IB vs AP: Which One is the Better Option?

What are important things for students to consider when looking at IB and AP classes?


Gloria Namgung, Editor-in-Chief

In schools across the nation, millions of high school students every year come across the situation of deciding what courses to register for high school the following school year.  Two major programs that exist in schools today are the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses. 

Many students encounter the struggle of deciding which program to choose and which one would be the best fit for them. Several questions arise like Which one is more difficult? What program best matches my interests? How diverse are the courses?

Counselor, Craig Quintana, could answer a few of these questions. 

“Typically, IB is for those students who have an interest in all subjects,” said Quintana, “But AP is kind of the path for students who may be stronger at particular subjects,”

Whilst IB offers more diversity and opportunity as a program, AP has the ability to spotlight an individual’s personal talents.

“Yes, AP is challenging this year as a junior but I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay in and continue the program my senior year,” Junior, Brian said as a student partaking in Advanced Placement courses.

Michael Ady, head of both AP and IB departments could be an important source of information during these times especially while students are blinded by indecision in the class registration. 

“The IB program, you know, it’s comprehensive. Meaning, IB students will be taking higher levels like honors-level classes whereas, AP gives students the ability to choose what they want to study at a higher level,” he said.

In general, the International Baccalaureate program is more geared towards students that are comfortable with excelling in more than one subject. On the other hand, Advanced Placement is for students that want the ability to choose what subjects they’re most strong in.

“I would say for going through high school, IB is more challenging just because you’re taking all high classes and everything at a higher level and it can be pretty intense,” he adds.

Every student differs in which path they will take to succeed for their own good. Whether IB or AP, each program offers many opportunities and experiences to get one outside of their comfort zone.