Advanced Placement ProgramWhat is the AP Program?The National College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) gives students an opportunity to take college-level courses and exams while they are still in high school. Through this program students may earn credit for high school courses; and, if they earn a grade of 3, 4, or 5 on the College Board test in May, they may also receive college credit for the equivalent course at more than 2900 colleges and universities that give credit for AP. Students can do this without having to leave Tartan.
Why is AP so valuable?By succeeding in an AP course and exam, students can prove to themselves that they can master college-level material. Once used to being challenged, they are more likely to continue with advanced studies. Students who know in advance that they can succeed in college are less likely to go for the easy options at college, and are more likely to specialize in majors with tougher grading standards. They are also more likely to take a greater course load and complete a higher number of higher-level courses. According to the College Board, AP student are twice as likely to go into PhD programs.Subject Knowledge. Students can study a subject in greater depth with similarly motivated peers. The AP Exams given in May evaluate what students have learned about the subject matter of the course and generally include two sections: multiple-choice and fee response. Multiple-choice questions require students to demonstrate their knowledge across a broad array of topics. Free-response questions require them to organize their knowledge and to produce clear, coherent answers that demonstrate their understanding of the discipline and of specific concepts. These answers may take the form of essays, solution to problems, or audio taped responses.
Challenging course of study. Students who take AP courses challenge themselves. Compared with a regular high school course, the AP courses are much more demanding. Students can expect homework every night. For example, during a typical week in a AP class, in addition to long term research assignments, they may be asked to complete the following assignments: read and take a quiz on two or three text chapters, complete five to ten document summaries, write one or more essays, and take a unit test. There may also be required summer assignments for several of the AP courses.
Skill development. AP courses motivate students to work hard. The sort of work they do in AP courses, such as analyzing material, writing essays, and preparing for exams, will help them develop skills and study habits that will be vital in college.
On-site Program. Unlike PSEO programs in which students leave Tartan to take courses, the AP program allows the students to take college-level courses at Tartan. Many participants say that it is easier for them to stay actively involved in the extra-curricular activities offered at Tartan and to maintain their high school friendships.
College Admission. Students may improve their chances for admission into a highly competitive college. Colleges and Universities recognize that applicants with AP experience are better prepared for the demands of college courses. Admission Officers are well aware of the rigors of AP courses and exams. Even if a student does not pass the College Board Exam in May, most colleges view the fact that they have an AP course on their transcript as a sign that they are motivated students who will be better prepared academically for college.
College Credit. Most colleges and universities in the US and Canada, as well as those in 30 other countries, grant students credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam grades. This could amount to significant savings for tuition costs and open up more options for students during their tenure such as time to study abroad, internships and pursuing double majors. Every year, hundreds of students achieve sophomore standing by earning enough qualifying AP Exam scores. Students can visit specific college or university web sites, or contact the school, to find out the school’s AP policy.