IB vs. AP – A Student Perspective


By : Nicholas Meury

IB or AP –The great question everyone asks when planning their final years of high school.  Now the time has come for tenth graders to make the choice between two paths, a great schism dividing two parts of the school.  And as many of you know, there is quite a lot to be said about each program by students, family, and teachers alike, each offering their own opinions and perspectives. Among IB students for instance, it is a common trend to talk about heavy homework loads and little time for social interaction, a warning to all would-be participants. AP  students seem less involved in storytelling, and fewer in number. I have heard however, that unlike IB, which assigns a constant flow of “busy work” to stimulate the minds of its participants, AP courses are college level classes, which focus on a final exam at the end of the year, determining your  proficiency in the subject.  For those of you who like structure, it seems that the IB program is for you, offering three core requirements, theory of knowledge, CAS hours, and an extended essay, as well as a well-rounded education of six different subjects. The IB program

is good for studying internationally; however, the United States is an exception, though some universities are beginning to recognize the IB diploma in addition to AP.

Every college has its own rules, and no matter where you choose to go after ZIS, there will remain a cloud of uncertainty. And as far as making that leap into the beginning of a new world of opportunities, listening to advice and opinion valuable and can help you make an informed decision, but in the end it all comes down to what you want, and what suits you best.

You have heard the facts, perspectives from current AP and IB students, as well as my own interpretation and view of the subject. And whether you are still undecided or confident on your choice, I hope that you enjoy and experience a memorable time here at ZIS – I know I have so far. If you are already enrolled in a program, I wish you the best in your studies and success facing the “real world.”  I would also like to add, that there is a third choice, one may simply graduate from ZIS with a regular high school diploma, there’s no shame in that, graduating from such as school alone is a credential in itself.

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