DAA Daily

Is the IB pathway better than the AP pathway?

By Adrian Salazar, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint

Now that the first semester is over, many sophomores are plagued with the question of what pathway is best for them. With the two best options clearly being IB and AP, many students wonder which one they should pick. Each pathway offers different benefits depending on the requirements of different colleges in different countries. This article aims to help you make an informed decision regarding your future pathway which will help you both academically and mentally.

No pathway is directly better than the other. Both programs offer challenging classes that help students improve how they manage their time. In addition, AP and IB courses are both rigorous which appeals to universities. Both pathways also help boost research, communication, and analytical problem solving skills. 

The AP Pathway was based in New York and is most desirable for American Universities (Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc). The AP pathway is very closely linked to the first year of college because your AP exam scores may allow you to omit some freshman college courses. Even though AP is most closely viewed for American universities, over 60 countries recognize The AP pathway as a rigorous course that boosts your chance of going to university. One of the most important things in the AP pathway is the AP exam. At the end of the unit, you will need to take an AP exam. This exam will cover all the material in a year in one 3 hour exam. This exam is graded out of  5 and anything above a 3 or 4 is considered good and will likely allow you to omit a freshman college course. The Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID) is an award given to students outside the United States. These special award winning students displayed outstanding academic understanding of their AP courses and are looked very favorably among universities 

The International Baccalaureate (IB) was founded in 1968 to give students the opportunity to get a diploma that all universities would look favorably upon . This diploma is internationally recognized but most useful outside the United States. Anyone who completes the IB will strive in writing essays, analyzing documents, critical thinking, and problem solving. Karin Purcell, at Marymount International School London shares that IB students have a strong advantage. One of the main cons of  The IB system is that it is a pure all rounder course and some argue that because of this it is too broad for those wishing to specialize. For example if a student wants to take engineering in university, they only need to study math and science but the IB will force them to also take english and fine art classes. The IB takes two years to complete, so it is difficult if students move schools as their classes will be disrupted in the middle. IB diploma scores are calculated out of 7 and with a student taking 6 courses they can get a maximum score of 42 plus an extra 3 for the core IB components. A minimum of 24 points is required for an IB diploma.

All in all, both pathways offer excellent opportunities to students depending on where they want to go to university and what they want to study. The IB is mainly favorable for those who want to study in the UK or any places outside the US. The AP pathway is best for those who want to specialize in specific subjects and don’t want to take two year long courses.

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