A Comparison of AP and IB


Mission Statement

We’re a not-for-profit membership organization committed to excellence and equity in education. Our mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity.

Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

AP allows student to:
- Gain the edge in college preparation.
- Get a head start on college-level work.
- Develop the study habits necessary for tackling rigorous course work.
- Stand out in the college admissions process.
- Broaden a student’s intellectual horizons.
The Diploma Program prepares students
for the university and encourages them to:
- ask challenging questions.
- learn how to learn.
- develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture.
- develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.

Convergent – Students ask what more than why
Divergent – Students ask why more than what

Students can select AP classes that fit their strengths and that are independent of one another.
IB promotes open access to students who are motivated to pursue a well-rounded education and a high level of performance in all six disciplines: English, World Language, Sciences, Math, Individuals and Societies, and the Arts/Electives, more closely reflecting the college experience.

AP classes move at a rapid pace surveying a broad spectrum of a particular discipline, similar to college entry-level survey classes.
IB courses are taught over a two-year period, to allow time for in-depth research, inquiry and analysis.

AP students may form peer groups within individual classes or disciplines, but this is not a goal of the program.
IB seeks to create a cohort or peer group around academics. IB Science students work together between science disciplines to create a group research project

AP teachers work within their discipline to support students; independently of other academic areas. Although it is encouraged, teachers do not have to attend AP training before teaching the course.
IB teachers work as a team that meets on a regular basis to support students and to connect the curriculum across disciplines. Teachers must attend training in order to teach an IB course.


Any student may take AP exams; specific courses are taught but are not a prerequisite for exams; IB students may take AP exams.



Only IB students enrolled in IB courses may take IB exams or receive IB credit. AP students cannot take IB exams without taking the IB course.

AP scores are based solely on the AP exam performance. The score is on a scaling of 0 to 5. AP students with exam scores of 3, 4, or 5 have the potential to earn college credit or advanced placement. (Colleges set their own policies.)

IB scores are based on classroom work done over time (Internal Exam) and on IB (External) exams. The score is on a scaling of 0 to 7. DP students who earn their IB Diploma are guaranteed at least 24 credits at a Colorado public university. DP students with individual exam scores of 4, 5, 6, or 7 have the potential to earn college credit or advanced placement. (Colleges set their own policies.)