IBDP vs AP Capstone: Which Should Filipinos Take to Study College Abroad

11 Mar IBDP vs AP Capstone: Which Should Filipinos Take to Study College Abroad

For many Filipino students, studying college abroad is a dream worth pursuing. After all, the prestige of studying abroad, the quality of education received, and the opportunity to pursue a career in a foreign country can be too good to pass up for most students. As such, students who are seriously considering studying abroad take different programs to improve their chances of standing out and getting accepted into their preferred colleges and universities.

To achieve that, there are two international-caliber programs that Senior High School students can take to better prepare themselves for studying abroad for college: the AP Capstone program and the International Baccalaureate Degree Programme (IBDP). Both of these programs are designed to equip students with what they need to find success in college, as well as provide course graduates with an international certificate that is recognized by nearly every college and university in the world.

Both AP Capstone and IBDP offer a wealth of advantages for certificate holders with aspirations of studying abroad. The only question is which course is the right fit for you and your ambitions. With that in mind, here are three factors to consider when making the decision to take either AP Capstone or IBDP.

1. Academic Focus

The AP Capstone program was developed by the U.S. College Board as a way to better prepare High School students for the level, pace, and challenges of college education. The program places a heavy emphasis on developing a student’s skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, and more over very subject-specific content. This means students who complete the program are well-rounded individuals who have already developed key skills needed to excel in college.

The best part about the AP Capstone program is that it is designed to help students accrue college credits in advance, provided they reach certain marks, which lessens their academic load in college.

IBDP, on the other hand, was developed in Switzerland in the 1960s. Similar to AP Capstone, IBDP was developed as a way to help High School students better prepare themselves for the challenges of college education. The difference between the two programs, however, is that IBDP places a heavier emphasis on developing a student’s writing and critical-thinking skills.

2. Popularity and Availability

Although the IBDP Program has been around for longer, AP Capstone is more easily accessible to students, especially in the U.S. In 2019, over 2.8 million students took the AP Capstone program as compared to the roughly 166,000 IBDP program. The glaring difference shows just how many students place more emphasis on the academic focus of the AP Capstone program.

As for the availability of the two courses, students should know that High Schools in the Philippines do offer AP Capstone and IBDP diplomas. However, most schools that offer these advanced programs as alternatives to the typical senior high strands will offer one or the other. This is why identifying which program you want to take is so important.

Take note, however, that AP Capstone is relatively new in Senior High Schools in the country. This means that the program is only offered in select schools. Given this, it’s important to do your research and take the AP Capstone program from reputable institutions like Enderun Senior High School.

3. Recognition from Foreign Schools

Lastly, let’s talk about how foreign colleges and universities view both programs. In general, most colleges do not discriminate one program from another. After all, both IBDP and AP Capstone are designed to elevate the knowledge, capabilities, and mindset of its graduates. As such, college admissions teams will say that one does not give a larger advantage over the other when it comes to being accepted into a school.

However, the fact that the AP Capstone program was created by the U.S.-based College Board, American colleges and universities are more familiar with AP Capstone. As a result, they are better able to gauge the credits you’ve earned and see how you can fit within the standards of their institution. So if your dream is to study in an Ivy League school or anywhere in the United States, holding an AP Capstone diploma may provide you with a better advantage.

These are three main areas that you should take into consideration when deciding whether you should take AP Capstone or IBDP. As long as you consider all your options carefully, you should be able to find the right fit for you.

To learn more about the AP Capstone program, please click here.