What is the difference between AP and IB classes?

What is the difference between AP and IB classes?

In order to promote a child’s overall development, many parents tend to send their children abroad for foreign education and culture immersion. When students apply for college, they have to provide a variety of materials such as: TOEFL and IELTS scores, high school transcripts and Letter of Recommendations. Amongst them, AP and IB courses are also helpful to a student’s college application for many reasons.

Let’s have a look at the differences between AP & IB classes and the advantages of taking them.

IB Classes

The International Baccalaureate is a European-based academic program for children and teenagers. In China, it is also an international diploma course provided by the International Diploma Organization (IBO). It provides intellectual, emotional, and social skills through courses targeted for international students aged 3-19.

These programs will prepare teenagers for college through learning key subject areas such as math, science and the arts. Students need to study not only science projects but also humanities subjects, and also participate in extracurricular activities.

As you can see, IB pays more attention to the overall development of students and focuses on the development of critical thinking skills. Although the IB program holds a relatively small percentage in the US curriculum, it is still a strong admission ticket for college entrance in the United States and Canada

AP Classes

Advanced Placement (AP) classes are a set of standardized college-level classes developed by the College Board, an entirely U.S.-based program. In China, it is also known as a pre-university course taught by the American University Council and it is part of the high school education system.

Unlike the IB Diploma program, APs weren’t created with the notion of delivering a cohesive curriculum. AP courses offer many different subjects in Arts, History and Social Sciences, English, Mathematics and Sciences. The main target of the course is higher-learning high school students. Almost all US and Canadian colleges accept AP scores for placement or credit. This can help students learn and complete some university courses in advance, reducing the cost and pressure of university studies.

AP courses focus on courses that teach students specific content, providing students with more options and focusing on studying a problem from multiple perspectives. If you have already decided on your major in University, then this program is good for you as you can pick the classes you want. Generally speaking, AP courses are goal-oriented, but there is no systematic education system, which is not conducive for the comprehensive development of students.

Which is better?

The IB course is a systematic program that requires holistic learning whereas AP courses are more subject-oriented. Choosing either one has become a tricky situation as both are well-respected by admissions officers and both are able to prove students’ learning capabilities.

The biggest difference between the IB and AP courses is that AP is the more popular and ideal class to take if student aims to apply to US or Canadian schools. The IB course is international based and provides a holistic approach to learning.

Deciding on which program to take will largely depend on your goals and the subjects you are interested in taking.

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