How is the IB Program different than Advanced Placement (AP)?

The IB experience is not just a way to learn, it’s a way of life and, for more than 1,250,000 students each year, the way to a better, more peaceful world.

 What is the difference between IB and AP?


  1. Both are rigorous programs devoted to educational excellence; each program sets high performance standards for students and faculty.
  2. Both programs involve dedicated and creative teachers committed to their students, their disciplines, and their profession.
  3. Both programs attract highly motivated students who wish to excel academically and attend the most selective colleges and universities.
  4. Both programs provide for articulation with middle-school curricula, IB through its Middle Years and Primary Years Programs, and AP through its Pre-AP program and its K-12 initiative.
  5. Both programs have attracted the attention of international educators, educational policymakers, and the general public as ways to improve the quality of education around the world.
  6. Both programs value students doing independent research, thinking and writing. IB students are expected to produce a 4,000-word Extended Essay as a formal requirement of the IB Diploma. AP teachers and IB teachers typically require students to write extended research essays, papers, and reports that involve the use of both primary and secondary sources and that also require independent thinking, analysis, and interpretation.
  7. In support of the academic programs, both AP and IB offer extensive professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators.