Hello there I'm a sophomore in MYP (Pre-IB) but I also take AP classes as well as my MYP/IB classes. AP isn't necessarily easier than IB classes. They're both supposed to be challenging and harder than non IB or AP classes.
I think the reason that your GPA is lower this year is because of the transition into IB. I did the MYP program at my middle school so my transition was easy. However one of my good friend's GPA dropped from a 4.0 to a 3.4ish in the first quarter of high school because she wasn't used to how IB did things. However your GPA may be lower because you're not understanding the material as well as you can or you're not giving a full 100% on assignments.
I take AP Art History and AP U.S. Government/Politics as well as my MYP and IB classes. They're all harder than normal classes. But they both look darn good to colleges. Even if the specific college doesn't give you the credit for IB or AP classes, they show that you're a hardworking student and have taken higher-level classes that look good on applications.
I think your GPA will increase as you continue through IB. In ninth grade I got straight A's for the last semester and because of that I got an A as a final in all of my classes, and I was in Pre-IB. If I can do it, you can do it too.
@ Holden: Many people have the time to do community service. I give about 8 hours a month to a local aquarium during the school year and about 16 a month during the summer months. I also take martial arts classes. I know people who do even more than that. People do have time to do that. IB does not mean that you have to get rid of your social life.
Listen if you are heading into the UK, IB is probably more preferred over there. In the States, AP is more preferred. Then again IB is internationally recognized.
I would not say AP is easier; AP is more flexible. In my opinion the IB is only good for the diploma, most courses in the IB are more or less the same as AP.
For example, IB Physics Hl pales in comparison with AP Physics C because AP Physics C requires Calculus which is why it is more accepted than IB Physics Hl in any university I know in North America.
On the other hand, IB Further Maths Sl is a lot harder than AP Calculus BC, but very often AP Calculus BC is good enough, I say it is still better than IB Math Hl.
See the comparison? Colleges of high reputation look not only at your grades, but extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, your essay, SATs, just about everything.
That said, many universities recognize the rigority of the IB Diploma program. I mean 150 hours in CAS? (Creativity, Athlete, and Service) Who has the time to do that?
The thing is, getting a 5 in two years in IB, whether Hl or Sl, is a lot harder than earning a 5 on the AP.
Most IB courses require a preparotry prerequisite to take, so why push yourself in two years when you can adjust your schedule with the AP?
If you are so confident that you can score higher than a 5 on the IB Exams, go for it.
Personally I would take a mix in between AP and IB because the IB Diploma needs 6 core subjects with 3 of them being at higher level at the least. 4 is the maximum.
3.285 is quite a poor GPA if you want to go into prestigious schools like Princeton, based on that I advise you not to take the IB.