The IB program is harder than AP program because students need to put in more time and efforts when they are taking IB program. Apart from the advanced topics covered in IB class, the exams too are hard and students have to cover all the topics within a short period of time and it even gets more complicated during the exams because IB exams are always done in May, just a month before the end of the school year.
In IB classes, an internal assessment are done for each class. Few examples are an essay for Math, a classic literature for English, a student design lab for Chemistry, an independent research essay of up to 4,000 words etc. Students must also do 150+ hours of volunteering work and also take the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course. So because the exams are in May, the classes are faster with a higher workload than AP program. Taking all of this still doesn't guaranty you an IB diploma. You have to pass with with a minimum passing score of 24 points and at least a satisfactory on the extended essay.
Both IB and AP are great programs, and the good thing is universities accept the both of them but IB is more difficult than AP.
IB program is harder because it offers both Standard level (SL) and Higher level (HL) courses with three core requirements that must be fulfilled which makes it more challenging for students while AP courses are just additional academic contents that reflect what will be taught in introductory university courses.
Students believe IB is harder because it's a program with hard classes and tough requirements in other to pass the program. Also in IB, you are given the courses and challenging things to do in other to pass the program while for AP, you can just select the subjects you want to study. Generally. IB has more benefits than AP because of the challenges in IB.
The requirements for IB in a nutshell are:-
You must write an Extended Essay (EE)
Take the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course
You will be required to take 150 CAS (creativity, activity, services) hours that helps students with personal growth.
As for AP, you don't have this type of requirements. Just select the subjects you want and that's it.
All the posters are correct with their input. IB is much more difficult than AP, but guess what? You get much more benefits from taking the program. Few ways the IB program helped me is when I moved to the university, the workload was lighter for me because of the workload experience IB put me through. My work ethic too improved tremendously from my final years in high school all the way to the university.
So in case you get accepted for IB, I'd say you should grab the opportunity when you get it and don't worry about how hard it is because it's gonna worth it at the end.
The high school that I went too doesn't even allow their students take AP and I know several of other schools that don't take AP's too. Students are only allowed to take IB because it has more reward even though it's hard. All our teachers are IB certified and they are very good with the program. If you have the opportunity to take the full IB diploma, just go for it. You won't regret it.
Advanced Placement (AP) is not a comprehensive program because students are allowed to choose and pick the AP classes they want to take while the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program is a comprehensive program where students must take all of the courses. You must take 6 IB courses and exams - 3 at the Higher Level (HL), 3 at the Standard Level (SL). You must also successfully complete 150 CAS (creativity, action, and service) hours, the 4000 words Extended Essay (EE), and the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course. Moreover, each course has an Internal Assessment (IA) that’s worth 20% of your mark.
I also took IB and I must agree with all the comments on this thread. Achieving the IB diploma is a lot harder than any other high school program. Do you want me to talk about how long the exams are or the stress I had to go through to be able to understand the TOK course plus 150 hrs of CAS? Oh gosh
If you want to take the individual courses, I will suggest you go for the Standard level classes. They are very easier to pass than their AP equivalent.