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Issue 08: September 30, 2022

Advance Placement (AP) vs. International Baccalaureate (IB)

“Could you tell me more about BAIS’s curriculum, specifically AP classes?” 

This was a question that I recently received from a prospective family interested in BAIS. I know that there is a lot of misinformation out there about the Advance Placement (AP) program and the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, so I hope to explain some of the differences, but also show how they are actually more similar than they may first appear. 

First of all, one system is not better than the other. If this were true, then schools around the world would adopt one over the other. In fact, many larger international schools, such as Jakarta Intercultural School, run both programs at their school. Why would they do this? Because each system of learning approaches education differently. 

The main difference is that the IB system is based on a European model and approach to learning that looks to provide students with an opportunity to be more specialized in a field of study, whereas the AP program follows a more generalist, liberal arts approach where students can explore many different subjects. For example, IB students can choose 3-4 high level (HL) courses during each year of the two year program. If a student chooses to take HL Math and Science for both years, they are left with few options for their third choice. Additionally, students must make these decisions in the middle of their Grade 10 school year. These choices then determine the classes they must take for the coming two years and they are unable to change once they begin their Grade 11 year.

 For AP, there is no limit to the number of high level courses a student can participate in. In fact, students can take any number of the 38 subject exams. This flexibility allows students to either specialize based on their passions and strengths or take a more generalist approach and challenge themselves in a subject that they may not have considered taking when they were Grade 10 students. In the end, students who earn a 3 or higher on at least 5 AP exams across four different content areas, including English, world languages, global perspectives, and math/sciences receive the AP International Diploma.

But there are also similarities between these two programs. For example, the IB program offers a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course. According to their website this course “asks students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.” But just because the IB program has a specific course to explore this topic does not mean the AP courses (or other courses at BAIS) are not exploring questions of how we know what we know. In fact, Truth is one of the core values at BAIS – we are committed to discovering and discerning what is true. An example of this can be seen in Bible class where we explore the question of “what is true?” In our AP History courses, we ask ourselves, “how do we know what is true or what happened in the past?” In AP Language and Composition, students explore the ways that authors use logos, pathos, and ethos to make their case. 

Another example is that in the IB Program, students write an extended essay. In this class students participate in “an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.” At BAIS, our students are required to go through a rigorous research program and write a thesis paper in their Grade 12 Bible class. The AP Program also has recently introduced a Capstone course that provides students with the opportunity to do original research and write a paper. 

So for all of the differences between these programs there are similarities. So why has BAIS chosen to follow the Advanced Placement path? First of all, we like the flexibility that the AP program offers our students. We believe that students should have choice and be able to explore the many different subjects that are out there. Secondly, AP Exam scores are widely accepted in the U.S. and Canada, so our program aligns well with those universities. Moreover, AP is also recognized globally. For example, the admissions process at the University of Sydney says, “SAT scores required can be lower for applicants presenting Advanced Placement tests (APs) with a score of 3 or better.” Thirdly, we believe that the perceived differences in the two programs are actually quite minor. Just because the IB has classes devoted to the theory of knowledge and the writing of an extended essay does not mean non-IB schools are not just as challenging and focused on helping students gain these skills. So rest assured that the AP program at BAIS is just as effective as the IB program in helping us accomplish our mission to provide every child with a challenging, biblically based, and transformative education, equipping them for a successful future. 


IB Organization. (n.d.). Extended essay. International Baccalaureate®. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/extended-essay/ 

IB Organization. (n.d.). Theory of knowledge. International Baccalaureate®. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/theory-of-knowledge/ 

University of Sydney. (n.d.). 2023 Admissions Guide FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS.

Spiritual Emphasis Week

October 5 – 7

October 7 is a half day ending at 11:55AM. 

Secondary Schedule | Elementary Schedule

SEW T-Shirts for those of you that ordered will be distributed next week on Tuesday. We have ordered a few extra T-Shirts and would be available for purchase on a first come first serve basis, please email sew@baisedu.org if you are interested.

This year for SEW we are partnering with the Free & Safe Indonesia Foundation for a “Rice-ing Together” program. We are asking BAIS students to donate rice and other non-perishable foods. StuCo will have collection boxes set up in the lobby during SEW. These food donations will be used to feed families and children in need through the FSI ministries.

Important Dates - October


SAT Test


College Fair




First Quarter Ends/Half Day


Mid Semester Break


Second Qaurter Begins

Drama Rehearsal Announcement

Wednesday, September 28th

Act 2, Scene 2

    • Jo
    • Amy
    • Beth
    • Meg
    • Marmee
    • Laurie

News from STEM Department

EBook for Elementary Students

 Environmental science class just  learned about  deforestation, chemical waste management, and pollution. They made ebook + audio  for elementary kids to pursue the kids  to keep their environment. Please enjoy it.

StuCo Update

StuCo New Jacket Design

From the Guidance Counselor

Online College Fair

Attention high school students, on Monday, October 3rd during period 7 & 8 we will be participating in an online college fair. Students will be on their own devices exploring and meeting with representatives from universities from 6 European countries, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United States.

Students will register for the event using this link.

Canada College Fair

This Sunday! In Jakarta!

Over 35 universities from Canada.

1PM to 6PM at the Fairmont Hotel

Please register via the following link: https://bit.ly/sicln-ina and we look forward to welcoming you at the Study in Canada Fair. Please note that this invitation can be extended to max 2 participants from each institution. We will also have lucky draws for networking participants at respective cities to win special weekend staycation prize at our wonderful venue hotels and other fun prizes!

SAIC - Indonesia Event

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Undergrad Admissions will be hosting an in-person event in Jakarta for prospective students! Students can RSVP to save their spot — hurry, spaces are limited!

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), the United States’ most influential art and design school, is hosting a SAIC Day in Jakarta. We invite you to meet with counselors from the admissions team for an optional portfolio review and the opportunity to learn more about our unique, interdisciplinary curriculum that lets you personalize your education across our 18 departments.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 6-9 p.m. WIB

The Orient Jakarta, Jl. Jend Sudirman Kav 36

Bend. Hilir, Kecamatan Tanah Abang

Kota Jakarta Pusat, Jakarta, Indonesia, 10210

Event Registration & RSVP 


BAIS Times Update

The BAIS Times has released their first official Indonesian translations of their articles on their website! To access the translations, you can change the language setting on the top right of the screen from English to either Korean or Indonesian. Head on to our website and check it out!