To get into your dream university, you must take a course that will make you a potential candidate for your preferred school. IB, AP, and A-Levels are examples of academic levels giving students more chances to enter a top-tier university.
The best thing to do is comparing IB, AP, and A-levels to help you choose the one necessary for reaching your academic goals. Upon completion of either of the courses, you will receive a certificate as an extra credit when transferring to universities. These are designed for high school students preparing for a college degree and a good future.
How Does IB Work?
IB, or International Baccalaureate, focuses on general academe. It is more of a holistic learning approach that helps students to be globally aware. They have access to six subjects with additional paperwork within two years. There will be one cumulative exam with the final scores to be assessed internally and externally.
The negative side of the IB program is it lacks flexibility due to a heavy course load in a span of two years. However, it is globally recognized, making it easier for students to apply to universities worldwide.
How Does AP Work?
AP, or Advanced Placement, is less globally recognized than the IB program. The reason behind this is the curriculum is American-based wherein not agreeing with the policies of other international universities.
Here are the pros. AP still guarantees college credit when the student finishes the course. It allows students to determine what career path to take and to boost university choices. At the end of the term, students will take an examination to be assessed externally with a scale of 1 to 5. When you score at least 3, you can enjoy college credit in any US and Canadian university.
How Do A-Levels Work?
A-Levels offer the least subjects or course load among international school programs. Students can choose a field to study. For instance, if you have a passion for science, taking a course that tackles medicine is a wise move. The result is impressive – it will make you a pro in the specific field even before taking tertiary studies. A-Levels are perfect for students who can manage their time well and self-study.
Compared to IB and AP, A-Levels require multiple exam dates from year 11 to year 13. Though it offers limited subjects, it is more flexible, allowing students to choose a course they will pursue.
Choosing Which Program Is Right For You
Each student has a unique way of pursuing their academic goals. IB, AP, and A-Levels differ in the learning method suitable for specific needs. Consider these factors to pick between three of the best international curriculums easily:
As discussed earlier, the three international curriculums offer a variety of courses for students. IB is designed for general learning, and hence if you want to specialize in a particular subject, it is not the best option but A-Levels. Another scenario is avoiding subjects like Math or English, which makes AP and A-Levels the right choices. The bottom line is that it is all about what fits the student’s interest, not the course itself.
Educating one’s self is time-consuming. Learning to use time wisely is necessary to gain skills you can benefit from in the future. For example, IB is more of variety rather than focus learning. It requires students to take six subjects with three core subjects before getting a diploma. Compared to A-Levels, at least three subjects per term can make students more skilled in the long run. It helps them focus on what matters most for an extended period.
Students’ comfort plays a vital role in achieving academic goals. They cannot give 100% effort if they do not feel at ease in the learning process. It is best to identify whether the student prefers group work or individuality. IB falls to the prior setup through debates and presentations, which some students do not find comfortable. A-Levels are again the best choice if you love to study alone and have higher self-discipline.
- Examination Dates
Plenty of exams can stress out students. If you are the type of learner who prefers cumulative exams, then IB and AP might work for you. This factor makes A-Levels the least possible option because of the multiple exam dates per term.
Last but not least, the cost of the three curricula varies. Some international schools accept financial aid from the parent’s work or the government. But, generally, they are all expensive and worth investing in. Choose a program that you think will suit your budget until the end of the term. The ROI will be great, that is for sure!
To summarize everything, attaining goals as a student will cost you time, money, and effort. It is different when you are planning to attend top universities. Taking up an extra curriculum, like IB, AP, and A-Levels, is necessary to open more opportunities during college and post-grad. Each program is made suitable for a particular interest and budget, equipping students with in-depth courses toward a better future. Therefore, select an international curriculum that fits your passion and comfort.