International Baccalaureate / Comparison of IB and AP Programs

Source: International Baccalaureate / Comparison of IB and AP Programs

Similarities of AP and IB

l     Both are rigorous programs devoted to educational experience with high performance expectations for students and faculty

l     Both attract highly motivated students who wish to excel academically

l     Both receive additional weight in calculating GPA

l     Both involve highly dedicated and creative teachers committed to their students, disciplines, and profession

l     Both use external assessments and evaluators to score assessments

l     Both offer extensive professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators

l     Both are recognized by most US universities for consideration for college credit or advanced standing

l     Both rely on objectivity and fairness in scoring assessments, removing personality and personal influence from the assessment system. Scores are based on the quality of wok evaluated against a set criteria or standard.


Differences between AP and IB

Advanced Placement ProgramInternational Baccalaureate Program
l     National standard of excellence

l     AP consists of independent courses for students who may excel in only one or two academic disciplines

l     College level courses


l     AP scores are based solely on the AP exam

l     AP exams are multiple choice and short-answer or essay exams

l     Exams are based on in-depth mastery of specific concepts within a given subject

l     Any student may take AP exams; IB students may take AP exams

l     AP teachers work within their discipline; independent of other academic areas

l     AP students form peer groups within individual classes

l     AP recognizes high achievement on AP exams through the AP scholars program

l     Policies are determined by national educators


l     International standard of excellence

l     IB is a 2 yr well-rounded education program with 6 areas of study, an extended essay, TOK and CAS

l     Comprehensive curriculum of college level work

l     IB scores are based on classroom work and on IB exams

l     IB exams are all short answer or essay exams

l     Exams are based on broad general understanding of concepts and fundamental themes

l     Only IB students enrolled in IB courses may take IB exams and receive IB credit

l     IB teachers work as a team to connect curriculum across the disciplines


l     IB seeks to create a cohort or peer group around all academics

l     Successful IB candidates receive an IB diploma for the full program or IB certificate for individual courses taken

l     Opportunities exist for the participation of the teacher and local school in shaping curriculum and international policies



IB/AP Official Publication