College Student Blog

05 May, 2008

Standardized Testing – AP & IB

Posted by: Parker In: Admissions

Posting Absence

My apologies for the two week posting gap. I have been extremely busy with final projects, essays, and exams! I will again be posting on a frequent basis in order to provide you with the most important and practical college information!

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me!



General Standardized Testing Information

As I mentioned in my previous post, the college admissions journey, AP and IB tests are looked highly upon in the college community. If you score well on these tests, you have the ability to gain college credit and credibility.

Advanced Placement (AP) Test

The stated goal of the CollegeBoard regarding the AP tests is that the program is designed for students to earn college-level course credit. The scale of all AP tests is 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. The CollegeBoard offers 37 exams over 22 subject areas.

If you score a 4 or a 5, you will most likely be given college credit for the subject of the test. Some less prestigious school’s will accept a 3 and still provide you with pre-college credit.

By earning college credit, you may be able to avoid some pesky courses such as analytic writing or an advanced calculus. However, having pre-college credit is not a requirement for college admissions. You will have plenty of time and available course hours during your college stay to complete all your required courses.

The tests are also quite expensive, with a price tag of $84.00 a piece. If you are taking three AP courses and wish to earn credit with all of them, that is $252.00 in tests!

As a side note, you can take AP courses and not take the test! By doing this you can still acquire that ever-so-necessary weighted GPA and student prestige; however, you will not earn college credit.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

I won’t spend too much time describing IB. Its relatively small when compared to the AP program and also quite a bit more complicated. The scale of the IB tests is 1 to 7, 7 being the best.

The IB program is more directed at “evening the playing field” and creating an educational standard internationally. Nonetheless, if you school offers IB courses and tests, you can expect it to work much the same at the AP process I described above. Most schools will accept a 5-7, with some giving credit for as low as a 4. Other schools require a strict score of a 6 or 7 in order for college credit to be given.

IB offers three different programs at different educational levels starting at as young as age 3. If you wish to learn more, I suggest browsing through that web page.

If you are reading this blog, you are probably already aware if IB is right for you. If you still have no clue what IB is, don’t worry, its probably not pertinent to your education.


In the next post I will cover the ACT and SAT in depth. Depending on your geographic location, you will most likely be very familiar with one and not know too much about the other. Also, you will probably only take one of the tests, as many colleges accept both tests or you are applying to a relatively local college which uses the test you will be taking.

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