AP, IB, and AICE Programs: A Brief Comparison (Part 4)

By: Judi Robinovitz | Last Updated: February 2, 2015

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In this final post, we offer a few thoughts by way of comparing and contrasting AP, IB and AICE.


So how does AICE compare with IB and AP? All three programs are well established in high schools and recognized by universities around the country. Both AICE (AS and A Level) and IB are accepted at universities around the world, too. The main difference between AICE and IB is the flexibility of the AICE Diploma. Students have the freedom to create their own educational experience within the three AICE curriculum areas. We feel that AICE combines the best of both AP and IB in that students can pick and choose what courses they want but still earn an internationally-recognized diploma.

Here’s an important fact to account for in the college application process. On the Common Application (accepted by 550+ colleges), AICE is not recognized like AP, IB, and even Dual Enrollment; there’s no pull-down menu from which to select AICE. But that doesn’t mean colleges don’t recognize AICE! As the newest of the advanced academic program in the US, AICE is described in a high school’s profile that is sent to colleges along with a student’s official high school transcript. There will be no problem with college admission.

Our students tell us that IB Higher Level courses are harder than their AP counterparts, while IB Standard Level classes are not quite as hard…and that AICE courses don’t seem quite as hard as AP or IB courses.

In any case, here’s one crucial difference between AP and IB exams: IB has significantly more emphasis on writing than AP. The IB exams, unlike AP, rarely contain multiple choice questions. Students answer in essay form.

Finally, keep this all-important point in mind as you plan which high school courses you’re going to take: colleges value rigor of curriculum above all else, so taking AP, IB, or AICE serves you better than enrollment in Honors and most Dual Enrollment classes.

Let us know how helpful this information synopsis was for you! If you missed our earlier posts, you can find them here: AP Courses (Part 1), IB Courses (Part 2), AICE Courses (Part 3). Of course, if you have questions, just ask!


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