IB or AP classes?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by aamir1232, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. aamir1232

    aamir1232 New Member

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    My high school offers both IB and AP courses. So I'm wondering which one would get more attention when I apply. I have a 4.125 GPA so I don't think I would have academic problems keeping up with the work. I am in my 2nd semester of AP Human Geography and my last semester's final grade was 94%. I am a freshman in high school. Which one should I pick to have a better chance at Annapolis?
     
  2. HassamaMama

    HassamaMama Member

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    Most colleges, including the USNA, all see AP courses as the "advanced"/"accelerated" track. While IB also is an accelerated track, it will not be as beneficial in terms of impressing colleges.
    Long story short, go with AP.
     
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  3. MABlue

    MABlue Member

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    Also, at many colleges, including USNA, AP test scores can be used to validate some introductory courses such as Calculus.
     
  4. md403

    md403 Member

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    This question has come up a lot on this forum and other forums. You might want to use the search function for some of your inquiries and also check out the Admissions page on any SA and/or college that your interested in. Why did I put it that way. You cant just try for Annapolis only. You must make yourself competitive not only for SA's but for every Plan B-I. If you dont have backups, you may find yourself in a for rude reality check.

    For most Sa's they want to see the hardest track available. SA's claim IB =AP. That being said, your school may have limited classes such AP Calculus being the top math class available at your HS. Since you listed, IB I would probably err on side of caution and say HL Math would be top math. I do know that some if not most of the IVYIES like seeing IB (per Yale, UPENN and Cornell). You really need to reach for the IVY level, because that is your competition unless your the primary nom from your MOC and then you get placed into the National Pool. All of the SA's are selective. Not everyone gets a nom (but have stellar academics, EC's and more), are medically qualified. Yes the nomination and appointment process is long, some would argue too long. Remember if you WANT something long enough, you will find a way to get it.

    For example, your currently freshman and want to serve you country. If the door is not open to for for a SA appointment, remember that there are other ways to circumvent that closed door... ROTC, OCS and other programs germane to each respective branch. Dont forget, if you choose to go USMMA, you can pick what branch you want to go into. If you go into USMMA, and choose USN and want SWO, you will be at least a year ahead of your peers coming out of USNA. Why? USMMA does an entire school year out at sea during your 4 years at USMMA. I choose SWO for example only. I am aware that one of the current Blue Angels is a USMMA grad. Just my .02...
     
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  5. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    I don't think this is true. USNA does not look at AP test scores for determining placement in courses. Nor do they simply accept college transcripts.

    USNA will test all the Plebes during Plebe summer and place them in the appropriate class based on how they score during the summer exams.

    This is per the USNA's Dean of Mathematics and his statements to parents during CVW in November 2015

    I do agree that USNA views AP courses as more rigorous than IB courses as a general rule
     
  6. 624mom

    624mom Member

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    A parent asked when my DS was in 8th grade what classes their child should take to be competitive for the best colleges and if it was better to get an A in an honors class or a B in an AP class. Her answer..."Take the hardest classes available and ace them, i.e., take the AP and get the A."
     
  7. MABlue

    MABlue Member

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    @Cerberi I have found so many conflicting answers on the question of course validation, that I don't truly know what the answer is. Per the USNA website:
    Validating Calculus I
    Midshipmen who have finished the online pre-calculus exam have the opportunity to take an online multiple choice Calculus I exam. This exam is updated each year to reflect any changes in our first calculus course. Calculators are not allowed on the Calculus exams. A score of roughly 70% is needed to validate the course.

    Calculus I can also be validated by means of AP exams. Those students who took AP Calculus in high school and scored a 4 or 5 on the AB exam (or on the AB portion of the BC exam) validate Calculus I. High scores on an IB exam also count as validation.

    Validating Calculus II
    Those who validate Calculus I and who have taken a course in Calculus II are invited back to take a Calculus II validation exam. The Calculus II exam is also multiple choice. Calculus I and II can also be validated by means of BC exams. Those who scored a 4 or 5 on the BC exam validate Calculus I and Calculus II.
     
  8. KASBAH

    KASBAH New Member

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    To say that AP or IB is better is an over simplification. Are you looking at an IB certificate or an IBDP? If your school offers an IBDP, that will be a very comprehensive and rigorous program which will most likely be more appealing to your plan B colleges and the service academies as long as you can score close to the point max. In addition to courses being two years long, the IBDP requires an extended essay, CAS, and TOK. This is why IBDP is often viewed more favorably by highly selective schools. The drawback to IB is that you can get predicted scores in your seventh semester, but your final externals are not completed until April/May after application deadlines have passed. If you are just looking at certificate courses, IB HL math, physics, and English would be more favorable than AP. IB SL in these courses along with Chem, Bio, history, and languages would probably be a more apples to apples comparison to AP and equal in the eyes of various colleges. My son asked this question to Admissions during NASS and was told IBDP was was viewed more favorably than AP, but who knows, maybe he would have gotten a different answer on a different day!
     
  9. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    AP and IB are both good....they are "higher" than honors courses...so I wouldn't get wrapped around the wheel of which one looks better for USNA. Each students needs to weigh the pros/cons of each program for themselves...but EITHER shows that a candidate challenged themselves in a rigorous curriculum. As for as the validation policy, I agree too, it is confusing...which trumps the other? What I will say...if your AP/IB course was up to the standards it should have been and you did well in the class exams (or AP test), then taking USNA's validation test shouldn't be a difficult hurdle...so, if you are asked to take USNA's validation test, even though you did well on the AP exam or in the IB program, then it isn't like you shouldn't be able to do well (validate) on it.
     
  10. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    AP tests are good for validation. I got almost a semester's worth of courses out of them (unfortunately most were not relevant to my matrix). http://www.usna.edu/Academics/Candidate-Information/Course-Validation-Policy.php

    USNA will take transcripts from other schools. They will review coursework for equivalency and assign validations as necessary. I don't know where the misinformation comes from, but it is entirely possible. You will have to work with each individual department to validate courses, but if they are equivalent, they will validate.
     

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