The American School in Bombay offers the International Baccalaureate program. The IB is often chosen by schools as an alternative to offering individual Advanced Placement courses. Whereas the AP is a set of exams, the IB is a program of study that contains internal and external assessments. In the IB, some of the work that students do on labs, projects and essays during the school year counts toward their final grade. With the AP, the final grade is a reflection of the score on a single test.
In addition, to receive the IB diploma student must write a compressive research paper, participate in athletics, and complete a minimum number of community service hours. The IB Learner Profile, from the IB web site, is shown above.
While individual students can sign up and take an AP test, even if they have not taken an AP course, schools must be evaluated and approved to offer the IB program. This is a similar process to the accreditation that Marshall receives every seven years from the Independent Schools Association of Central States. There are currently more than 3,000 schools in 139 counties, including more than 1,000 schools in the US.
Colleges and universities view the IB as a solid and sometimes better alternative to the AP: A signal that a student has taken the most challenging, internationally-minded program possible. Click here to read a recent NY Times article on the program.