AP or IB


Shon Ponder, Staff Writer

Many high school students will have the option to extend their understanding of course material while the options are limited it comes down to two completely different choices; AP or IB. To get a full understanding of these two, it’s better to explain the methods of both options. AP or Advanced Placement is a program offered by the Collegeboard to offer college-level courses to high school students looking to obtain college credit. AP offers a wide range of college classes many pertaining to History, Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, English’s and Foreign Languages. With these in mind, it is important to note that these classes will be held over an extended period of time usually a semester-long, others are coupled with high school level equivalent, and others are coupled with another AP for dual college credit. AP has a pretty big underlining in their contract though; AP doesn’t base their credit off of individual success within the classroom they give credit from the results off of an AP test. This test determines whether or not one will or will not receive college credit from the course they had taken. The test is given at the end of the year in an off-campus testing location and will contain many sections that pertain to the course to challenge the taker to think logically about what they have learned throughout the year. The test, graded 1-5 has a pretty strict grading system those who score 3-5 would, in turn, pass the test, those who do not and score a 1-2 will not receive college credit for the course but can still receive high school credit if the student has passed the course within the school. Just because you pass the course off of a score within the exam doesn’t necessarily mean that the college you are attending will accept the score you have made. Those who are majoring in Biological Sciences and have scored a 3-4 on an AP Biology exam risk the college not accepting the credit; is that worth it? The jumps and hoops one would go through to successfully receive their college credit would result in too much fretting. On the contrary IB or in other words, Dual Enrollment is when a student is enrolled within their High School and also registered within the system of their local college to take college courses offered at the college they are attending. This way unlike AP has courses that are given by professors at the colleges such as Math 110/120, English 101/102, Psychology 201, and more. IB instead of giving credit based on an exam at the end of the year; IB gives you credit based on your performance in the class. Therefore a passing grade in college terms will be rewarded with college credit. This benefits the student as college credit is more easily accessible but most private colleges will not accept these credits and risk the question again, Is it worth it to take courses that you might not receive credit for the work? According to many sources, you will find that AP, “offers a curriculum that prepares students for harder level courses in college” but I personally disagree, AP offers a curriculum based on the principle that students who excel in their course would succeed in college. But taking the physical courses that are offered at a college prepares them for student life, as well as tasks needed to succeed within the college itself. AP while it gives a stricter standard does not compare when compared against the students that primarily take pre-requisite courses; dual enrollment students find themselves founded within the institution they are at, as well as accepting the responsibility that is needed for college life. In my opinion, the student would be better prepared as a dual-enrolled student than accepting the chance of AP’s harder and stricter plans to prepare students. But then again, the job of these courses is to help better the understanding of the course material; and as a whole… it seems to be working.