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Are Ib Programs Worth It

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Do Universities Prefer Ib

is the IB diploma worth it? from a 45 student (high school vs. college)

IB: College Admissions. When it comes to applying to college, just like with the SAT/ACT, theres no curriculum that colleges prefer. When choosing between AP and IB curricula, students should take the one that is the better fit for them and their goals. Both will prepare students for the rigors of higher education.

What Are The Differences Between The Ib And Ap

Compared to the AP, the IB is harder and costlier. Its also the less popular of the two, given the fact that fewer US high schools offer IB classes and fewer high schoolers take them, too. However, the IB is recognized by more colleges and universities worldwide and has a more structured program.

Before anything else, its a must for students planning to take IB or AP classes to know the things that set the two apart. This will allow them to have an idea of what they are about to get themselves into.

Knowing the key differences will let them know which one is more suited for their college goals.

What Is Ib Or International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968, the non-profit organization International Baccalaureate is headquartered in Geneva Switzerland. The organization offers four programs ranging from primary years to career-related and works.

Students who participate in IB are between the ages of three and 19 years of age. According to the IB, the programs develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. IB courses encourage students to think critically and are more challenging.

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Background History And Philosophy

The IB program launched in the United States in 1971, but began in Geneva in 1968. Its an international program, with a focus on global education, meant to create students who can function in a globalized society.

When educators refer to IB programs at American high schools, theyre typically talking about the IB Diploma Program, which is the IB curriculum designed for students between the ages of 16-19that is, grades 11-12.

Students working toward an IB diploma must study across six subject groupslanguage and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, and the artsand a core set of disciplinary approachestheory of knowledge , creativity, activity, service and the extended essay. Your child can take IB courses at standard level or high level . To earn the IB diploma, at least three HL courses must be taken.

Its possible to take a few IB courses individually, but IB was developed with the intent of being a comprehensive program.

Comparing Goodness Of Fit For Gifted Students: Ap Vs Ib

National Curriculum to A levels/IB: is the shift worth it ...

In 2011, Jay Mathews, the noted Washington Post education columnist, led a Davidson seminar comparing goodness of fit between Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes for gifted students.

Some key points from the article:

  • Seeking flexibility? Advanced Placement courses may be the better option.
  • If your student is an 11th or 12th grader and you are choosing between AP and IB, Mathews feels IB is the better program.
  • What do college admissions officers prefer? They love both fervently and equally. If you have taken 5 IB exams but not done the full diploma, you are still going to be regarded an identical, at least in that dimension, to the student who has taken 5 AP exams.

Other tidbits:

View Jay Mathews full discussion here:

Much of the discussion centered around parents who were concerned about students who were working far above grade level and trying to figure out how to keep them engaged without being forced to enroll them in college at age 12.

HOWEVER, and I capitalize that word for a reason, if your student is an 11th or 12th grader and you are choosing between AP and IB, in my mind IB is the better program. The principal reason is that it has significantly more emphasis on writing than AP. The IB exams, unlike AP, rarely have multiple choice questions. Students must answer in essay form and their answers graded by human beings.

The failure to emphasize writing in that way is a scandal. But it is true.

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Wrapping Things Up: Is Ib Worth It

Why choose IB programs? IB programs will prepare you for advanced courses in college and with other applied skills critical for professional development! The main thing to remember is that choosing IB programs over AP will be based on your personal and professional career goals.

If you are interested in cultivating your writing skills and in extending your understanding of cultures outside of your own through a critical lensthen you might actually enjoy the IB diploma requirements!

At this point, youve learned about the advantages and disadvantages of the IB program with our brief list of pros and cons along with some common criticisms of IB programs vs AP programs. Make sure to apply this information when deciding to choose IB programs to reach your academic goals.

Did you enjoy this post? Then youll love the other high school study tips. Check them out below:

Why Are Ib Classes Worth Taking

The IB classes are unique from other advanced classes, like an honors-level class or Advanced Placement courses, because they fit into the educational ecosystem created by IB. The classes are part of the IB diploma and intentionally developed to promote interdisciplinary learning and critical thinking across different fields of study.

Furthermore, all classes within the IB diploma program advance the goals of developing students within the learner profiles, and this consistent approach further enhances the relationship between all classes within the IB program.

What are the IB Subjects?

The IB diploma begins in Grade 11, and focuses on three core elements

  • the theory of knowledge, where students reflect on how we know what we know
  • the extended essay, which requires students to write an independent research paper, and
  • the CAS project, which stands for creativity, activity, and service, which requires students to create a project based on those three themes.

