What is an AP International Diploma? AP FAQ

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Are you curious about knowing what the AP International Diploma is about? Do you want to register for the AP International Diploma but lack sufficient information to make a decision? If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, then this is the right article for you.

The College Board’s AP program has gained recognition among several colleges internationally. It offers students the opportunity to take individual AP courses that would prepare them for college. In addition to that, it offers students that desire to attend foreign colleges the opportunity to have the AP International Diploma they’ll need. This article will focus on highlighting several AP diploma benefits and explaining the advanced diploma requirements. Before going on, however, what is an AP International Diploma?

What is AP International Diploma For?What is AP International Diploma For?

The AP International Diploma is a course that helps to ascertain students’ readiness for college. Successful students get a certificate as proof of their success. The certificate is typically for high school graduates planning to attend college abroad. Colleges award this certificate to students who display exceptional achievements across different disciplines. To qualify for the exams, students need to have proven academic excellence and good character. Apart from internally conducted examinations, most colleges want a guarantee that applicants would maintain good character throughout their stay. The AP International Diploma (APID) is the equivalent of this guarantee issued to US students looking for college education outside the country.

The College Board has the responsibility of issuing this award.  It usually shows to foreign colleges to assess a student’s performance throughout the finished AP program. The APID is typically issued to indicate completion of the AP curriculum. Many people also see the APID as an excellent competition for the less popular IB program.

There are different circumstances where getting an APID would help you. For instance, you might want to get an AP Diploma if as a US student, you are planning to go to a foreign university. International students planning to attend US colleges are also required to have AP Diploma certification. A student does not need to send any application or special request for the APID as it is automatically awarded to graduating high school students that meet all the threshold, which we will also review in this article.

What are the Benefits of AP International Diploma?

What are the Benefits of AP International Diploma?

The numerous benefits attached to the AP International Diploma is part of the reason for its popularity over time. If you are contemplating taking the APID, here are some fascinating benefits that you should know.

1. Offers competitive edge in the college admission process

Perhaps the biggest advantage of taking AP courses is its ability to stand students out in the admission process. The certification demonstrates to admission officers that a student has finished the most rigorous curriculum available for him/her. This is why most universities and colleges worldwide tend to lean towards favoring students who have completed the AP courses and taken the exams because there’s a general belief that the AP exams’ performance demonstrates a student’s ability and commitment to hard work. As a college applicant looking to gain a competitive edge in the admission process outside your country, it’s typically advised that you take this exam.

2. Gives students a headstart in college life

Apart from accessing students’ intelligence, one of the APID’s main goals is to help students know what to anticipate in a foreign college. Therefore, students can leverage the AP diploma scholarship to earn college credit or advanced placement, even before stepping into college. This head start also enables students to graduate early. Depending on several factors, the AP course and exams can help you save as much as one year at college. Therefore, you’ll save tuition fees, gain travel and vacation time, move to upper-level courses, enroll for an internship, or pursue a double major.

3. It serves as proof of outstanding achievements

When counting the numerous AP diploma benefits, it’s almost impossible to forget what the certification primarily represents. The AP courses and exams are set to develop high school students in different capacities and set them apart for a successful college life both within and outside the country.

4. Offers students the opportunity to illustrate their confidence in certain fields

The AP diploma is modeled to allow students to illustrate competence in their favorite field of study. It also offers students the opportunity to focus on studying subjects that they are interested in but couldn’t study in school. This is why some students turn to AP exams as an opportunity to complete their general education requirements for college.

5. Helps students to develop critical thinking ability

Critical thinking is one of the most wanted attributes in college students. Whether you are traveling abroad for your college studies or choose to have it in your country, you’ll need to develop critical thinking to succeed. The modeling of AP courses and exams help students to learn how to reason better. It also improves the communication and problem-solving skills of participants. This is especially important, considering that students will most likely meet that studying abroad is different from what’s been practiced in their country of origin. The ability to think critically will help them adjust to the new system without troubles.

What are the Requirements for an AP International Diploma?

What are the Requirements for an AP International Diploma?

Officially, there are no prerequisites for the AP-level study. However, AP courses have become more dependent, requiring a lot of content knowledge. This is why several schools require applicants to meet certain requirements to enroll for the APID. Therefore, we generally recommend that you check with your school to see their requirements. Many schools require a basic knowledge of available pre-AP courses. While the AP College Board doesn’t make the study of pre-AP courses mandatory, it is still a good way for schools to ensure that applicants have a solid foundation to back the AP’s rigorous demands.

In case you are wondering whether there is a minimum number of AP courses that a student should take, here’s the answer for you. No, there is no minimum as far as AP course requirements are concerned. Students can decide just to do one AP course or go for more if they feel the need to. These courses can be taken anytime throughout high school. However, most people prefer to do it in the last three years of high school, ideally scattering it throughout the remaining high school years because of the demanding nature of most of the courses. So, a student can decide to do an AP course three years before graduation and complete the others over the last two years.

Doing one AP course per year is considered average, while two or more in a year can become overwhelming. With these in mind, let’s review the general eligibility requirements.

