July 6, 2012
Question: My school adopted this system called the IB Program. We choose the courses that we all want to take (limit is 6) and we are required to make 3 or 4 of the courses higher level, and the rest standard level. Apparently, HL courses count as AP exams, and so we are never required to take the AP exams. But these days I'm hearing from people that I should take AP exams in addition to the IB exams that we take after 2 years. Does that mean I should take AP exams for all HL courses as well or only SL courses? Or should I simply not take any AP exams at all?
If you take the IB exams, there is no need to take AP exams. If you do well on your IB exams, you will receive credit in those areas at most colleges. Note, however, that different colleges will give you different amounts of credit for your IB tests. In other words, a score that is acceptable at one institution may not be acceptable at another. Sometimes credit policies will even vary from department to department within the same college or university. This is also true for AP credit.
Good luck with your IB program. IB is well respected among college admission officials, especially if you earn the full IB diploma. However, IB is fairly common these days so, although it is indeed respected, it won't help you to really stand out in the crowd at the most selective universities, but it will certainly work in your favor.