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AP vs. IB?

norabellenorabelle 253 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited September 2012 in Princeton University
Hello all-

I'm currently a high school freshman, and I'm trying to plan my high school classes to be the hardest and what an Ivy League would like to see. The problem now is, I'm moving to a different school. It's going to be private, and it offers AP classes and for those of you familiar, the IB program. What I'm wondering is, whats better to take, the AP or IB? What do you think would give me a better chance in getting into an Ivy League? (preferably Princeton :P)

If there's anyone who took the IB program...did you get accepted?
edited September 2012
63 replies
Post edited by norabelle on
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Replies to: AP vs. IB?

  • thedude15thedude15 12 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I am year 2 of the diploma programme, and I am ready to take exams this spring. I got in early decision.
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  • Sephiroth226Sephiroth226 652 replies35 threadsRegistered User Member
    Honestly, Princeton considers GPA ALOT so AP is the route to go since it is, without a doubt, easier than IB, unless the teachers are extremely different in terms of caliber. For example, I try my A S S off in IB classes and manage about an 88 average with a predicted 33-35 / 45 for IB. I sleep through AP govt and econ and I slept through AP Comp Sci and AP Chem and managed 4 and 5 respectively with 90+ average in both and nowhere near the workload.

    IB, however, will teach you ALOT! Math HL essentially covers AP Calc AB in 10-12 weeks and AP Calc BC in 12 weeks with statstics and other stuff thrown in.
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  • norabellenorabelle 253 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the replies - I'm considering what you said Sephiroth and thedude.
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  • norabellenorabelle 253 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    by the way - congratulations on your eary decision thedude!
    any other comments?
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  • Sephiroth226Sephiroth226 652 replies35 threadsRegistered User Member
    Here's a simple way to find out. Ask the IB students at your school how much they study, their grades prior to IB class, etc and ask the AP students the same. Determine for yourself because it really comes down to the rigor of the individual teacher. For example,

    My math teacher puts a curve on exams that he purposely makes 30% longer than IB exams. sq. root of our grade times 10 so it isn't hard to pass, but to get a 90+ it is damn tough.

    My history teacher gives nothing above a 95 and our grades are scaled to IB (i.e. a 6 is an 85 and a 7 a 95), and she is damn close to the actual thing in terms of scoring.

    English.... well she is a wench in short. Good teacher, but mean as hell and especially rough on grades. To give an example, the highest grade on the past exam was an 81 (I got an 80) and my class consists of the top 10% of three high schools with 3 valedictorians in class.

    Spanish isn't tough.

    Physics HL is easy, for me atleast.


    The big killers are Math HL, English HL, and History HL. In terms of average score, I hear that the math HL and the language classes in HL are the lowest.
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  • blueriver575blueriver575 90 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm in my final year of IB and for me it has been an easy ride (and I take an extra IB subject). If you ain't too much concerned about grades then do IB 'coz it teaches you so many things. The traditional subjects aside, I thoroughly enjoy TOK and the extended essay which I did in Computer Science.

    However, if you take IB just to look good on the resume (which I discourage you to do), then maybe AP's easier. The IB Biology curriculum is not hard, but the exam's mark scheme is crazy. We're practicing past exam papers in class to prepare for the upcoming May exam, and man oh man, the top 3 people in my class get around 87% because they expect you to include trivial little things in your answer. But hey, the grade boundary for a 7 in science is only about 75%, so I'd be surprised not to get a 7! About half of the people in my Chemistry HL class is predicted 7.

    As for admission purpose, MIT says that they consider IB = AP. Not sure about Princeton though.
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  • thedude15thedude15 12 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I think my AP classes were much harder than IB ones. I had to think more in IB, but I had more work in AP. IB Enlgish in Grade 11 gave me my only B's in the Diploma Programme, but if you key in on things the exams won't be hard at all. IB History HL is really easy, but I like history so I guess it is subjective. We are doing practice now, and I am getting excellent scores on all of the papers. Our science department is not that great, and I still made it out with 5 in Physics last year. I would do IB.
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  • norabellenorabelle 253 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks everyone. There are two schools that in which i have a choice of going to. One only offers IB, and the other has only offered AP in the past, but in recent news, they are also offering IB starting this next school year.
    What would you guys choose? The school with just IB or the AP/IB school?
    Keep in mind the school who is just starting to offer IB might not be very experienced in teaching IB class. (thats what i think at least - am i wrong?)
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  • worldshopperworldshopper 1086 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    IB is a program (if you are going for the full diploma), AP are classes. IB will own you over the summers. With AP, once you are done with the course, you are done (except for the exam of course).

