AP or IB? At SAS it’s possible to do both

Shanghai American School embodies a unique educational experience. Our high school prides itself on offering a wide variety of choices for students, whether it be subject courses, sports, or after-school activities. We’re one of few schools in Shanghai that offer both the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programs. That means high schoolers can do either the AP Capstone Diploma or the IB Diploma Program. If they don’t wish to do either diploma program, they can do a combination of AP and IB courses.

Have you ever wondered why students would opt to do courses from both programs? Well, this week we are diving deep into the exciting world of students who are pursuing both AP and IB at SAS. Our AP and IB coordinators answered some commonly asked questions about when a combination of courses should be considered.
 

What should students base their course selections on?

They should be passionate about the topics. It is also helpful to consider what they want to do beyond high school. Having a clear pathway helps with the planning and adjusting of choices with the pre-requisites from universities.
 

What should students keep in mind when deciding on their courses?

High School is an excellent time for students to explore many interests and start finding their intellectual passions, and we encourage students to take as broad a range of subjects as possible. The IB program encourages this with the six different subject groups, and AP also allows students to take many courses from different subject areas.

IBDP students need to choose three subjects at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. In addition to this, IBDP candidates will write a 4,000-word Extended Essay (EE) research paper, complete the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course exhibition project and paper and complete a portfolio of extracurricular activities covering the strands of Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS).

AP students are able to choose from many different course options. If they would like to earn the AP Capstone Diploma, they need to take AP Seminar, AP Research and at least four other AP courses. They need to earn a score of at least three on each of these six courses to receive the AP Capstone Diploma.
 

Is it possible to do the IB Diploma Program and a few AP courses or the AP Capstone Diploma and a few IB courses?

The workload and full schedule of the IBDP means it is not possible to do IBDP and a few AP courses. However, it is possible to complete the AP Capstone Diploma while taking a few IB courses. Our teachers, school counselors, and college counselors will guide students in taking courses that are suitable for them.
 

What are the benefits of doing both AP and IB?

Both provide a challenging level of content. IB provides depth by allowing students to go in-depth into six courses over two years. AP provides breadth through exposing students to different subjects they may be curious about over a one-year period.
 

What are the limitations of doing both AP and IB?

We recommend that students in Grades 11 and 12 sit no more than three AP courses. It is not possible to complete both the full IB Diploma and a full roster of AP courses, meaning students will have to choose. Because the IBDP requires the Core components of IB, which are the EE, TOK and CAS. IB is done in Grades 11 and 12.

 

That’s a wrap from our educators. Next, we’ll talk to a current student and a previous student, both of whom opted for both AP and IB, so that we can hear directly from our students about their experiences. So, keep your eyes peeled for more on AP and IB at SAS.

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AP or IB? At SAS it’s possible to do both

Shanghai American School embodies a unique educational experience. Our high school prides itself on offering a wide variety of choices for students, whether it be subject courses, sports, or after-school activities. We’re one of few schools in Shanghai that offer both the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programs. That means high schoolers can do either the AP Capstone Diploma or the IB Diploma Program. If they don’t wish to do either diploma program, they can do a combination of AP and IB courses.

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