IB or AP, which program is for me?

Sacred Heart Academy sees the value in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme and Advanced Placement (AP) courses and that is why we offer both! There are strengths to both options, and you should choose the one that fits your needs the best. As a sophomore, each student in any honors course(s) meets individually with the IB coordinator to establish a desired course plan. Some students choose to take both IB and AP courses.

Similarities in IB and AP

  • Both offer courses at the college level.
  • Students have the opportunity to earn college credit depending on their score in the course and according to their college’s IB/AP policy.
  • External assessments are required.
  • An 85% average or higher in honors-level prerequisite courses is required to be eligible for IB or AP courses.
  • IB and AP courses are ranked the same in the quality point index at SHA.
  • Both IB and AP courses require extra fees.

Differences in IB and AP

  • The IB Diploma Programme is a comprehensive program that is based on an integrated curriculum and requires extra components completed outside of the classroom. AP courses are independent of one another.
  • Many IB courses are taught over two years. IB course are offered at the Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL). All AP courses are one-year courses.
  • A student does not need to be enrolled in an AP course to take an AP test, while IB students must take the IB course (150 teaching hours for SL and 240 for HL in most circumstances).
  • AP scores are based solely on the examination taken in May. IB scores are based on the final examination as well internal assessments taken throughout the course. Examples of internal assessments are oral presentations, creating their own science experiment, or oral conversation in their chosen world language.
  • IB assessments are almost completely written based and very rarely use multiple choice. IB is based on international standards and exams will be sent all over the world to be scored.
  • While students can take individual IB certificate courses, it is a complete program and the curriculum focuses on in-depth study. AP courses are not meant to be taught alongside one another and are similar to an introductory college course.

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