AP Vs. IB: What Should Be Your Ideal Choice?

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While a student is in high school, it is the time when they start planning for their college-level academics. Students can attain early college credit while they are in high school by exploring the subject that they would like to study at any university. Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate diploma programs are plausible ways to attain college credit at the high school level. If you are inquisitive to know more, we are here to guide you through AP and IB lanes.

The Differences Between AP And IB


What Do You Mean by AP Courses?

AP courses or Advanced Placement courses are designed for high school students to provide college-level experience. There are 38 AP courses in 22 subject areas. The primary objective of the courses is to connect students with the academic curriculum and environment of a college even before stepping into it. Based on studies, it has been seen those students knowing AP courses are more successful than students from non- AP backgrounds. Such classes are generally more exciting and help to instil in students’ professionalism from an early age.

What Do You Mean by IB Program?

The International Baccalaureate program is an academic program curated on European educational principles. The program comes with four basic versions and ten learning profiles. The different programs’ segregation are Primary Years Program (PYP) and Middle Years Program (MYP). There are many categories for easy educational quality evaluation, and they are Thinkers, Inquirers, and Communicators. The programs help students develop the mind and skillsets required for the various industries through the core career classes and community service projects.

Therefore, what are the key difference between AP and IB? Here are the differences based on categories:

Key Differences

Both the programs offer high-level challenging courses to high school students, but they come with different ideologies and philosophies. 

The AP programs originated in the US to aid high school students and groom them for their college lives. The AP courses have not set several courses, and a student can opt for as many courses they want to be based on their schools, schedules, and objectives.

On the contrary, the IB courses that were designed in Switzerland offers a single diploma program. Students have to complete a wide range of courses to earn the diploma.

What Do These Programs Have to Offer?

Both the programs offer different goals. The IB program emphasises more on writing and critical thinking abilities. The IB colleges demand few requirements like a long-extended essay, a research paper written in a college-style format, and few colleges ask for extracurricular requirements. 

On the other hand, the AP programs teach students specific skills and test their knowledge through exams. Multiple choices are offered to the students to meet a few set goals.

What Is the Reputation of these Courses in International Universities?

You might be worried about the thought of which course is more acceptable in international universities. Then this section might help you to understand the fact.

Firstly, colleges do not consider any competition among the AP and IB courses. They cannot penalise a student for not accepting an IB course, which is rare. Moreover, how the two types of courses are taught across the country has a vast difference. The primary focus of the students should be to choose the most rigorous classes offered to them in their high school than comparing AP with IB.

AP and IB for International Colleges

Obviously, students planning to go for the IB courses do not wish to get admitted to Indian colleges. The primary focus of the students is on the international Ivy League and top elite colleges and universities.

Students sitting for the AP exams still need to choose either ISC or CBSE board for their high school education. The AP exams act as an additional set of exams for them besides their board exams. 

The added advantage of the IB course is that it offers students with holistic education along with college credits. The curriculum also grooms students to prepare for the rigorous future curriculum.

Universities all around the world accept AP programs. The exams are conducted in more than 120+ countries. However, a higher score in the AP test (4 to 5) provides an edge to a student application, boosts their GPA beyond 4 and helps the student qualify for college credits.

Final Thoughts

Therefore, students willing to prepare for college or university life from the high school level should focus on the AP and IB programs. By now, we hope you have gained considerable knowledge about the key differences between the courses. However, it is better to consult with some professionals before jumping into the new world. UniVisory can be your one-stop destination for complete consultancy solutions regarding undergraduate admissions in the top Ivy League and elite universities.