as law). i have also recently begun looking into studying english (literature) and relevant careers, such as journalism or editing, and it is currently my strongest school subject; however, it is not something i have been seriously considering for as long of a time.

currently, my preferred ibdp options are chinese b SL, math aa SL, chemistry SL, english literature HL, and any two of philosophy, economics, and music at HL. previously, i had assumed it was possible to omit a group 4 subject (it being the most tolerable science in my case, chemistry SL) in order to take all three of philosophy, economics, and music; given that group 6 serves as an elective area wherein candidates could forgo an art subject for one from other groups, i had assumed it was possible to do the same with group 4. however, with the knowledge that a regular ibdp diploma would not allow this, i am now forced to choose between the three. 

while no university degree of interest to me requires my preferred subjects (which admittedly weakens my cause), chemistry serves no purpose for me given that i have no plans to pursue any scientific or STEM-related fields of study and limits my choice of ib subjects. i feel that being able to take all of my preferred subjects, which i have more interest in, would give me a wider range of options come university applications and give me more time to decide on a career path while i study the ib. i find it somewhat unfair that the group 6 subjects are disposable but group 3 or 4 are not - the ib should cater to the interests of all candidates. 

i believe it noteworthy to mention that my school does offer the ibcp, in which case i could study music as my career-related study and take english literature, philosophy, economics, and perhaps music as my dp subjects in order to take all of my preferred subjects. however, this would be a viable option only if i was entirely set on music, which i currently am not - the ibcp would severely limit my options if i decided to change my mind partway through, and it is not as widely accepted a qualification as the ibdp. 

would it be possible for me to get approval from the ibo to drop group 4 and take all of my preferred subjects? 

my knowledge of the ib is still quite limited and i welcome any insights - thank you all for your time :)

Edited by paperinajar
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