Is going after the AP International Diploma worth it? How beneficial is it for admissions to higher ranked universities?
If you are an International applicant, one of the notable gaps that Int'l students have is a lack of course rigor. The reason for this is because 1.) college admissions at top schools are brutally competitive these days meaning a more highly qualified applicant pool from the US., 2.) the standards are higher for college admissions meaning there is an expectation for college admissions officers to see more awards and honors.
Therefore, anything you can do to show clear evidence of higher course rigor and evidence that you gained some mastery of the material can only help convince application readers that you are ready for college-level work.
To get an AP Internation Diploma you have to do 3 things. 1.) Take at least 5 AP courses, 2.) Get good grades in them, and 3) and get at least a 3 on the AP test for all 5 of them.
This shows a serious commitment that you applied yourself to college-level coursework and did well.
Without taking APs, IBs, or college courses as an international student, it is often very difficult for admissions officers to compare you to other qualified applicants. Taking such classes normalizes your application so there can be an "apple to apple comparison".
Similarly, I would say that studying hard for the SAT or ACT test and getting a high test score is paramount for admission to a highly-ranked university. Why? It takes the guesswork out of the equation of whether or not you will do well in an American college environment.
Now that the global pandemic is under control for the most part and all college campuses in the US have in-class learning and you can live, eat and study on campus, more and more International students are applying to US colleges. During the pandemic, there was a big drop in Int'l applications but that has all but gone away with the steady increase in Int'l applications coming from China, Taiwan, S.Korean, Indian, Pakistan, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and Europe.
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