Is AP or IB better for your college admissions applications? What’s the difference between AP, IB, and AICE programs? Let’s talk about it.
In the next four postings, we’d like to provide you with insights into the three principal accelerated or advanced programs of study offered to high school students in the US. What are the key differences and similarities between AP, IB, and AICE programs? And which one is right for you?
This first in the series describes the College Board’s familiar Advanced Placement. Keep reading for a thorough AP, IB, and AICE program comparison.
AP ― Advanced Placement
First on our AP, IB, and AICE program comparison list: let’s talk about AP courses.
Most everyone in high school knows about College Board’s AP courses and exams. As the name implies, the curricula for these classes are more rigorous than non-AP classes in the same subject, and high scores on the year-end exams may garner college credit and advanced placement into college classes. More importantly, doing well in AP courses better prepares you for college and improves your chances for college admission. College Board recognizes five levels of distinction* among students who receive high scores on a designated number of AP exams.
More recently, the College Board implemented their AP Capstone™ diploma program with three principal parts:
- AP courses and exams
Students typically take AP Seminar in the 10th or 11th grade, followed by AP Research in their senior year. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP exams will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. Alternatively, students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.
* AP distinctions:
Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.
AP Scholar with Honor
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
AP Scholar with Distinction
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
State AP Scholar
Granted to the one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP Exams, and then the highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken.
National AP Scholar
Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
The next in our series of posts will address the IB Diploma.
The IB, or “International Baccalaureate” Diploma Programme, is a two-year educational program designed specifically for teens ages 16 to 19 years of age. Unlike the AP program, IB is used internationally in over 140 countries.
When a student receives an IB education, they have access to opportunities to develop both disciplinary and interdisciplinary understandings. The IB program curriculum meets rigorous standards set by institutions of higher learning around the world and is recognized by many prestigious institutions.
Is AP or IB better for university admissions? Well, taking either IB or AP classes will look very good on college applications, and there’s not really an incentive to choose one over the other. However, if you are looking at potentially attending an international school, IB might be the better choice.
The Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) is an international diploma that students can earn. It’s offered via an advanced academic curriculum and assessment program, written and administered by a non-profit department (CIE) of the University of Cambridge in England.
The program consists of one-year classes called “AS Levels” and two-year classes called “A Levels.” These courses can be taken individually, or students can take two-year classes to earn an AICE diploma.
AICE classes are typically viewed highly by most schools. In fact, Ivy League schools are now awarding credit to some degree if the AICE exam scores are high enough.
Need Help Comparing AP, IB, and AICE Programs?
At Score At The Top, we make it our business to know everything about AP, IB, and AICE program comparisons. We’ll help you select the classes that best suit your interests and future educational goals, as well as your college ambitions.
Since 1980, our tutors have been providing students with exceptional guidance. You only have a few years to prepare for competitive college admissions – and we’re here to help you put your best foot forward, no matter what path you take.
Is AP or IB better for your college goals? Need help with your personal AP, IB, and AICE program comparison? Call 844-438-1600 or send us a message online. We’ll be happy to help you find your way.