Whether to take all or some AP courses, be an IB diploma student, be
an IB certificate student, or take a mixture of AP and IB courses needs
to be a matter of student preference, interest, and learning style. Some
students who have taken both AP and IB classes feel that AP courses are
geared more to learning the facts and IB courses are more geared to
analyzing the facts. Students and teachers have said that IB classes
cover more material, but that AP classes tend to go more in depth.
Students have also said that IB classes can require more reading and
writing than do AP courses.
The IB diploma program is
comprehensive, but fairly inflexible. The AP program and IB certificate
program are more flexible, allowing a student to take AP or IB courses
in the subjects which interest them.
It is possible to take an IB
course in a particular subject area and take (and do well on) the AP
exam in the same subject area (IB teachers will help students decide if
they should take the AP exam for a particular subject). However,
students who have not taken an IB course may not take an IB exam. Review
books for AP exams are commercially available; there are no
commercially available IB exam review books.
generally recognize AP and IB courses as being on a par, although they
are generally more familiar with the AP curriculum. The extent to which
colleges will give credit or placement varies among colleges, but
generally if they accept AP scores (usually a score of at least 3), then
they also accept IB scores (usually a score of at least 5). For
example, if a college will give credit for a score of 4 on an AP exam,
it will also give credit for a score of a 6 on an IB exam. Some colleges
give credit for certain scores on AP or IB exams; others will allow
students to place out of lower level classes, but will not give credit