IB Higher Level vs AP

<p>I go to an IB school, and the conclusion that I've arrived at is that IB HL classes are harder than APs, while SL classes are easier. This seems to be supported in that an IB student may only take 4 HLs, and but more than 4 APs are often taken. What are your opinions on which is harder and looks better to an admissions officer?</p>

<p>Note: Do not turn this into an AP vs. IB war. I am just trying to determine, on a class by class basis, whether HLs are harder than APs, or maybe even SLs, as I know little about APs.</p>

<p>A question that fits into this that I have been wondering especially, how hard is HL Math compared to whatever its AP equivalent is?</p>

<p>I think in terms of content and knowledge, IB overall is a harder course. If you've looked at some of the stats forums, many people receive say a 5 on their AP exam and receive the same score on a Math SL exam (which is out of a scale of 7)</p>

<p>What's most challenging about IB is their external/internal assessments which take A LOT of time and effort to complete. IB also has TOK/CAS/EE which need to be completed in order to obtain the diploma so that also raises the difficulty level.</p>

<p>Honestly, both are pretty impressive. However, I believe that since IB is not as big in the US as AP, being an IB student and obtaining high marks (6s or 7s) may potentially look more impressive compared to the vast number of students who get 5s on their AP exams. Especially for courses like English A1 where only approximately 5% of students get a 7.</p>

<p>HL Math is harder than AP. Or so I've heard from friends that have taken both.</p>

<p>Check AP and IB credit and placement charts at universities. But it is likely that:</p>

<p>IB Math HL >= AP Calculus BC > AP Calculus AB > IB Math SL</p>

<p>(IB Math SL is probably nothing in terms of credit and placement into more advanced courses.)</p>

<p>@LucidDreaming - That brings up an interesting point. Do you know of people that have taken both IB and AP courses and the respective exam grades they've received? I've always wondered how hard it is exactly to get a 5 on an AP exam, ie, what it would translate to on the IB scale.</p>

<p>The difficulty levels are incomparable. AP and IB exams measure different sets of skills, but are both rigorous, regardless of HL/SL. Do what you want. Admissions officers look at all three the same.</p>

<p>With IB/AP at my school according to my English teacher Senior year if you take the IB English HL course you can take both the IB and AP English exam. It may be overkill but depending on the courses that you end up taking, maybe you might be able to take both exams.</p>

<p>D has overlapping IB and AP. HL exams, I believe, are quite a bit more difficult that SL. She took AP calc and SL math on the same day with 4 on calc and 7 on SL Math. Also 6 SL Spanish and 4 AP Spanish. However, the SL Spanish assessments include a taped interview question answer portion and an oral presentation as well as the written portion. The rubric is completely different. We'll see this year when she's overlapping her HL exams with AP. Also, I believe that the math portfolios and "papers" in other IB classes are included in the final number grade outcome - it's not just the final written test.</p>

<p>My daughter is in an IB diploma program and their IB and AP classes overlap during their Junior year. She took 5 AP exams that overlapped with both HL and SL classes (Calc and English were SL). This is her senior year and her elective is AP Psychology which is the Junior HL Psych class. I think they want the seniors to focus on their IB exams their senior year.</p>

<p>I have taken both IB and AP classes. Honestly, the difficulty depends a lot on the class. For example, History HL isn't much harder than History SL or AP World History. On the other hand, Maths HL is leagues more difficult than both AP Calculus and Maths SL. This is visible just in the curriculum/time. We learned essentially the entire AP Calc syllabus in 1-2 months, since the Maths HL syllabus also covers everything from vector geometry to differential equations to prob/stats.</p>

<p>IB > AP. More knowledge plus harder exams.</p>

<p>It is much harder to get a 7 in either HL or SL than a 5 AP. There is usually lot more work involved with the various assessements for IB compared to taking a test for AP.</p>

<p>In my kid's school, they have to take both AP Calculus BC and a course called Math HL (two separate full year classes) in order to take Math HL exam since it goes much further than calculus.</p>