    You should probably ask the g.c. at the school where you are thinking of going what they consider the MOST rigorous courses because that is a question on the g.c. report. My school has both AP and IB and if you only take AP, the g.c. will not mark "no" to the question, "did applicant take the most rigorous courses available to him/her".
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  • sethlyonsethlyon 56 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    It really depends on the school. I attend a public high school that has both IB and AP. I am in my final year of IB and I find that it is much easier to get A's in my IB classes because my teachers are more concerned about preparing us for tests than about actually grading us. They let the tests do that. My friends in AP have to study much more and do a lot more home work. However, I do more work for my IA's and my EE that do not directly go into my class grade or remotely effect my GPA.
    I think that no matter what you need to see what the IB program is like at your school.
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  • nimby58nimby58 212 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    It is all about taking the most rigorous courses available to you. For this purpose, AP and IB are considered equal. This evaluation takes into account what is actually available at your school. So if you would not be penalized for going to a school with no IB program or relatively few AP offerings. Only for taking less than you could have where you are.

    Schools have great respect for the IB program, but it does not give you a leg up over AP. They have a different approach. IB is more comprehensive core curriculum program, AP allows more flexibility. The material covered varies as does the expectation of what you will do with what you learn. Some say that IB is about depth and AP is more about breadth. IB prides itself on inspiring students to think critically and to find links between disciplines. It is also very language based, which is not always a good fit for students who are more interested in focusing exclusively on math and science. IB has a community service hour requirement and an extended essay requirement. AP courses are selected individually based on your interest. Anecdotal information from students not at your school about which are harder, etc. is not meaningful. This will be dependent on individual schools and instructors. Both are intended to be challenging, high level classes that will prepare you well for college. Neither is a golden ticket to a top school.

    In short, it will not matter which high level classes you take, as long as you take them. Follow your interests and what will allow you the three-year schedule that sounds the best for you.
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  • annandale1annandale1 519 replies67 threadsRegistered User Member
    It's interesting to see how different IB teachers grade so differently in different schools. My teachers haven never graded this hard before and have overwhelmed us with homework. My grades have plummeted. I think I might end up with a couple C+s this quarter. But senioritis also has a role in this... hahaha

    So about the debate of AP vs IB:

    Don't tell anyone I ever said that because I will deny it

    I think IB is better. I know I complain 24/7 in my school how IB program is a failure, and how miserable it makes us, but I think it is better.

    Not sure about which is better for getting you ACCEPTED to a college, but it definitely PREPARES you better for college.

    The thing I like the most is that it gives you a broader perspective on things. IB tends to focus international perspective a lot (in English and History) where as AP seems to be focused on American stuff only. I think IB also makes you a more well-rounded student.

    Also IB = A LOT of writing!

    writing, open-mindedness et al are quintessential to succeed at college.

    So if you want help getting into a school = AP
    If you want to get good preperation for college and be better educated = IB

    P.S. I am an IB Diploma candidate, deferred early and then rejected...
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  • norabellenorabelle 253 replies11 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think I'm leaning more towards IB. I'm American and i have nothing against America, but i just have this thrist for knowledge about the REST of the world, not just here. I also love writing and I love to learn.
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  • sonbacsonbac 61 replies19 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    worldshopper-what do you mean by saying, "IB will own you over the summers"?
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  • Sephiroth226Sephiroth226 652 replies35 threadsRegistered User Member
    World Lits, Extended Essay, extra reading, etc
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  • TheGFGTheGFG 6007 replies213 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I know nothing about IB, but in our high school the APs do "own you" over the summer. There is so much material to cover that teachers require you to basically learn a third of the material yourself over the summer before the year you take the class. That includes official notes to be handed in, homework such as questions to answer or problems to solve, various projects or experiments, and then taking an exam on that material the first week back to school.
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  • worldshopperworldshopper 1086 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^ They give you a lot of work over the summers. Last summer, I had an EE to write, 8 books to read and a couple of papers to write. The first week of school, I was tested on some of the material I was suppose to read over the summer. All this despite the fact that I was in school for 5 hours a day for 7 weeks in the summer and had to do homework for the class I was taking over the summer. I guess some of us need "work" assigned, others don't because we are naturally motivated to learn on our own. I'm just saying that there wasn't much time to pursue what I wanted to learn versus what they told me to learn. This will be my first summer in 5 years that I won't be in school and won't be told what to do. I am looking forward to it.
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  • Fsu-ufFsu-uf 884 replies52 threadsRegistered User Member
    I regret being in ib, why because I'm doing more work than ap students at my school and yet the classes are weighted the same. colleges only give you credit if you score above a 6 on a hl test while they give credit for a 3 on an ap test. I hate stupid cas hours, the cas journal, my world lit papers, my tok portfolio, prescribed essays, the required reading list featuring about 20 books, the EE, all the ia's, and all those other tedious amount of work that i've had to do, that and also the fact that I've never had any room to take an elective. t also the fact that if i would've taken ap classes i would have a 4.0 gpa while in ib i have a 3.0, and for what to hope to god that i can get the ib diploma, if i dont get i will probably shoot someone.
    anyways i hope ib improves my chances of getting into a good college, and i've also heard that people who do the ib program think college is alot easier, easier than ib.
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  • PaxonIBPaxonIB 86 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I am a freshman at Paxon School for Advanced Studies which is anually in the top 30 HS in America. My 1st question is the fact that i go to a high ranked and noted school, will it stengthen my resume for college.

    People dont think i can get into an ivy league college like Princeton (which is my ultimate goal), but i had to fill out an application, and i had a waiting process to get into my HS. Where i come from, getting into the HS is similar to the college procedure.

    I am in the IB prigram, but have not got to the actual IB curriculum of my program. From what has been posted in this forum, IB is not really much of an advantage to getitng into a college such as Princeton since GPA is weighted so heavily in selection process. And i have always though about dropping out into the AP curriculum and want advice on which would be beneficial to getting into a ivy league school.

    These are my classes:
    Biology Honors
    World History Honors
    Geometry Honors
    English Honors
    Spanish 1
    Basketball (elective)
    Comp. Apps. (elective)
    Leadership Techniques (elective)

    My GPA unweighted was a 3.45 and weighted it was 4.45

    if i continue at this rate will i have a chance of getting into a ivy league college and should i stay in IB or go into regular AP?
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  • physhphysh 40 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I got to paxon, and I'm a senior in IB.
    To answer your question IMHO with the gpa you have now you wont make it. But Say you drop IB, Take only the classes you are good at. Try to take around 5 AP's by the time you finish, and work on extra curriculars, and SATs you can do it. It's still not too late.

    You're going to have to work really hard. Dropping IB can help you focus if you feel overwhelmed.

    I started with a 3.8 UW freshman year, and dropped slowly to 3.36 now, which makes me about borderline for UF.

    IMO IB is pretty much for your own self benefit, to shape who you are...and make you a hardworking well rounded person. Not to help you get into a good school. If that's your goal, then AP would be a better route.

    Dont worry too much about SATs now, but take some of the prep classes that are offered as electives. Its a good way to get you to study if your not motivated to do so yourself. (like me :) )

    But if you are serious about getting into princeton you need a couple of things: good GPA I say about 3.8 unweighted. Pick a school sport, and try to become captain, talk to the coaches, get to know them etc this is important. Join a lot of clubs and try to hold offices in them. There are summer programs that are free that you can do, go to the guidance office where that college stuff is and i think you may find some there, if not ask ms bennit or whatever her name is about summer programs. (For next summer) Or talk to your counselor: Brietenbach/spivey

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask me:
    [email]Physhphude****.com[/email]
    Aim:physhphude

    James
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