APID Eligibility Requirements

Students are required to score a three or more on a scale of at least 5 AP exams.
Each exam only counts once, even when you take it several times, schools typically use the best score for award calculation.

How Many AP Courses are Required for Students?

How Many AP Courses are Required for Students?

When it comes to selecting how many AP courses you should take, one important factor to consider is how competitive your chosen school is.

Less Competitive Colleges

The amount of AP courses that you should take for these schools usually depends on the goal you’ve set for yourself. For example, what class are you looking to clear up during high school days, so that you can have time to focus on the difficult courses in college. This is mostly because several state schools accept AP classes for calculating credit but don’t necessarily require them during the admission process.

Bear in mind, however, that the credit you’ll get will largely depend on your performance in the exams. Therefore, it is often recommended that you do not overload yourself with AP courses to avoid failing them.

Competitive Colleges and School Honors

In these categories of schools, you would need to show that you’ve taken all the challenging courses available to you. There is usually no such thing as a magic number of courses for these competitive colleges, especially considering that course availability often changes across different high schools. For instance, Harvard University signifies on its website that they pay great attention to looking at students that optimize their resources and opportunities. Such Students have the prospect of doing so throughout their lives.

Therefore, you are expected to demonstrate your proficiency in the areas described by taking Advanced Placement tests, International Baccalaureate tests, and the SAT.

So, What’s the Right Number of AP Courses

Yes, challenging yourself is good, but only to the extent that you won’t overload your schedule. Always remember that your target schedule should depend on the competitiveness of the chosen college and whether or not AP is available at your school. Generally, the following AP course numbers would be ideal.

Most Competitive Colleges (Top 20)

APs would include all or most core courses such as Mathematics, English, History, Foreign Languages, and Science. You’ll also need to take some added AP courses related to your area of interest, future major, or goals. You’ll take a total of between 7 to 12 of such courses.

Competitive Colleges (Top 100)

For these colleges, you’ll need to take APs in all or most core courses, with very few additional courses to bring the total number to between 4 to 8 courses.

The Less Competitive Colleges

You’ll only need APs in a few core courses; however, the courses must be part of your future major. Total courses would range from 1 to 5 of such courses.

AP vs. IB: Which is Better for College Admission?

AP vs. IB: Which is Better for College Admission?

Both the AP and IB programs have become popular for offering challenging courses, and high school students can leverage on them to earn college credits. However, the two are quite different in their goals and philosophies.

Below are some key differences between the two programs.

1. AP has become more popular than IB

It’s not surprising that the AP is by far more popular than the IB program considering students’ stats that enroll for both programs annually. For example, in 2019, over 2.8 million people registered for the AP exams, while only about 166,000 took IBs.

While AP is very popular and widespread, the IB program is becoming rarer because schools need to be able to offer enough classes for the diploma to be eligible to host an IB program. Most students find that it’s cheaper to start a few AP classes than to add IB.

2. Both programs have different goals

Another standout difference between both programs is their goals. While IB emphasizes writing and developing critical thinking skills, the AP focuses on teaching specific content to students and using exams to test their knowledge. This is why the IB diploma usually requires proficiency in extended essays and maintenance of extracurricular requirements.

3. The IB program is typically more expensive than the AP

The two programs also differ in cost, with the IB exams being more expensive for US students than the AP exams.

While you’ll need to pay up to $119 for each IB exam, AP tests cost only $94 per exam for students schooling in the United States, Canada, and other US territories.

It’s important to note that many students get access to fee-waiver programs and financial aids for the AP exams so that the actual cost can be lower than the initial quote.

4. AP doesn’t require you to enroll in classes like IB

You’ll be able to take your AP exams without needing enrollment to an AP class, but IB exams require that students are enrolled in an IB class. Suppose you already have proficiency in a language that your school doesn’t offer or enjoy self-studying for a niche subject. In that case, you can expect more flexibility with the AP program.

AP is a better option for students that enjoy studying on their own. IB also offers higher-level courses. To be eligible for an IB diploma, you’ll need to take three or more higher-level courses. On the other hand, AP courses are only offered at a single level, although you might come across a few subjects like physics and calculus with different course options.

Some students get attracted to the IB program because of its focus on writing and broad education, while others are attracted to AP programs’ flexibility. Irrespective of what you are looking to achieve, you’ll need to consider these differences before choosing a program to go for.

Wrapping Things Up: Key Takeaways on AP International Diploma

That’s it, a full guide that points you to the right information about the APID. It’s important to note that the APID is meant for students planning to apply or go to colleges in foreign countries. The AP International Diploma, students are required to take up to 5 AP Exams in different subject areas earning scores of at least 3 across all the subjects.

The APID’s main aim is to show colleges that you’ve put in the effort needed to learn difficult courses during your high school days. Taking up to five courses or more and doing well in their exams will have positive impacts during your college application. This article has also highlighted the requirements for AP international recognition to make the process easier for you.

Did you enjoy this post? Then you’ll love the other high school study tips. Check them out below:

> What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?

> What is an AP Capstone Diploma?

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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