AP and IB Credits: a Head Start into College/University Success

AP, IB credits

Specialized high school programs like Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program can boost the student’s education, fast-tracking their academic progress in many ways. These high school programs offer higher-level courses that cover more material than regular classes and require independent work like research and analysis, letting the student experience a curriculum similar to classes at college and universities. 

If parents are interested in enrolling their children in the AP or IB program, the following is recommended:

  • AP: AP Exams are administered at many high schools and at exam centers in the US and Canada. Most U.S. colleges grant credit, advanced placement, or both for qualifying AP scores. Students can choose AP courses for college credits in 9th Grade or exclusively in 11th and 12th Grade.
  • IB: Parents should initiate IB Diploma program exploration when their child enters high school. Students aged 11-16 can enroll in the MYP for IB preparation. Worldwide schools offer the IB Diploma Programme

Graduating college/university on time, if not sooner, is a possible outcome of these benefits as well. A study found that 52% of high school AP students graduated in four years, surpassing the US national average of 37%.

These programs can also increase your child’s chance of acceptance in prestigious schools. As a notable example on the IB organization’s website, it states that US graduates who studied IB “are 21.4 per cent more likely to be admitted into 10 of the country’s most prestigious universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Stanford”. “IB students are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them”. “72% of students taking the IB in China attend one of the world’s top 500 universities, according to a 2013 study”.


Advanced Placement (AP)

The AP program curriculum readies high school students for college, providing leverage and stability in their academic journey. The non-profit College Board offers over 38 courses in 22 subjects, encompassing history, sciences, and Chinese language.

AP programs, available in 60% of US and 15,000 global high schools, equip students with vital college skills and academic excellence.

Earning College/University Credit: For a student to earn a credit that’s applicable to college/university, they will need to score well on an AP test, which takes place every year in May. Students can take the test without a full AP course, ideal for those without access or homeschoolers. With the scoring system ranging from 5 to 1 (5 being the highest score possible), colleges and universities generally accept 3s and up for transferable credit. If a student receives such a score, they may skip those first-year college/university courses. Supported by Kaplan Test Prep: 66% grant students (scored 3) exemption from entry-level courses, validating the AP impact. Lastly, to learn more about the AP program and their transfer credit system, click here.


International Baccalaureate (IB)

The IB program brings students into a rigorous, college-level curriculum with an emphasis on cultural awareness and global citizenship. IB is studied in 150+ countries, involving six subject areas at standard or higher levels: math, sciences, arts, societies, language, and language acquisition. The IB scoring system ranges from 1 to 7 for each course, with 7 being the highest score. They add the course scores together, with 42 being the highest possible score.

To achieve the IB diploma, students must fulfill core elements: extended essay, theory of knowledge, and a service project. Opting for IB certificates allows students to earn college credits in specific subject areas.

Earning College/University Credit: The IB diploma itself is accepted in 75 countries at over 2,000 universities, although some universities only accept credit from students completing higher-level courses. Colleges may accept the entire IB diploma for credit or grant credits based on individual subject area test scores. For example, New York University (NYU) accepts grades of 6 to 7 in higher-level courses for credit depending on the program requirements. Lastly, to learn more about IB and their transfer credit system, click here.


Enrolling in AP or IB programs fosters academic growth and readies students for college, maximizing their potential.

Worried about the demanding course loads of these advanced programs? At MathProject, we offer free consultations to assist students with workload, exam prep, and fostering responsibility and project management skills. Contact us today at 1-844-628-4243 to book a free assessment, and enter a chance to win a free month at MathProject

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IB IBT SciTech PREPARATION – megamindlearning.com
What is an IB education? –ibo.org
Global key findings of International Baccalaureate programme – ibo.org
AP Credit Policy Search – apstudents.collegeboard.org
What Is AP? – apstudents.collegeboard.org
More AP Success; Racial Gaps Remain – insidehighered.com
The Pros and Cons of AP Classes – secure.cfwv.com
AP Program – professionals.collegeboard.org
Getting IB diploma credit at US colleges and universities – blogs.ibo.org
What is IB College Credit and How Does It Work? – study.com
Why the IB Diploma Programme is ideal preparation for university – ibo.org
Are AP® Students More Likely to Graduate from College on Time? – files.eric.ed.gov
Guide for IB students applying to US institutions – ibo.org