what is the difference between AP and IB? which would u choose? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 06-19-2011, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i get teh basic definition of AP and IB. 

 

what makes you choose between one or the other? 

 

is one more rigorous than the other? in our state the University of california does not make a difference between either of them and students from both are weighted equally. 

 

from what i hear from the students themselves, IB is more rigorous than AP. 

 

any thoughts?


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#2 of 15 Old 06-19-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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I know a major difference is that your IB credits are used as actual college credits and cannot be taken away where AP's are losing ground. They are weighted the same on your high school transcript but many universities will only take a certain amount of AP's, will let you use the AP's to get out of lower level classes but not give you actual units for them, won't take certain AP's depending on your major or whether they have the exact same class, ect. At this point, IB credits are are "surer bet" for starting college with units than than AP's.

 

Whether IB's are more rigorous than AP's probably depend on the instructor. With AP's as common as they are, the quality has gone down. Heck, you can earn AP's online in DD's district and I find it hard to believe they are getting the same quality education in the subject as someone actually in an AP or IB class.

 

Whether you go to an IB school or not depends on the school. We have several in our county but I wouldn't send my child to any of them for various non-IB related issues. It's a shame as it does some interesting and the kids we know involved in them seem to do really well there.

 

 


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#3 of 15 Old 06-19-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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Our district has 3 IB elementary schools, 2 junior highs and a school within a school for HS.  My Senior is taking AP and College Courses and my Sophmore is in IB at the same HS.  IB seems to definitely be more "work".  If your child is not good at time management, they will find IB difficult at least how they do it at our HS.  Kids that manage their time well do well, and often see it as no differrent as a regular HS.  It is price though.  The kids need to buy all their own books for literature because they are expected to take notes in them and then the thesis and the IB test is $800ish.  At our school there is also less freedom to take any electives outside of IB.  One of the biggest reasons my senior dropped out was that she couldn't take orchestra.

 

 

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#4 of 15 Old 06-19-2011, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

but I wouldn't send my child to any of them for various non-IB related issues. It's a shame as it does some interesting and the kids we know involved in them seem to do really well there.

uh oh u cant throw out this fact and not expect me to ask why?

 

is it a personal situation or u have something to do with the philosophy.
 

 


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#5 of 15 Old 06-19-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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LOL, I was honest in that our reasonings are totally non-related to the IB program. IB's in our county seem to be started to "save" failing schools which means they are typically in terrible areas and have had a long history of poor academics. This means the feeder schools tend to be weak as well and we were sort of surprised at the level kids entering were coming in at. The IB closest to us is in a very transient area... mostly low-income apartments and high crime rate. Families don't tend to stay longer than a couple years while they get on their feet. This means that while the small pool of students in the IB program are constant, the general population for the whole school (2000 kids) shifts constantly. The most viable option is 40 minutes away from us and with so many other viable options closer, just not amazing enough to justify.

 

On top of all that, most of our county IB's have little to no arts programming. The one closest has a film department but no theatre nor orchestra which my DD loves. We opted to send DD to a small perfoming arts magnet which has proven to be a good choice.

 

If my local district had an IB high school we would have seriously considered it but they didn't. I'm sure other county programs have great IB schools with strong feeder schools and more stable populations and safe areas. It's just my county really.


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#6 of 15 Old 06-19-2011, 11:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
On top of all that, most of our county IB's have little to no arts programming. The one closest has a film department but no theatre nor orchestra which my DD loves. We opted to send DD to a small perfoming arts magnet which has proven to be a good choice.

 

If my local district had an IB high school we would have seriously considered it but they didn't. I'm sure other county programs have great IB schools with strong feeder schools and more stable populations and safe areas. It's just my county really.



See -- from what I understand, this actually goes against the IB programs. In order to be a true IB program, you have to have arts as well as language, from what I understand.

 

My understanding is that there's a lot more writing in IB, and for that reason, I'd choose IB. The #1 problem most college freshman run into is the inability to write coherently. AP Physics isn't going to help if you can't pass Freshman English.


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#7 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 12:58 AM
 
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Let me correct myself, it's not that they have NO arts programs, they have none of the RIGHT programming for my DD. Like I said, the one closest has a film department but it's mostly documentary making which doesn't interest DD. Some have a band but that doesn't do a violinist much good. They may have visual arts but she's into directing, acting and playwriting. Some have choir but not musical theatre or drama. The IB's we researched had no dance whate-so-ever. Basically, the arts programs currently at our county IB schools are much more limited than we've been used to. That doesn't make them poor choices for other kids... only poor choices for ours.

 

They do have languages but that's also standard in all our high schools.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


 



See -- from what I understand, this actually goes against the IB programs. In order to be a true IB program, you have to have arts as well as language, from what I understand.

 

My understanding is that there's a lot more writing in IB, and for that reason, I'd choose IB. The #1 problem most college freshman run into is the inability to write coherently. AP Physics isn't going to help if you can't pass Freshman English.



