A Formal Introduction to Advanced Placement

What is AP?

AP stands for ‘Advanced Placement’ and it’s a program that was developed by the College Board to offer college-level courses to high school students who want to specialize in a given field of study such as English, biology, chemistry, economics, etc. It’s usually taken by highly motivated students who want to get a head start on college learning.

Why take Ap?

There are many different reasons to why high school students want to take AP, but a majority of them take them to get post-secondary standing when they apply to college. If you want to let colleges know that you’re serious about your education then having an AP course on your high school transcript is a great way to show that! Students take AP because, they want to lower their tuition by reducing the need to take the needed course when they can just take it in high school through AP. With this said, there are countless reasons why you should apply for AP and that if you really want to show your aptitude and attitude to an admissions team at a potential college that you may like then take AP. If you want to see a more visual reason to take AP courses play the videos below:

How does it work?

When you reach a certain point that you do want to take an AP course please consider the following:

  1. Get ready for an altered change to the classroom environment: Remember that Advanced Placement is a college-level course and that the style of the course will be different such as that you may be required to perform at a more independent nature than simply waiting for your teacher to teach you.
  2. Doing homework may be more than just homework: Doing class assignments in a college-level course is just not enough, you may be asked to do some extended reading on course material that will be taught to get some formal ideas on the topic and may be asked to do numerous tasks simultaneously with deadlines close up.

When you sign up for an AP course, you are asked to fill out a contract. This contract is used to indicate that you’re ready for the challenge of taking the course and that you will follow the policies of taking the course. When all of this is settled, you then proceed to take the course and take a final exam which I’ll discuss with you in the next paragraph.

How are students assessed?

Upon entering the course, you are presented a course outline called a syllabus, and this outline consists of lecture dates, policies, course content, educational materials, and the grading system.

In May, all AP students take their exams and later in summer they received their scores in July. The grading system goes accordingly as shown:

  • 5 = extremely qualified
  • 4 = well qualified
  • 3 = qualified
  • 2 = possibly qualified 
  • 1 = no recommendation

After taking an exam, the multiple choice answers are scanned and scored by a computer, while the free-response section is evaluated by experienced AP teachers during the annual AP reading during the first two weeks of June. When July strikes, you may receive your scores online or in the mail for some.

WHat does it take for my school to offer these courses?

If your school is interested on offering AP courses to students, your school must go through a process that will determine if your school is able to provide the students the resources that they need. This process is known as an audit. It will evaluate teachers, the given syllabus and other concerns regarding the course. If you want to see how AP looks like in the eyes of educators check out the videos below:

I hope this gave you an idea of what AP is like and if you want more information check out their site here:

Advanced Placement


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The creator of Rants of an AP Student. A boy. A blog. And a laptop. I'm your everyday hipster who loves blogging, and promoting social awareness to the world. I'm an activist, an honours student, a blogger, and your everyday all love and free kind of guy.

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