Harvard, Princeton and Yale Universities completed a study in 1952 on education in schools and colleges recommending high school seniors study college level courses, followed by exams, which when successfully passed awarded college level course credit. In 1955 The College Board initiated this rigorous teaching and exam program known as the AP or Advanced Placement program.
Although some memorizing is essential to success in AP, learning is best achieved through collaboration to solve problems, participation in discussions, and by persuasive writings. Any student can take up to 33 AP courses, but typically the examinations follow a specific high school’s selection of offered courses instead of individual study. AP courses include English Literature, Biology, English Language, Math, Calculus, US History, Chemistry, Environmental Science and many more.
Benefits of Advanced Placement AP
AP is a cooperative endeavor between high schools and colleges and universities to better prepare students for college success. Students can earn college credit at the vast majority of higher education institutions. College placement is a significant advantage also as most undergraduate colleges and universities accept AP credits and even use the qualifying scores for placement in special honors programs, for example. Less time must be paid for in college dollars and less time spent taking courses in college that meet the general requirements. The credits are also recognized in at least 55 other countries, and are a strong factor in many scholarship offerings. Earning college credits is a wonderful way to save college funds – each completed course is free in high school whereas it would cost expensive tuition dollars in college. Colleges vary as to how they accept earned AP credits, so this should be checked out at the school(s) of interest to each student.
AP Scholar Awards?
Absolutely. Awards document a student’s mastery of these challenging college-level studies through AP courses and examination completed in May of each year. There are several award levels, some of which are:
AP Scholar: Student receives scores of 3 or more on at least 3 AP exams.
AP Scholar with Honor: Average score of 3.25 or more on all AP exams taken PLUS scores of 3 or more on at least 4 exams.
AP Scholar with Distinction: Average score of 3.25 or more on all AP exams taken PLUS scores of 3 or more on at least 5 exams.
Is it really worth all the commitment and dedication?
Again, yes. Your extra work and credit typically results in a higher weighted high school GPA when successful. You expand and enhance your time management skills and force prioritization of your work. These solid study habits will follow you through college and life. You should enjoy the intensity of the group discussions and critical thinking skills required for the problem solving. The power and significance of engaging in study groups may reign. Your readings and writings exemplify your motivation and willingness to take on rigorous work for college preparation. You work hard; you win!
Are AP teachers specially trained?
Yes. To be the best, they may receive yearly training on regional and state levels to plan and present challenging courses to ensure they are properly preparing students for college success.