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What is it? Why should I participate?

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1 What is it? Why should I participate?
AP Advanced Placement What is it? Why should I participate? Adapted from resource handouts available at

2 What is AP? The Advanced Placement Program—or AP—is a voluntary program that offers students an opportunity to take one or more college-level courses while still in high school. AP isn’t just for top students or those headed for college. AP offers something for everyone. Students can choose from several subject areas, including art, computer science, geography, government and politics, music theory, foreign languages, and more. (Course selections vary by school)

3 What’s the difference between AP and other college-prep or Honors courses?
Many schools have created valuable honors courses for their students, but AP courses are the only ones actually designed by teams of college professors who work alongside expert secondary school teachers. Plus, college faculty participate in the scoring of the AP Exam you’ll take at the end of your course, comparing you to their own college students, verifying your mastery of the same level of curriculum.

4 Is AP right for you? AP is open to any student from any background, not just straight-A students, nerds, or geeks, but it may not be right for everyone. AP is the right choice for you if you have a healthy curiosity about a subject and are willing to work hard. If you enjoy an academic challenge and want to learn alongside classmates who are enthusiastic about learning and growing, consider signing up.

5 What is special about AP?
Skills honed in AP classes can help you improve your work in other courses and even in college. Discussions are intense, probing, and demanding. AP students are required to think for themselves, not give answers that are intended to please the teacher. AP homework involves thinking for yourself, expressing your ideas, and analyzing what you read. Busywork is not a part of the course. AP classes teach students to analyze, reason, and understand the world from a unique vantage point—their own.

6 AP + College Wherever you want to go to college, AP can dramatically improve your chances of getting in. It can also prepare you for the transition to college, knowing how to hit the books, get ahead, and stay ahead of the class. These admissions officers also know a challenging high school curriculum is always a great indicator of college success. So sending AP Exam grades to college can only help your chances of acceptance. Studies show that participation in AP and other challenging high school courses is one of the most reliable predictors of success in college.

7 Stand out in the Admissions Process
Everyone wants to get into the college of their choice. Those who make it take the most challenging courses.

8 If you hope to go to college…
AP can prepare you for the rigors of college, where intense course work catches far too many freshmen by surprise. AP can help you improve your writing skills, teach you problem-solving techniques, and help you develop good study habits. In short, AP can give you a clear understanding of what it takes to excel in college.

9 Earn College Credits! AP students usually have more options than other students: Your AP experience might exempt you from taking introductory courses in college. In fact, most of the nation's colleges and universities have an AP policy that grants incoming students credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP Examination grades. Such exemptions can serve to broaden your educational experience by providing opportunities to pursue additional courses, independent study, internships, or study abroad. Learn more: AP credit might allow you to pursue a double major in college, move on to upper-level courses sooner, enroll in combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, or complete your undergraduate degree in less than four years. Save money: Course waivers earned for AP courses may also help cut your college tuition expenses. Savings can add up to $3,000 per course. So whether you end up at a small liberal arts college or a large state school, AP is a good investment in your education.

10 What is the difference between earning college credit and earning AP placement?
Colleges and universities determine their own policies regarding AP Exam grades: Some award “credit” for qualifying AP Exam grades. This means you actually earn points toward your college degree. Others award “advanced placement.” This means you can skip introductory courses, enter higher-level classes, and/or fulfill general education requirements. Many colleges and universities offer both credit and placement. At Princeton University, for example, students can use qualifying AP Exam grades to: • Graduate in three or three-and-a-half years. • Enter upper-level courses. • Fulfill a foreign language requirement. *NOTE: Colleges and universities only give credit or placement for qualifying AP Exam grades, not AP course grades. Without a corresponding AP Exam grade, they can’t verify that the AP courses you take are true college-level courses.

11 If college isn’t in your plans…
AP is still a great choice. Some AP students graduate from high school and enroll in technical school. Some enlist in the military. Others apply for a job and begin long, productive careers. AP emphasizes the importance of living up to your potential and doing your personal best.

12 AP Exams AP Exams are taken in May at the end of the AP course. They typically last three hours and involve multiple-choice questions and essays or problems. An AP Exam grade of 3 or higher (on a scale of 1-5) can qualify you for college credit at most U.S. colleges and universities. The exams usually cost a fee, but are free to Robinson students. These exams are optional, but students are encouraged to take them since there is no fee associated with the exams.

13 Is a lower grade in an AP course better than a higher grade in a non-AP course?
In our school, an AP course is weighted an additional .08 towards your GPA, which means a “C” in an AP course is equivalent to an “A” in a regular class. AP work usually is more demanding, and college admissions officers know the expectations are higher in AP classes than in regular classes. This can make a crucial difference in an admissions decision.

14 Which AP courses are available to me?
Robinson High School offers these courses: AP Calculus BC AP Chemistry AP Computer Science AP English Language AP English Literature AP Environmental Science AP European History AP French Language AP Human Geography AP Latin AP Macroeconomics AP Music Theory AP Physics B AP Psychology AP Spanish Language AP Statistics AP Studio Art 2-D AP United States Government AP United States History AP World History Look at all of these opportunities to earn college credit and/or advanced placement!

15 For more information… Visit
(Go to to find out more about the credit and placement policies of individual colleges and universities—just type in the name of the institution or browse by letter of the alphabet) Talk to your school counselor

16 Think About It Does AP sound like a good opportunity for you?
Would you be interested in taking one or more AP courses next year? Which courses would you be interested in taking? Do you have any questions about AP courses?

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