Is it impressive for an IB student to self study for 15 APS and get 4's and 5's on them?

I am an IB student, and I’ve spent a lot of time self studying AP material. not for college apps, but for my sake. Many people have been telling me that doing this makes you seem desperate, and makes you seem as though you don’t know where your time is best spent. Is this true? Will this hurt me? Will the ivy’s be impressed by this?

It’s very impressive for anyone to self-study for 15 APs and get 4s and 5s on them.

Edit: I looked at your post history and it looks like you are a rising junior or sophomore and I highly doubt you have taken 15 APs by this time. From your wording it seemed like you had already done so.

Come back when you HAVE TAKEN 15 AP tests and gotten 4s and 5s on all of them.

It may not look as impressive when an admissions reader knows that some AP courses/tests have significant overlap in material covered to IB courses/tests that you are taking in school.

Also, they are likely to know which of the AP tests are the “easy to self-study” ones, so if your collection of self-studied AP scores includes many of those, it may not look as impressive.

Ivy AdComms will NOT be impressed. AP scores are NOT used for admission. AP scores only come into play AFTER you have been admitted, where some universities will give you college credit for high scores.

For rigor of HS curriculum, IB HL courses are considered “honors level” courses, just like AP courses are.

Your free time would be better spent developing some non-academic ECs, to show that you are multi-dimensional in your interests, and not just a studying-drone.

The very tippy top tier colleges won’t be impressed by this. Former Yale admissions dean Jeff Brenzel:

“With respect to programs of study, we are less concerned with particular course designations and more concerned simply to see that candidates have embraced and performed well in whatever their schools offer as a most challenging program. At the same time, we are not particularly drawn to one-dimensional students who have made their sole or primary objective in life amassing the largest number of honors or AP courses conceivable, accompanied by multiple efforts to achieve the world’s highest test scores.”

I agree with @ucbalumnus @PrimeMeridian and @T26E4

When I was going through the admissions process, I went to an Exploring College Options event, which had reps from Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Duke, and Georgetown, among others. During the Q&A, someone asked, “What do you think of applicants who self-study for additional AP’s over and above the AP classes they take?” One rep responded, “Please don’t do that. We’re not impressed by that.” The other reps all nodded.

The vast majority of IB students at our high school take the corresponding AP test for their IB class


But because they want to get credit and some universities vary on the amount of credit given for IB vs AP

^@VickiSoCal, Just curious, do they put them on their college apps? If they are only doing it for university credit, they could choose not to disclose it until after they are admitted.

I don’t know what all students do. I know some colleges my daughter is applying to ask you to put all scores and as all hers were 3 or higher she plans to report all.

Jr. year she took IB Spanish SL which is Spanish 4 and took the AP exam. I believe almost everyone in her class did.

Students who take HL English usually take Eng Lang AP the first year and English Lit AP the second year. HL math students take AP Calc BC

I do not think the additional test scores help with admissions as most people score very similar. People who got 7 on IB get 5 on AP.

Other an potentially getting credits at some colleges, there is zero reason to do that. Most very selective colleges (let’s assume those are your goal) if they accept AP credits at all, will accept a limited number. It will very from college to college, but I would say you will be lucky lucky to get credit for four AP tests. The colleges that will give you lots of AP credit will not be impressed becasue they will admit purely in gardes and ACT or SAT tests scores, so it would be a lot of wasted work. And most colleges in the US now give the same credit for IB that they give for AP. If you self study 15 AP tests, you will appear to be an academic drone and very selective colleges don’t like that either. Think about your motives.

For my kid, the California state schools admi primarily on SAT/GPA, and are generous with AP credit, more so than with IB, especially for SL classes. So she is definitely taking the AP tests primarily for credit.

I have. I’m a rising junior. I took 4 APs in freshmen year, but took the exams in sophomore year because I wasn’t ready.Then i took 7 APs sophomore year, and then i self studied for 4. I won’t blatantly lie just for the sake of getting answers.

If you have achieved this, while having solid ECs/voluntary work, you are on to something good:)