 


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#8 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 05:56 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

 IB's in our county seem to be started to "save" failing schools which means they are typically in terrible areas and have had a long history of poor academics. This means the feeder schools tend to be weak as well and we were sort of surprised at the level kids entering were coming in at. The IB closest to us is in a very transient area... mostly low-income apartments and high crime rate. Families don't tend to stay longer than a couple years while they get on their feet. This means that while the small pool of students in the IB program are constant, the general population for the whole school (2000 kids) shifts constantly. The most viable option is 40 minutes away from us and with so many other viable options closer, just not amazing enough to justify.

 

 

 

This happens in our area too. There are only a few IB high schools in the public system. They've been located in historically underperforming schools in dodgy neighbourhoods, in an attempt at social engineering to increase the educational profile, income level and parent involvement in the school population. It means long bus rides for the students who come from a wide catchment area. The high schools were dual track - about half the students attended classes with the regular curriculum and half were enrolled in IB. IME, dual track schools can have big morale problems with internal squabbling over resources and jealousy/rivalry/cliques (almost gangs) between the two sets of students and parents, so I tend to be a little wary about them.

 

If IB was a good fit for my dc, it wouldn't have prevented us from choosing it, but these were factors to think about. 

 

Many/most of the public high schools offer AP courses. The AP courses have become almost a standard offering for an enriched academic stream in most schools. (Although there are no AP courses offered at my dc's performing arts school, and I'm unhappy about that). Here, it's much easier to select a school with an environment/attitude that suits your child and still access the AP program. 

 

To answer the OP, one factor that may make a difference in choosing between IB and AP is where your child wants to attend university. I believe IB is still better recognized and more accepted at European universities and it may give a student a slight edge in the application process, compared to AP. That's second-hand information and we didn't investigate European schools, since DS wants to attend uni here, so I welcome a correction or confirmation. 

 

 

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#9 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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Our assigned high school has an IB programme and the middle school that dd12 attended, which feeds into it, has an IB MYP.  She has elected to choice to a different high school for next year that has AP but not IB for a few reasons.  A good part of it is the demographics and that the assigned hs is in a district with lower academic standards in general.  She wants more challenge so she wants to attend hs in the district to the north of us and we are fortunate that we have the option of school of choice.

 

In regard to the original question though, I'm not sure if she would have gone with the IB programme even if she had attended the assigned school except to try to be grouped with a crowd with whom she would feel more at home.  The reason I'm not sure IB is the best fit for my dd is that we've gotten the impression that it is more about quantity than quality.  Her middle school had a lot of homework especially in the accelerated classes but there were also tons of kids getting straight As who weren't doing high level work.  Her lit teacher was of that opinion as well and said that he felt too many kids were coasting through as top students b/c they were fast, concientious workers who turned in things on time but whose academic skills were not advanced.

 

We attended an info session on IB with the high school IB coordinator a few years back as well and she stated that the IB diploma programme was not a gifted program and often not a good fit for gifted kids.  She saw it more as a program for kids who were hard, fast workers and willing to spend hours and hours on homework daily.  My dd12 is a deep, analytical thinker, but she is not a fast worker by any stretch of the imagination.  Piling more work on her is not a good fit for her.  She needs more challenging work, but not more quantity.  Now, of course, we're hearing from the hs she has selected that kids should expect 5 hrs of homework nightly if they are taking all three pre-AP classes offered to freshmen.  I really, really hope that they are wrong b/c dd simply cannot do that much homework and I wouldn't want her to.  I don't recall anything like that in my AP classes 20+ yrs ago.

 

A major difference I see btwn the two, though, is that you either do the entire programme for IB starting in 10th or 11th grade which is a huge time commitment, or you don't do IB.  With AP, you can take one AP class or five, so it seems like you can control the quantity a little better.  I have heard people saying the fewer schools are taking AP credits and I will definitely have to look into that with dd starting high school in the fall.  I'll direct her toward doing more dual enrollment (college) courses while in high school if possible if that is the case.  We've been told that many colleges won't give you credit for an IB diploma (i.e. that you may not come out with the one year of college done as expected).  However, I haven't looked as much into the IB claims since it isn't what dd is pursuing.

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#10 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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In doing a quick search, I'm seeing pretty much the same thing from the certifying organizations for IB and AP: you should check with your specific college b/c there is no guarantee that your credits will be accepted for college credit. 

 

From the IBO:

 

"The IB transcript team is not responsible for the university's acceptance of IB credits.

Each university has it's own system of accepting credit for student, so please check with the university first before requesting your IB transcript."

 

From the College Board:

 

"Individual colleges and universities, not the College Board or the AP Program, grant course credit and placement. Because policies vary by institution, you should obtain a college's AP policy in writing."

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#11 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 06:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristaN View Post

 

In regard to the original question though, I'm not sure if she would have gone with the IB programme even if she had attended the assigned school except to try to be grouped with a crowd with whom she would feel more at home.  The reason I'm not sure IB is the best fit for my dd is that we've gotten the impression that it is more about quantity than quality.  Her middle school had a lot of homework especially in the accelerated classes but there were also tons of kids getting straight As who weren't doing high level work.  Her lit teacher was of that opinion as well and said that he felt too many kids were coasting through as top students b/c they were fast, concientious workers who turned in things on time but whose academic skills were not advanced.

 

We attended an info session on IB with the high school IB coordinator a few years back as well and she stated that the IB diploma programme was not a gifted program and often not a good fit for gifted kids.  She saw it more as a program for kids who were hard, fast workers and willing to spend hours and hours on homework daily.  My dd12 is a deep, analytical thinker, but she is not a fast worker by any stretch of the imagination.  Piling more work on her is not a good fit for her.  She needs more challenging work, but not more quantity.  


This is our observation as well about IB. It just wouldn't have been a good fit for my dc, especially DS who still resists written work due to written expression issues. After years of working on it, he manages well for the most part but he would have resented the workload in an IB program. From what we saw, the work wasn't particularly engaging or inspiring even though it was challenging in terms of output.

 

My DC are very busy with extra-curriculars in the arts (music ensembles and theatre groups), sports, volunteer work and part-time jobs. They gain a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills with these activities. Likely, they would have had to curtail their activities if they enrolled in IB. Since the actual IB program didn't seem to suit their learning styles, they would have lost more than they gained by attending an IB school. 

 

I wish they had the chance to take a couple of AP courses though. I think DS would have enjoyed AP level science courses, since he found the traditional "academic" university-track science courses to be pretty easy. DD would also benefit from more challenging courses. I agree that a benefit of the AP program is the ability to pick and choose a few AP courses according to interest and ability, rather than be obligated to take all courses at the AP level. 

 

 

 

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#12 of 15 Old 06-20-2011, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Piling more work on her is not a good fit for her.  She needs more challenging work, but not more quantity.  

aaaaaah ty for this. this is dd too. very important info for me to know. right now if there was a school that accelerated the years coursework and did some more - that would be a great 

 

however this is all waay into the future. however i feel i need to make up my mind about IB because there is an IB middle school i'd then like to send dd to if the program is right for us. 

 

fortunately the only IB school is in a good school district but would mean a great deal of change in our family life since right now its at the other end of the city. 

 

the reason why i asked is coz its the only school that does serious projects compared to other schools. the projects are in environmental sciences and arts too. dd enjoys projects. not the reading and research online kind, but the hands on kind. the IB program in our city is well know for that kind of projects. our local univ not sure if they actually give college credits to the program or not, but they do recognise  both AP and IB.  i have to look into this further. private schools are out of reach for our family. but then college is far away for us - if it even will be in the running. however at some point of time i know dd wants to do international high school or even univ (if she so desires).  

 

dd's education is such a nightmare for me. the schools are so not a good fit for her. they are just too slow for her. and the repeatition gets to her. its extremely frustrating for me coz i see a great fit for her - in my country of birth. we started a simple flavor of calculus in 8th grade. dd is the kind who is slow at first. the concepts take time and then she runs with it. 

 

i had a whole different view of waldorf. rather a 'first graders' view of waldorf. now i've met some middle schoolers and even high schoolers and am really looking into that too. 


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#13 of 15 Old 06-21-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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I am a former high school teacher of both IB and AP courses and a former AP Coordinator and college counselor.  In the United States, AP is FAR more accepted for college credits at major universities.  Outside of the US, IB is more accepted.  In the US, for education, I would pick IB, for college credits, AP.

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#14 of 15 Old 07-30-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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Do your research about IB- PYP-MYP- We have been in a PYP school for 4 years and I am so ready to be out of it- The PYP program focus is on learner profiles,beliefs and attitudes- The school curriculum revolves around the IB program and being a global citizen, community organizing- I feel this is a critical time in my childs life - and she should not be being taught attitudes and beliefs by the school- That is mom and dads job not the school- Most programs at the school are in a foreign language and the school centers everything around the learner profiles and globalization- www.truthaboutib.com is where I found alot of information about the costs and roots of this program- please do your research - I am taking my kids out as soon as I can-

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#15 of 15 Old 08-13-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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Personally, I would choose AP just because I've had personal experience with it, and the reading I've done indicates that not *too* much has changed since I was involved in the program.  I've heard lots of good about IB, but I've also heard some bad... mostly that it's a lot of WORK, but not always work that benefits the student.  Whereas AP... it's much more dependent on the student.  Students tend to get out of the AP classes/test what they put into it. 

 

I took a bunch of AP classes in high school, and it helped me to graduate from college in 2.5 years.  In general, it was a great program for me.  I loved that it allowed me to pick out which AP classes I wanted to take, without being committed to an entire program.  I took a bunch of AP classes at high school, but I also attended a local university for other classes.  My understanding that that sort of arrangement wouldn't have been possible if I'd been enrolled in an IB program.  For example, I took AP biology, AP European history, AP chemistry, AP music theory and AP American history in high school.  But I took honors calculus, English lit, macro econ, and music history classes at a local university.  Some of the classes I took at the university would not have been available to me if I had been dedicated to taking only high school classes. 

 

My kids are only entering Jr. High now, but I plan to encourage them to take AP classes as well as attendend college classes while they're in high school.  It worked out well for me, and I suspect that a similar program would work well for them.  Then again, I don't know of any good IB programs in my area ;)


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