IB VS AP: Which Is Better For Admissions In Top Colleges

by Ignite Training Institute

In case, you’ve finally made the decision to start thinking about your college admissions. IB (International Baccalaureate) or AP (Advanced Placement) might be the right choice for you. Since both these programmes have their own unique benefits, how do you decide which is right for you?

Ignite Training Institute is here to help you make the right decision. Starting with, let’s take a look at the basics of each programmes: The IB course is a globally-recognized curriculum that covers a wide range of academic topics in depth. That being so, if you’re looking for a well-rounded educational opportunity & want to challenge yourself academically, then IB is the way to go.

On the other hand, AP is more focused and helps specialize in college-level coursework. If you’re looking for a chance to get started on your college career as soon as possible, then AP is a perfect choice for you.

In this post, we have broken down the basics of both programmes that shall help you decide which is the best fit for your academic goals. Furthermore, Ignite Training Institute offers the best educational support for international curriculums in UAE. Let’s get started!

Overview Of The IB Programs

IB programmes, developed in Switzerland are offered by IB World Schools around the globe and focus on offering well-rounded academic training via choices in 56 classes.

If you’re looking to adapt to a more global perspective, then an IB program might be a better fit for you.

Students here are exposed to both higher-level & standard-level courses in their IB coursework. As the IB Diploma is a two-year programme that requires you to take up three higher-level courses compulsorily. This not only leads to personal and academic growth but helps gain a globally recognized diploma.

Overview Of The AP Programs

AP programs were first developed in the USA to help school-going students prepare for ideal colleges. It offers academic opportunities in 38 different subjects to develop the necessary proficiency for college.

In case you’re willing to attend a top university in the USA or elsewhere worldwide (in 120 countries), then you’ll likely want to choose an AP programme. These courses are run side-by-side with your school’s academic processes. It helps build a critical understanding of the subject matter. 

No matter what you decide, Ignite Training Institute can help you reach your goals. We offer expert tutoring for both IB and AP courses, so you can get the personalized help you need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more!

IB VS AP: Pros & Cons

ib vs ap difficulty

So, in case you’re still deciding between IB and AP. Both are great programmes with their own advantages and disadvantages. So let’s have a look at IB VS AP: pros and cons.

Pros & Cons Of IB (International Baccalaureate)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme offers a well-rounded education that helps students gain a global perspective. It’s ideal for students who want to study abroad or pursue a career in international business. Additionally, IB offers a choice among 56 classes (HL & SL individually) in a broader & holistic manner.

Candidates are required to enroll in an IB class to appear for IB examinations consequently. As it lays emphasis on writing & developing a critical approach, students are assessed based on internal examinations & final tests. There are over 5500+ IB World Schools offering IB courses in 153 different countries.

IBDP‘s Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) component emphasizes strongly on emotional and social growth through extracurricular activities. 

Pros & Cons of AP (Advanced Placement)

The Advanced Placement (AP) programme is a great opportunity for students, and it’s more widely available than IB. The AP courses can give you a leg up when applying to college, and they can help you earn college credits extensively. It offers a choice among 38 classes (subject-specific) taken up by students at an individual level.

Candidates do not have to enroll in a class to give AP exams. They can self-prepare or take external support from outside. As the programme is aimed to help students learn specific content in niche subjects, students need to answer multiple-choice questions in the exams. There are about 22,000 schools offering AP in the USA, & others worldwide.

So, which should you choose? It depends on your goals and interests. If you’re looking for a well-rounded education with a global perspective, IB is the way to go. If you’re looking for a more challenging program that will give you a leg up when applying to college, AP is the way to go.

IB VS AP Difficulty

The International Baccalaureate programme isn’t harder than AP. The IB programme is more well-rounded, encompassing service learning, extended essay writing, and theory of knowledge.

IB grades are 1-7, with 7 being the highest. A passing IB score is 4. On a 5-point scale, 5 is the highest grade for AP students. College credit requires a 3 or above.

Top colleges around the world don’t consider the two programmes more difficult than each other automatically. It’s important to understand that IB is a rarer program comparatively. 

So when it comes to difficulty, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in a more well-rounded educational experience, then the IB program is probably a better fit. However, if you’re looking for a more traditional academic route, then the AP program may be a better choice.

How To Choose The Right Program For College Admissions

Now that you know the basics of IB and AP, it’s crucial to decide which program is right for your college-level preparation. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision:

First, think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve by taking IB or AP courses? Are you looking to get a head start on college credits? Or are you more interested in academic challenges and personal growth?

Next, consider your schedule. Do you have the time to commit to an IB or AP program? These programs can be demanding, so it’s important to make sure you’re up for the challenge.

Finally, talk to your parents, teachers, and guidance counselor. They’ll be able to give you more information about each program and help you make the best decision for your unique situation.

#1 Tutors for IB & AP In UAE

ib vs ap difficulty

You’re not the only one deciding between IB & AP. It’s a significant decision with lasting consequences. Ignite Training Institute offers expert tutoring support for both IB and AP. Our team of professional trainers helps students ace their courses and tests.

The institute takes pride in helping students maximize their potential. Our academic consultants & certified trainers will help you with course choices, training, & exam preparation.

However, when it comes down to the initial question. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to choosing IB or AP. The critical factor is that you choose the program that’s right for you.

Related: How To Find The Best Coaching Institute In Dubai?


1. What’s The Difference Between IB & AP?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a two-year curriculum offered by select schools worldwide, while the Advanced Placement (AP) program is a series of courses and exams offered by the College Board in the United States & worldwide. Both programs are designed to challenge high-achieving students and prepare them for college-level work.

2. Which Programme Is Better – IB or AP?

The IB & AP programmes are both comprehensive courses that help develop full competency. The course that fulfills your individual academic needs and goals is better for your future. As both programs offer rigorous academic challenges, so it really comes down to which program best fits your learning style and interests.

3. How To Decide Which Programme To Choose Amongst IB & AP?

The best way to decide which program is right for you is to consult with an expert who can assess your individual needs and help you make an informed decision. That’s where we come in! Our team at Ignite Training Institute can help you determine which program is right for you and provide you with the resources and support you need to succeed. Connect with our expert consultants.


So, what’s the verdict? Which programme you choose depends on your needs and goals. IB is a tough and rigorous academic programme. If you want college credit early, opt for AP classes & score well in the examinations.

Students can do both as well. If you think you have the time to manage both programs in your schedule, attempt both. Over-preparedness never hurts. Ignite Training Institute can help you reach your goals in no time. Contact us now to get started with your IB or AP coaching.