Students must study one subject from each of Groups 1–5, and another from either Group 6 or an additional subject from Groups 1–4. Three subjects must be studied at Higher Level, and the other three at Standard Level. The six subject groups are:
Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
Group 2: Language Acquisition
Group 3: Individuals and Societies (Geography, History, Business Management, Economics)
Group 4: Experimental Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Design, Sports Science)
Group 5: Mathematics (Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches; Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation)
Group 6: The Arts (Visual Arts, Film, Music, Theatre)
For each subject, students receive a grade of 1–7, with 7 being the highest. Students also study the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (ToK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), and the extended essay (EE). Through the DP core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge itself, conduct independent research, and complete a project that often involves community service.