The classes within the IB diploma fall under six subject groups: studies in

  • mathematics
  • and the arts

As part of the diploma, students select classes from each of these subject groups to create their own academic path. Some of these classes are one year courses , which require 150 hours of study. Other classes take place over two years, , and require 240 hours of study to complete.

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You Can Get A Graduate Degree

If your educational goals include an advanced degree, it’s worth looking into private graduate student loans. Working through a private lender, most prospective pupils can obtain enough money to pay for all degree-related expenses, take advantage of competitive rates, and get access to suitable repayment terms. This is especially helpful for current college grads who want to get their MBA, JD, or other specialty degrees to qualify for high-paying jobs.

Learn The Key Differences Between Ib And Ap Curricula

is IB worth it? our International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma Program) Experience

For high school students looking to make the most of their courses, choosing between an International Baccalaureate and AP curriculum is often a top priority. While both choices are academically rigorous and can lead to college credit, there are also profound differences between the two programs.

Before making your decision, its important to understand each option, as well as the curriculum available to you at your high school. Keep reading to learn more about how IB and AP curricula differ and what to consider before enrolling in courses.

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Ways Ib Program Can Ruin High School For You

Is IB Worth It? IB Can Be Really Stressful. Find Out About These 5 Ways In Which IB Program Can Ruin High School For You

You don’t need another article telling you how challenging the IB curriculum can be. I am sure you must have read loads of blogs showing you how to manage the workload. Taking IB classes in high school is not all rainbows and sunshine. It may have you sacrifice more than you would like to. One often wonders if the IB Program is worth it.

Do Colleges Prefer Ap Or Ib

Colleges typically do not state a preference for AP or IB courses. Both options are rigorous and can help you earn college credit depending on your exam scores. If your school only offers AP or IB, you may want to simply stick with what is available.

If your school offers both, you should decide which program would be the most beneficial for you. While you can take both IB and AP courses, pursuing the IB diploma and preparing for AP exams may prove challenging. Unlike the IB program, AP offerings allow you to only take courses in the subjects you choose.

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Should I Take Ib Classes In High School How To Determine If International Baccalaureate Courses Are Right For You

International Baccalaureate, or IB, classes, are a bit like AP classes, but not entirely. It depends on a lot of factors if you should take an IB class in high school. Well highlight those factors below.

Students may be confused when they have the opportunity to choose between IB and Advanced Placement courses. Here is some information about the IB programs and what makes them different from AP courses to help you make the decision if you should enroll in them.

Do Ib Or Ap Classes Have Better Teachers At Your School

Is IB Worth It: 5 Ways IB Program Can Ruin High School For ...

Does your school have the same or different teachers for AP and IB courses? What are their reputations? The quality of a teacher can make or break your experience in a class.

You can ask upperclassmen about their experience in certain classes, or see if there is a way you can look at syllabi from current and past years for AP and IB classes.

You can also ask your guidance counselor about the exam pass rates for different teachers. This can give you a sense of a class’s reputation and how many students are successful.

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Ib Exam Changes Due To Covid

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, May 2021 IB assessments will have two routes, exam and non-exam, depending on which your school chooses. Stay up to date with the latest information on what this means for IB diplomas, course credit for IB classes, and more with our 2021 IB COVID-19 FAQ article.

In Preparation For University Applications Many High School Students Enroll In International Baccalaureate Courses As An Alternative To Advanced Placement Courses To Challenge Themselves Academically And Set Themselves Apart From The Competition With College

If youâve got big dreams of attending a world-leading university, itâs critical to take higher-level courses throughout your high school career. Enrolling in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes allows you to challenge yourself academically with a college-level curriculum and rigorous coursework. Further, electing to take AP or IB classes illustrates your willingness to take initiative, explore areas of interest, and handle more demanding courses with more autonomy â all qualities that admissions officers look for in top applicants.

Additionally, taking AP and IB courses and scoring well on their respective exams can translate into class credits or allow you to skip introductory courses when you head off to college!

However, it can be difficult to decide which curriculum is a better fit for you. This is why itâs important to compare both AP and IB to understand the pros and cons of both! To learn more about what AP courses are and which ones may appeal to you, check out our blog on the hardest and easiest AP Classes.

To learn more about what IB courses are and why they may or may not be the right choice for you, keep reading!

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Why Would A Student Take Ap Classes Over Ib Classes

Now, we are going to focus on some factors that might encourage a student to take AP classes over IB classes. Its important to remember that this decision will ultimately depend on every individuals preference.

