Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

IB (International Baccalaureate) vs. AP (Advanced Placement)

jen928jen928 Posts: 3Registered User New Member
edited November 2011 in College Admissions
I have a choice of either going to a highschool with IB program or a highschool that offers a lot of AP classes and opportunities to be in national level math competitions. My question is which program (IB or AP/math competition) will be weighted more in Ivy League admission? Thank you for any thoughts you may have.
Post edited by jen928 on
«13

Replies to: IB (International Baccalaureate) vs. AP (Advanced Placement)

  • hsmomstefhsmomstef Posts: 3,579Registered User Senior Member
    there are a ton of threads on this topic -- so use the search engine and prepare to spend some time reading.

    the general consensus is that neither is "better" for ivy admissions, it is what you do with the opportunities you have. Select the program that you feel "fits" you best without regard to ivy admissions and you can't go wrong. If you have a passion for something and one school provided better opportunities in that area, that is the school for you.
  • AsaAsa Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    Completing the IB program will absolutely be beneficial in the college admissions process. First of all, it is considerably more strenuous than completing a string of AP classes - but this only applies if you actually go through with the entire program and earn the diploma! And take HL of course. College adcoms will recognize that it took great stamina, intelligence, and determination to earn the IB diploma. This is not to say that AP does not talk stamin, intelligence, and determination, but you simply need more of each fo gain the IB diploma.

    Also, having the IB diploma will make you stand out.
  • KeshiraKeshira Posts: 1,148Registered User Member
    No.
    Let's not have this debate again.
    DIE, THREAD.
  • amb3ramb3r Posts: 1,504Registered User Senior Member
    Completing the IB program will absolutely be beneficial in the college admissions process. First of all, it is considerably more strenuous than completing a string of AP classes - but this only applies if you actually go through with the entire program and earn the diploma! And take HL of course. College adcoms will recognize that it took great stamina, intelligence, and determination to earn the IB diploma. This is not to say that AP does not talk stamin, intelligence, and determination, but you simply need more of each fo gain the IB diploma.

    Also, having the IB diploma will make you stand out.

    How can you say that? Have you taken a strenuous AP courseload AND an IB program and compared the two? More likely that you've taken IB only.
  • happycollegemomhappycollegemom Posts: 1,170Registered User Senior Member
    to my knowledge, altho kids whose schools do IB will strongly disagree, the application process considers AP/IB...just like that...the same. i've read in places on CC that IB is not as easy a transfer for college credit, tho i have no personal knowledge of that. my kids did a "string" of APs and worked extremely hard, in an extremely hard, very competitve, nationally ranked high school, without the option of IB. they were basically sophomores upon their entrances to college due to AP transfer credit. a very nice thing, as they did/will graduate in FOUR YEARS, even with study abroad!
  • AsaAsa Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    Amb3r,

    Actually, that is exactly the case. I too several AP classes and recieved the IB diploma in high school. My high school did not treat these two tracks as mutually exclusive, but they HIGHLY recommended the more intelligent and harder-working students to do IB instead of AP. But I took courses in both, and I found AP to be a joke. Of course, this is only my personal experience.
  • amb3ramb3r Posts: 1,504Registered User Senior Member
    If you only took several AP courses, you didn't really get the full AP experience. Kids are applying to colleges with 11 or 12 APs under their belts or even more. If you took less than 5 APs in high school and then did a full IB diploma, the IB is going to feel more intensive.. because you did 100% of the latter but only a smattering of the former.
  • AsaAsa Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    Well a "smattering" would hardly do my experience with AP justice...I took a total of 7 AP classes in high school and earned the IB diploma. Thus, I am in a position to compare both, and in my experience, IB was exponentionally more demanding and more rigorous.
  • razzlegrlrazzlegrl Posts: 75Registered User Junior Member
    Asa,

    I guess it really depends on the school. Mine offers both IB and AP as well. IB is a total joke. the school treats the two the same, but almost everyone in my school makes fun of the IB program, and the only people who take it are people who are not intelligent or hard working enough for the AP program

    So I guess here are two opposite extremes of examples, which kind of reiterates my point that it really depends on the high school
  • atrophicwhisperatrophicwhisper Posts: 1,744Registered User Senior Member
    From my perspective, actually, AP is usually more intense and less "repeating" than IB. Of course, I honestly don't know how it works at your school, but at a nearby high school, I know that firstly, students must take three SL and three HL exams (which obviously reduces the amount of credit you can get.) Secondly, however, there's a lot of repeating courses- for example, taking Chemistry HL takes three years- Honors Chem, then Chem SL, then Chem HL (which is utterly ridiculous- it only takes two years at most for get a good grade on the AP exam.)

