Cookeville High School is an International Baccalaureate World School.
Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate: Which Program is Right for You?
Colleges want to see you challenge yourself as much as possible in the context of your high school, and will not compare curriculum options across high schools. The majority of colleges do not have a preference between AP and IB classes, so you should instead focus on challenging yourself as much as possible with the classes available to you at CHS.
The Advanced Placement (AP) Program
The AP program offers students a challenging, fast-paced learning environment. CHS offers AP classes beginning in the freshmen year, and students can pick which individual subjects to take at the AP level.
- AP courses are designed to be hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Whether students are analyzing primary source documents in a history class or monitoring the respiration rate of plants in a biology lab, the delivery of content extends far beyond rote memorization.
- Students are expected to manage their time and workload independently, just as they will in college.
- Students with strong scores may be granted college credit or advanced placement by the colleges where they matriculate. Every college accepts these exams differently, offering credit and/or placement based on different cutoff scores.
- If you are in an AP class at CHS, you must take the AP Exam for that subject.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme
The IB Programme provides students with a globally-relevant knowledge base as well as a strong toolkit for identifying, analyzing, and communicating problems, ideas, and solutions.
- The IB Programme seeks to develop students as creative and analytical thinkers and communicators; coursework relies on class discussions and frequent written response or research projects.
- Schools must undergo extensive evaluation by the International Baccalaureate Organization regarding mission and philosophy before they can offer the IB program.
- The Full IB Diploma Programme for juniors and seniors requires that all students take college-level coursework in 6 core academic areas: English language and literature, foreign language, social science, experimental science, mathematics, and either the arts or a second subject in one of the first five core areas.
- Students can pursue individual IB courses through the Certificate program, which does not include any of the additional requirements mentioned below. Certificate candidates must take the IB Exam for that subject and pass the exam to earn the Certificate.
- To complete the Full Diploma, students are required to write a 4,000 word “extended essay.” Expanding on an academic area of interest under the guidance of an advisor, the project prepares students for the independent research, writing, and creative synthesis they will encounter in college.
- Students also engage in extracurricular activities that demand creativity, action, and service in personally enriching ways for an average of three hours per week.
- Full Diploma Candidates must take exams in all six subject areas. Exams generally emphasize essays, response questions, case studies, and field-work or oral presentations as appropriate.
- Colleges that award credit or placement for strong AP exam scores generally have similar policies for IB exams.
Which is better?
There’s no standard answer to this question. As you consider high school planning options, make sure you understand the academic program, as well as the extracurricular opportunities you can access. Since colleges do not have a preference between the programs, and it’s likely that the collegiate credit and advanced placement you earn will be similar regardless of the program you pursue, this is a decision to make based on your learning preferences and your educational philosophy. We encourage students to choose either AP or IB once they begin their junior year.
- Students who are eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch are also eligible for exam fee assistance for both programs. If you choose the IB path, the IB Coordinator will help with this process.
- And this is very important! You do not have to be enrolled in an AP class to take an AP Exam. Anyone can register to take an AP Exam, but we require students taking an AP class at CHS to take the corresponding AP Exam. Students who are taking IB classes may register for the AP Exam in any subject and do not necessarily have to take the corresponding AP class. However, the same does not hold true for IB Exams. If you are not enrolled in the IB Programme, you may not take the exams.
If you’re interested in the IB Programme, please visit the link below and complete the online form. This form allows the IB Coordinator to stay in touch with students and parents who are considering IB courses.
IB Online Form Link: http://goo.gl/forms/2Diic6FUlt