What is the difference between IB & AP?
A distinguishing factor is that both “Internal Assessments” and “External Assessments” determine the student’s final grade/college credit in a course. AP grades are determined by one exam. For example, students take the IB exams in May of junior and/or senior year. This is External Assessment, which comprises approximately 70% of the student’s IB grade. The other 30% (may be more or less) is determined by Internal Assessment (teacher evaluation, moderated by IB) that the student completes before the exam may be taken.
IB is a program, not a single (or several “singles”) course/class, as is AP.
IB is a two-year curriculum, not a single year and exam in May.
IB is an interdisciplinary curriculum with an international perspective. International-mindedness is a distinguishing component of each IB subject.
Most important distinguishing factor: The IB CORE
Many universities (Stanford, Princeton, Duke, MIT, Emory, Notre Dame, etc.) include “TOK & EE additional points… in admissions decisions.”
For a complete explanation/presentation of TOK, EE, and CAS, please visit and click on “Diploma Programme.” Here you will also find a detailed description of the IB Diploma Programme Model (6 groups of study).
Students frequently present their EE to college-admissions committees and discuss with expertise the topic (which may be the student’s choice of major for college).
Colleges/universities like to see the “community service” requirement of IB—CAS.
In Texas, the state legislature has mandated that all public colleges and universities award a minimum of 24 hours of college credit to students who receive the IB Diploma (with scores of “4” or higher in each subject on a scoring scale of “1” to “7”).
The IB TOK curriculum and Extended Essay are “criteria for admission” to such universities as Stanford and Harvard.
IB students develop lifelong skills in discipline, prioritizing, motivation, etc., and are well prepared for college/university classes. They are articulate, well informed, reflective, and open-minded. They carry their “IB skills” into the workplace.
Language A: English—essays and an oral
Language B: Language Acquisition—one oral
Individuals & Society: History of the Americas—investigative research paper
Experimental Sciences: Chem, Bio, Physics. Comp Sci—labs, client solution, Group 4 Project
Mathematics: Studies or Standards—portfolios or project
Visual Art & Deisgn—studio work and investigative notebook
Music--Creating, performing, group or solo work & musical investigation
TOK—Theory of Knowledge classes
CAS—Creativity, Activity, and Service component