29 days ago
Admissions Advice

AP , IB and honor classes

I am an student of CBSE based school and when I search through some to the collage website and Quora and many more youtube channels , They all are taking about Honors classes , Honors classes , Honors classes , Honors classes , and I don't what the hell is that .

I know the meaning of the AP classes but rest I don't exactly know what these are those all things are quite western .

Can someone please explain me the meaning of these ( IB , Honors classes ). And should I take it


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
28 days ago

Hi, thank you for asking your question! @applepi and @CameronBameron have provided great clarifying responses. I will echo what @applepi has said, especially that you should make the most of what is offered to you. Doing so will show that you are a high-achieving student who leaps at opportunities to learn things in your field of interest -- as long as you are taking the "most demanding" coursework offered at your school and score highly you will be fine.

In the US high school system, there is tiering in terms of rigor of coursework. The College Preparatory (CP) courses are the most basic and simple courses you can take. The next tier will include honors, dual enrollment courses, and International baccalaureate standard level (IB/SL). After that you have the highest, most rigorous tier of courses including AP and IB/honors level (HL) courses.

Hope this helps!

29 days ago[edited]

In the US, everything we do is in the context of marketing. We have your basic/standard/Silver level things, your deluxe/Gold level things, and your Premium/Platinum level. Whether you eat at McDonald's, buy gas to fuel your car, or stay in a hotel, everything is broken into 3 distinct levels.

With regards to course rigor, we have your basic core classes like 9th or 10th grade English, Math, History, Science. Then we have your Honors English, Math, History, or Science which is like a little harder because they cover more topics in the same time period of Standard or Basic. Then if you are really smart, you can take AP (Advanced Placement) or IB (International Baccalaureate) classes.

I haven't lost you yet I hope.

So when someone applies to college as a US applicant, most likely their transcript is a mixture of 3-course rigor ingredients, mostly Basic, some honors, and some APs or IBs.

Each high school in America treats these 3 differently with regards to weighting. So we have 27,000 different weighing scales. The most common is to treat the Basic/Standard course on a 4.0/4.0 scale with no weighting, and give Honors perhaps a 0.50 point bump and APs/IBs a 1.0 full point bump. That is how US kids have whacky weighted GPAs. Some schools give IBs 2 full points so you get 6.0/4.0 for getting an A in a IB course. This is ridiculous to me. That is how some High School students in the South part of the US have 5.5 Weighted GPAs and a 3.7 Unweighted GPA.

You can't take honors classes in India (I'm assuming you are Indian) because is an American thing but you can take APs or IBs at certain schools. The IB system is actually not an American educational system but a Swiss one from Geneva. It's offered in 146 countries and has 1,000,000 users. The AP system is run by CollegeBoard who also runs the SAT and the former SAT subject tests as well. Now APs are only taught a limited Indian Schools mostly Private Boarding Schools.

IB schools in India (there are about 50 schools that offer these)


AP schools in India (there are about 100 schools in all of India that offer these)


And there are about 20 AP test centers


I will mention 1 additional thing about course rigor. What trumps all the course rigor, is if you successfully take an online college course in a core subject at a well-known university (Say a Top 50 University) and get an A mark in it. That is worth more than an AP or IB course. So if you are a Math whiz and take Multivariable Calculus or Real Analysis or Martingales or something like that, you will always impress your admissions officers.

I hope you completely understand the course rigor scale in America and can pass this knowledge off to your peers and younger students.

Good luck.

29 days ago

I'm a CBSE student too, and you don't need to worry about IB/AP/Honors classes.

There are some IB schools in India (mostly international schools that offer IBDP). Honors classes aren't available here, period. AP exams used to be offered by the USIEF but the fee was quite high, and now cuz COVID, there's none of that. Admissions officers will only consider what you made of the resources available to you. In your case, that would be your CBSE marks and board marks, plus extracurriculars. Don't worry about what isn't accessible!


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