Exam Credit Bill


Math Techer Staci Lang teaches her AP Calculus class. — Photo taken by Magdalena Golczynski.

Math Techer Staci Lang teaches her AP Calculus class. -- Magdalena Golczynski

MD Senate bill 109, introduced Jan. 21, should guarantee that any Maryland public college or university providing students with course credits for Advanced Placement exams must do so for students that have taken standard and higher level International Baccalaureate exams.

The practice of granting credit exclusively to AP courses has, in some people’s minds, deemed IB courses as inferior and less rigorous in comparison. But this does not mean that the IB program is meaningless to students. “[IB] will benefit you in certain situations; if you plan to study abroad a�� that would help in the long run,” said freshman Jennifer Neibel.

Some believe that admissions officers simply do not know enough about the IB program to fully recognize the preparedness and experience IB students have that would prove to be advantages if the students were accepted. Since the term Advanced Placement is self-explanatory and widely known, it may carry more weight than a program with a lesser known background that for some could require more explanation.

However, it has been revealed that standard level courses in the IB program are often of the same caliber and sometimes even more difficult than AP classes, leaving some wondering why this act of recognition from colleges has taken so long.

In one year, Richard Montgomery High School administered 532 IB course examinations and 961 AP course examinations, many of which could have been IB students working for the credits they could not acquire through only standard or higher level exams. “I am taking an AP exam for one of my IB classes because a lot of [colleges] do not accept the credit for standard level,” said junior Elizabeth Landry.

The current policies of certain colleges and universities leave IB students in tough situations. A student in AP must pass a course exam in order to receive credit. A student in the IB program must not only pass the IB course exam to work towards an IB diploma, but in order to get the same credits as an AP student, must also take the same AP exam for that course.

However, IB is an expanding program, and as such may soon see changes to its regulations as officers for undergraduate admissions begin to take into account the experiences of students involved. “College admission officers [are] actually participating in forums with IB students so that the IB students can present a�� how rigorous a�� the program is,” said English teacher William Jameson.

The Mid-Atlantic Association of IB World Schools encourages students and parents to help move the bill in order to be fully considered by the Senate. More information on the bill, including articles and studies relating to the comparison and description of both the AP and IB program, can be found on www.ibmidatlantic.org.