What is AP?

Updated |
What is AP?
AP is short for the Advanced Placement Program offered by the College Board. More here.
AP or Advanced Placement Program is a three year sequence of course work offered by the College Board in 30 subject areas. AP courses are optional but offer students the opportunity to work at a first year college level. National examinations are held in May of the senior year. The reason most prep schools offer AP courses is because a good grade in an AP exam usually eliminates the need to take the equivalent first year college course. That means you can get on with more advanced courses as soon as you start college saving both time and money.
 
How Are AP Exams Scored?
AP exams are scored on a five point scale. A grade of 5 is the highest, 1 the lowest. For more about AP scores and how they are determined, read The Grade Setting Process.
Since course work in a given subject is generally deemed to be the equivalent to a first year college course, usually students who achieve a 4 or 5 are permitted to skip freshmen courses in the subject.
 
Who Administers AP Courses?
While the Advanced Placement program is administered by the College Board, a panel of expert educators from around the U.S.A. guides all aspects of the program. Teachers also participate in the 'reading' of the free response sections of the exams each June.

 

Subjects offered include:

 

 

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Computer Science A
  • Computer Science AB
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Environmental Science
  • European History
  • French Language
  • French Literature
  • German Language
  • Comp Government & Politics
  • U.S. Government & Politics
  • Human Geography
  • Italian Language and Culture
  • Japanese Language and Culture
  • Latin Literature
  • Latin: Vergil
  • Music Theory
  • Physics B
  • Physics C
  • Psychology
  • Spanish Language
  • Spanish Literature
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art
  • U.S. History
  • World History

 

Most prep schools offer Advanced Placement courses. Schools which do so have to maintain a highly qualified and experienced faculty in order to achieve good results in these rigorous examinations. Put another way, their academic reputation is on the line. The quality of curriculum and course offerings is yet another aspect to any prep school which parents should take into consideration as they evaluate schools.

 


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