    Of course, it probably works differently at other schools, but I would personally take just a bunch of AP exams and some stellar EC's and that would be much better than the IB program at that other school. Look into it though and then weigh the pros and cons, which is what I did.
  • AY8888AY8888 Posts: 592User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    Lol. AP Classes and IB Diploma program have their plus and minus. AP=College credit for a majority of your courses. IB Diploma=Some college credit for hL and no college credit for sl. If you take 8-10 AP courses, that will be more rigorous than the IB Diploma Program because the caliber of the sl courses is far less than its counterpart AP class. CAS, a requirement for IB students is a complete farce (anything can count practically) so if you're AP, you just have to do community service and then put it on your application. TOK, is a joke as well since most teachers are not qualified in that area(Reasoning for the sake of reasoning and not for discovery=this is not actually a college level philosophy course). EE can be done easily too if you choose history or english(Research takes a long time if you're history though). Plus, because the material for HL is over two years, you miss out on alot of courses you could have taken since AP is more flexible. Although as an IB Diploma, you will be around a set group of kids for two years so there is that plus. In some schools though, cheating is everywhere since thee kids collude on tests and projects (It's amusing to see the teachers ignore it when they know it is occuring in front of their eyes). For me, I think the IB program was a good experience. I followed my own moral code, worked hard, took 6 AP courses in addition to the program (I didn't take the easy way with AP Physics and IB Physics, I only took classes in AP that was not offered as IB) and am relatively pleased. So it's your choice. But if you take 8 or more APs and do community service, I doubt a college will hold it against you for not choosing IB Diploma. Plus, I like to doubt the comment that "colleges think IB is more rigorous than AP" (Thats for bottom and mid tier colleges, once you go into top-tier and ivies, they don't differentiate on the program alone, but on the individual classes and your test scores in those subject areas). Best of luck.
  • AY8888AY8888 Posts: 592User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    ""IB is a total joke. the school treats the two the same, but almost everyone in my school makes fun of the IB program, and the only people who take it are people who are not intelligent or hard working enough for the AP program""

    I could support this point in many ways. The IB program is self-selective, so you can get individuals who are 100% unqualified but want an easy acceptance to a state school who apparently "loves" IB students. On the other hand, AP classes require pre-examination to take the class. So if you don't show the necessary caliber to succeed, you won't be allowed to take the class cutting out those who want an easy ride to college. I doubt one is better than the other since both are time consuming.

    However, one major difference I found was that if you are an individual who wants to learn and then sit for the exam, AP is far better. If you are someone who wants time to absord material, than IB is far better. Ironically, I have to say that the slow learners take IB because the depth of material covered in an IB HL for two years is the same as that of an AP for one year. So AP is probably more rigorous than IB in some aspects. Although IB's EE, CAS, and TOK can drain your motivation because they are so time-consuming. Apparently colleges recognize IB as well, so the easier way out is obivously IB. Remember that if you are applying to top-tier schools to take some AP as well. Top-tiers know that IB can be a farce so by taking AP classes, you show them that you are working hard. It's 7-8-APs=IB Diploma. 12 APs=IB Diploma+6 APs although some would argue that IB Diploma + 6 APs exceeds 14 APs.
  • atrophicwhisperatrophicwhisper Posts: 1,744Registered User Senior Member
    On the other hand, AP classes require pre-examination to take the class.

    Not necessarily..... At my school, if you just start by taking honors classes, you'll automatically get into the AP classes if you get a B or above. Some students even get C's and still go on because they get the permission of the instructor teaching the course. There aren't any exams to get into AP classes or even honors classes for that matter.

    By the way, the honors classes here usually aren't very rigorous. If you put in the required time and effort, then you'll earn an A or a B.
  • AsaAsa Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    I agree that the perception of the IB program varies greatly from school to school...I mean there are so many high schools with both programs now that opinions are bound to vary.

    A few things: I agree that TOK can often be far easier than it is supposed to be. However, EE being easy? Wow, you must have had quite a different experience from me. My EE took literally two years to complete (and it is intentionally designed to take this amount of time to complete). I had to write several, several drafts, conducts hours and hours and hours of research, and worked tirelessly to make it satisfy the demands of the IBO.

    Also, IN MY OPNION (I know others my think otherwise), IB tests were considerably more challenging than AP tests.
  • munchkin3590munchkin3590 Posts: 265Registered User Junior Member
    As someone who has been in AP and IB, listen to me, please:

    The IB is a ridiculous waste of time, it is run by a pretentious organization that likes to think that lots of paperwork makes it "prestigious". AP is a much better system, you learn more, and all in all life is just easier, happier, BETTER.

    Ivies, UCs, whatever you want, will look on them the same, so save yourself the heartache of dealing with the IBO and just do AP.
«13
Sign In or Register to comment.