What are they?

Group 4 subjects are known in the IB as the ‘experimental sciences’. They are designed to give you the knowledge and scope to think critically about the world around us.


When it comes to group 4 subjects, there are quite a few options available to you! While normally thought of the ‘sciences’, they encompass more technical courses as well. This means you have the choice of:





Design and Technology

Computer Science

Sports, Exercise and Health Science (SL only)

Environmental Systems and Societies


Not too bad eh?


How do I pick one?


When it comes to picking a group 4 subject, there are a number of things to keep in mind.


Firstly: what are you interested in? Are you super fascinated by forces and nuclear power? Ionic bonding and the periodic table? The human body and the effects of exercise upon it? The great things about group 4 subjects is the range you have to pick from- so there is scope for finding something everyone likes.


Secondly: what do you want to do next? If you have no idea what you want to do at university- don’t worry! But, if you do, maybe think a little before choosing subjects. If you want to be a doctor, for example, biology and chemistry are a must. If you want to work with computers- Computer Science might be a good idea.


Thirdly: What are you good at? Group 4 subjects are not an easy bunch. Yes, they are rewarding, but they are also challenging. It might be good to pick something that you feel you have a good basis in, not just the one all your friends are taking!

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How are they assessed?


So obviously they differ from subject to subject, but the are some commonalities. Group 4 subjects are assessed by both internal assessment and exams. Normally, everyone studying a subject studies the ‘core’ course, and then HL students have extra modules. There are also options which you can pick which make up another paper.


What’s this Group 4 project I’ve been hearing about?

The famed Group 4 project! This is honestly nothing to worry about. It’s simply a group investigation you carry out. This mark then adds up to make up your internal assessment centre. It’s only a small percentage, but a bit of a change from normal lab work! If you choose to do 2 sciences as well, then you only have to do one group 4 project.


Need some more help?


Why not check out Lanterna’s Pre-IB summer course, or our Online Private Tuition for some more support?

Read part 6 – Subject Group 5


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