Enjoying this article? Get our 137-page guide to doing well in high school here.


AP programs have more flexibility. If families need more flexibility, students can usually take AP classes offered online. Whereas, online courses for the IB program are not always available and do not always count for the IB diploma requirements.


There is more accessibility to AP programs across the U.S. It might be more difficult to find schools that offer IB programs. If a student does not have access to these special opportunities, then it is likely that they will take the route that is most accessible to them.

Lack of awareness

Lack of awareness may also be another reason why a student would take AP over IB classes. Weve mentioned how IB programs are not as popular, not as commonit might be the case that someone would just take AP without actually knowing that there was another option.


Just remember to check in with your school first to see what opportunities are available!

Writing is hard

Doesnt fit with schedule and commitment

In this case, a student will likely choose AP over IB for the mere convenience of having it available to them in the same school they already attend.

AP vs. IB difficulty

The Pros Of The Ib Program

Top 10 Benefits of doing IB diploma programme | Is the IB Diploma worth it | Edu Ignites

1. Global Recognition

You canât go past the most obvious point in the IBâs favour â the international aspect.

The IB Diploma Program is recognised by all leading universities, which instantly puts you on the world stage and contextualises your application.

Regardless of where you sit your IB exams, the results mean the same thing, and theyâre understood by admissions officers.

Country specific programs donât have the same global reach, so itâs harder for universities to understand the results and compare you fairly to other candidates.

However, itâs important to understand that recognition doesnât necessary equate to value. As we talked about in this blog, the IB means more to US universities than it does to UK universities, so how much this âproâ weighs for you will depend on where you want to study.

2. University Preparation

The IB Diploma is effectively a âuniversity preparation programâ, in that it teaches you skills and ways of learning that will set you up to do well at a tertiary education level.

After two years of practice, itâs fair to say that you will have mastered fundamental skills such as university style report and essay writing, source citing, and how to conduct independent research.

So when you get to uni and your first assignment is a 4,000-word research report complete with academic references, this wonât come as a shock because youâve been there, done that in the Extended Essay component of the IB.

3. Well-rounded Education

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Only Ib Requires You To Enroll In Classes

You can take AP exams without being enrolled in an AP class, but you must be enrolled in an IB class to be able to take an IB exam. If you have proficiency in a language that’s not offered by your school or you want to self-study for a niche subject such as art history, then the AP program will give you more flexibility.

AP is a good option for students who like to study on their own.

Additionally, IB offers higher-level and standard-level courses. To get an IB diploma, you have to take at least three higher-level courses. AP courses are offered at a single level, though there are certain subjects, such as calculus and physics, that have different course options.

IB higher level is, at some high schools, considered harder than AP. Most colleges give credit for AP exams and higher-level IB exams, but not all give credit for standard-level IB exams.

You can search the AP credit policy of various colleges at the AP college database. The IB program doesn’t have a similar database, but you can look up the IB credit policy of any college or university by searching ” IB credit.”

You might be attracted to the IB program’s focus on writing and a broad education, or you might think the AP program’s flexibility makes it a better choice for you. Definitely take these differences into account as you make your choice.

But what do colleges think? Does one program have a reputation for being more rigorous?

What Is The International Baccalaureate Program

You’ve probably heard of this thing called IB, or International Baccalaureate. You might have heard that it’s kind of like the Advanced Placement, or AP, program.

I myself am a recipient of an IB Diploma from Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach, Florida. I know the program from the inside out. In this article, I’ll give you a factual overview of IB as well as my opinions.

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Is The International Baccalaureate Program Really Worth It

Well, its a hard question and you better ask yourself if you are ready to work hard for two years because IB will require you to. As you might heart from the video mentioned above -be ready to work hard. Especially WRITE. Write many different essays and papers such as Internal Assessments, ToK Essays, and the 4000 words extended essay, of course. It might sound tough, and in reality it is, but as a result, when you pass all these steps you receive an IB Diploma that shows that you are the one who CAN. Think about it.

If your aim is to apply to international universities and programs for further education, studying IB program will reflect well on your profile. All of these factors and a lot more encourages one to consider going for the IB program.

Apply for an IB program will go a long way for the student. Check the numerous programs offered by IBO and IB Global Schools and give it a shot. The benefits of IB education cannot be ignored when it comes to weighing the pros. You will surely grow as a mature, knowledgeable individual.

If you are an IB student or graduate, share your experience in the comments section below. Do not afraid to give your feedback. No matter if it is positive or negative, all thoughts are invaluable. Ill be happy to hear your ideas.

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