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IB Highlight: IB vs AP

IB Question of the Week: What is the difference between IB and AP? (This is simplified.)
Structural Differences:
IB is an integrated program of study
• Critical thinking (within classes and in TOK class);
• Emphasis on writing skills (must write a 4,000 word essay);
• Essay exams, free response;
• Must take the class in order to take the exam;
• Must take entire program of courses (6 of them) + the Core to earn diploma;
• End-of-year IB tests are graded according to how well your exam demonstrates mastery of the stated course objectives;
• The criteria for each class is identical – regardless of where you register for it;
Grading is conducted by a team of experts whose work is closely monitored to ensure that that assessment is consistent between students.
You can also review the detailed description of the IB exam grading philosophy and process.

AP allows students to choose off of the “a la carte” menu
• Content based;
• Very limited time to teach writing and research skills in an AP course;
• Multiple choice 50% and essay exams 50%;
• Don’t need to take the class to take the exam;
• For most AP Exams, your score is a weighted combination of your scores on the 2 sections, multiple-choice and free-response;
• Some AP courses have assessments that include other scored components.

Philosophical Differences:
• The IB classes take a more international focus than AP courses.
“In an AP class, you may look very deeply at an issue and look at it from multiple perspectives,” says Matthew Nelson, director of advanced academics for Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee. “In IB, it would probably be more, still looking at an issue, but you may be looking at an issue over time and how it has impacted other parts of the world and how there is that connectivity to it all.”
Information was obtained from this Article in US News and World Report written on Dec. 4, 2019

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School Students recorded this week included learning piano, skiing, helping clean up after dogs, walking dogs, caring for chickens, making art, participating in Santa Express, participating in the Blood Drive, participating in Knowledge Bowl, and participating in door decorating.

Please refer to our IB page on our website for detailed IB information or email elizabeth.tender@sgs.org with any questions. As an overview, the Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE).