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Debate: AP vs IB

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This House prefers Advanced Placement to International Baccalaureate.

Background and context

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Accessibility: Which programme is better accessible?

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AP

  • AP is more accessible. AP is more accessible to students who do not have any of these programmes at school, because - unlike IB - no special course is required before taking the exam. This means that a home schooled student can take APs, but nor IB.
  • The College Board makes all AP syllabus available online, for free. IB's course guides are proprietary and must be purchased from the IB Store at a significant cost.
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IB

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Quality: Which course is better? Can it be measured?

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AP

  • Re-scoring of multiple choice questions is possible. AP provides the opportunity for students to have the multiple choice section of an exam to be re-scored ($25 per exam), whereas IB offers no such opportunity.[1]
  • Official transcripts."AP provides students with the opportunity to have their official AP transcripts sent automatically to five schools they are considering attending free of charge. IBO charges students $12 for each school a student wants their official IB grades sent to: IB does allow one free submission to a U.S. university, two to a Canadian university, if the student somehow has the foresight to request this option in September before the May exams." [2]
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IB

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On-line support: Which course offers better and easier accessible materials?

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AP

  • Links to definitive research, not marketing. Unlike IB web site (which is all about brochures, templates, etc.), AP offers links to past research, materials for some exams, data going back at least 10 years, information for AP teachers from college professors teaching the same courses in the Universities, and links to curriculum sites open to the public.
  • IB curriculum sites are proprietary, unlike the AP sites.
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IB

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Recognition: Which diploma is more widely accepted/recognized?

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AP

  • North America. AP is more recognized in Canada and the United States than IB. [3]
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IB

  • Europe. IB is more recognized than AP in Europe. [4]
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Success: Which of these is better when applying to a college?

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AP

  • AP receives more credit. "...the University of Virginia gave just nine academic credits to a J.E.B. Stuart High School graduate with an IB diploma, after two years of IB courses, while the university gave her oldest daughter, Ellen, 36 credits — a full year of college work — for AP courses taken at Woodson." "Fairfax 'backlash' ousted IB program", The Washington Times, January 2004
"Students and parents at George Mason complained that it is harder to get college credit for IB courses than for AP courses because the international program is smaller and less familiar to colleges." "In AP-vs.-IB Debate, A Win for the Students",by Jay Mathews, Washington Post, December 2004


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IB

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Future: Which of these courses prepares you better for college?

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AP

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IB

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See also

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