BY KRISTEN MOON*
A common question that high school students have is “What’s the difference between SAT Subject Tests, International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, and Advanced Placement (AP) exams?”
In this post, we’ll see how each of these academic tests work, which will help you compare and draw informed conclusions.
SAT Subject Tests
SAT Subject Tests are required when applying to many competitive colleges.
SAT Subject Tests are offered six times a year. You can take one, two or three tests on any test date. You have the flexibility to choose certain tests at the time of registration and change them (take one less, add one more, or switch tests) on the test day. Note that you cannot sit for SAT and SAT Subject Tests on the same day.
One of the main differences between SAT Subject Tests vs. AP/IB exams is that SAT Subject Tests test knowledge of high school subjects, while AP/IB tests college-level course knowledge.
Advanced Placement tests could result in college credit if your score is high enough. AP programs aim to prepare high school students for the rigors and expectations of college-level academics through advanced courses.
Exams are held in May
An International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a pre-college course focused on interdisciplinary teaching and aims to make students internationally-minded individuals. IB exams could result in college credit if your score is high enough. Students take six subjects at Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL), usually split into 3 HL and 3 SL courses.
*About the author:
Kristen Moon is an independent college counselor and founder of MoonPrep.com. She specializes in Ivy League, BS/MD Programs, and International Students.