AP Courses

The Advanced Placement or AP Program is a curriculum in the United States sponsored by the College Board.  This program offers standardized courses to high school students that are recognized to be equivalent to undergraduate courses in college.

AP Classes

AP classes are generally more rigorous than the general course offerings and are graded differently.  They offer a unique learning experience for high school students and are geared towards helping students succeed in college.  In AP classrooms, the focus is not on memorizing facts and figures.  Instead, students are engaged in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn how to write clearly and persuasively.  AP classes help students improve their writing skills, sharpen their problem-solving abilities, and also develop time management skills, discipline, and better study habits.

AP Teachers

AP classes are taught by highly qualified high school teachers.  These teachers must use the AP course descriptions published by the College Board as a guide.  These course descriptions provide all of the course content on which the AP exams will be based, but each teacher has the flexibility to determine how the material is presented to students.

Which AP Classes Are Offered?

There are currently 34 different AP courses that students can choose from.  They are as follows:

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Computer Science A
  • English Language and Composition
  • English Literature and Composition
  • Environmental Science
  • European History
  • French Language
  • German Language
  • Government and Politics: Comparative
  • Government and Politics: United States
  • Human Geography
  • Italian Language and Culture
  • Japanese Language and Culture
  • Latin: Vergil
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Music Theory
  • Physics B
  • Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics C: Mechanics
  • Psychology
  • Spanish Language
  • Spanish Literature
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art: 2-D Design
  • Studio Art: 3-D Design
  • Studio Art: Drawing
  • United States History
  • World History

How Can I Enroll?

If you decide that you’re willing to take on the AP challenge, enrolling is relatively easy.  Talk to an AP teacher, school counselor, or the AP Coordinator at your school about the class you’re interested in.  He or she will tell you what the next step is.

AP Exams

When students complete AP classes, they typically choose to take the AP exam related to whichever subject taken.  AP exams are administered during the month of May.  These classes give students the opportunity to earn college credit.

AP exams are scored on a 5-point scale: 5 = Extremely well qualified; 4 = Well qualified; 3 = Qualified; 2 = Possibly qualified; and 1 = No recommendation.

Each exam contains a free response section (either essay or problem solving) and a multiple-choice section.  The multiple-choice questions are scored by the computer, while the free response portions are graded by college professors and high school teachers.

How Can I Get College Credit?

Individual colleges and universities, not the College Board or the AP Program Coordinator, grant course credit.  Since policies vary by institution, students should obtain a college’s AP policy in writing.  You can find this information on the institution’s catalogue or on its website.

Colleges that have received a student’s AP score report will generally notify students of any placement, credit, and/or exemption they have earned during the summer.  Students can also contact the college’s admissions office to find out the status of their AP credit and/or placement.

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TheCollegeHelper

TheCollegeHelper

Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.
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