A Comparison of the IB and AP Programs

Advanced Placement International Baccalaureate
National Standard of Excellence International Standard of Excellence
College level courses Comprehensive curriculum of college-level work
Encourages academically talented students Encourages academically talented and highly motivated students

Courses & Exams

Students generally take AP exams in areas of strength. Six exams in six subject areas are required for the IB Diploma. Students must prepare in all areas: strengths as well as weaknesses.
Students do not have to be enrolled in an authorized school. Students must be enrolled in an authorized I.B. school.
Exams are graded externally through ETS and student marks assigned. Scores include teacher assessments as well as external assessments constructed and graded by educators from throughout the world.


Exams based on specific content of courses. Emphasis is on multiple choice. Exams based on broad, general understanding of concepts and fundamental themes. Exam questions emphasize essay writing.
Oral exam in foreign language. Oral assessment in language A & B and other disciplines. Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Action and Service.
Policies are determined by national educators. Policies are determined by international educators.