The Advanced Placement Program

  • The AP program is sponsored by the College Board. The prescribed curriculum offers a high level of academic rigor. An AP course is a college-level course with a curriculum that is set by national standards. Teachers are trained by the College Board in instructional strategies designed for academic success at the college level. The curriculum provides a challenging environment in which students gain specialized instruction in a subject area. Students study a subject in greater depth. Students have the opportunity to learn alongside other students that are just as enthusiastic about a subject.

    The work that students do in an AP class will help to develop the study habits and skills vital to college success. AP course work will help students analyze problems effectively, improve writing skills, and prepare students for comprehensive exams, all tools that will serve students well in college. Universities recognize that a demanding academic program prepares students for the challenges of college. Taking AP classes improves students’ chances of getting into more selective universities.

    In the spring, students have the opportunity to gain college credit or upper level standing at colleges and universities by taking AP exams. Universities may use AP scores as a criterion for placement in Honors programs.

    Students are graded on a scale from 1-5. A grade of 3 or better is considered passing. You do need to check with the university of your choice for the exam grade that is required to gain credit or standing for an AP test at that college.

    By taking an AP course and exam, you are making an investment in the future. Students receiving qualifying scores on AP exams may earn several university credits per exam taken. This translates directly into tuition savings.

    Students who receive credit or college standing gain a head start on advanced learning opportunities. Many students enter college with sophomore standing. This allows students the chance to explore other interests such as a double major, minor, study abroad; opportunities students often don’t have the time or finances to do.

    There is student responsibility involved in an AP course. Students in AP classes must understand that they are in a college-level course. It will be taught as such and will require college level maturity and dedication. The student must be responsible, be able to work independently, and excel at managing both time and materials. As with any college class, students may be required to learn selected material on their own, work on lengthy independent projects in a short amount of time, read extra material before entering the class, and take college-level assessments. This requires extra time and effort. Therefore, it is essential that the student has the desire and dedication needed to succeed in an AP class. The decision to enter an AP class must be a collaborative effort between you as the parents, the student, and the AP teacher. If the student does not have a true desire or dedication for an AP class, then the road will be a long and hard one to navigate. It is imperative that both you and your student understand the weight of the decision you make and the commitment you are signing up for when your student enrolls in an AP course.

    To learn more about the AP Exam, connect with The College Board

    If you have questions regarding the advanced placement program, please contact your House Advisor or House Principal Greg Pitts.