AP Exam Overview
Advanced Placement is a program run by College Board that allows you to take courses right in your class 11th or 12th that can earn you college credit and/or qualify you for more advanced classes when you begin college.
Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations.
What is an Advanced Placement – AP Exam?
AP Exam consist of multiple-choice questions and essay questions. Most exams are two to three hours long. It’s a test of everything you learn in your AP class. You earn college credits if you pass the AP exam at the end of the year in May. APs are scored between 1 and 5. A score of 5 shows that you are more advanced in a subject than 85-90% of students. This helps you to build a more remarkable college application. If you score a 3 or anything above that in an AP exam, chances are you can receive credits/advanced placement or both from your college. Almost all colleges and universities in the United States, as well as many institutions in more than 60 other countries, grant credit and placement for AP scores or acknowledge AP scores in the admission process.
How does AP act as credit in a US college?
One huge and vital difference with AP is you can get credits for university depending on the university and subject. A student can go directly into the second year in some subjects. The financial implications of this can be significant. For example, one student at CDL once got 5 APs in relevant subjects that all contributed to the equivalent of the entire 1st year of college study.
So, while the IB Diploma is increasingly recognised and well-regarded in the USA, APs do offer the advantage of being able to cut out some of the financial burdens of studying there.
However, this shouldn’t be a reason to encourage students to do AP courses if they are not academically ready for this level of study as the college will also look at their Grade Point Average (GPA). If the student doesn’t do well in an AP course, it can significantly affect the weighting of their GPA.
Is the AP well-respected by Universities/Colleges outside the USA?
Yes, many universities in Europe and the UK recognise and highly regard the AP. It’s important to note though, that while in the USA it is rare that a college will specify which APs and how many you need to enter a certain course of study, in Europe many universities will require a certain amount and specific ones too. The grades are important also. For example, British universities tend to offer conditional offers, equating APs to A-Levels, but often stipulating that the student needs to achieve a four. The Russell Group universities may require 3 AP’s with the highest grade, a five.
Why might the AP be a good choice of study?
As has already been mentioned, if a student intends to go to college in the USA, it is important to note that AP subjects can be used to gain credit in particular courses of study. Iif they receive a grade 3 or higher, t If they achieve they can go straight into 2nd-year courses in this subject.
Why should I take an AP exam?
More than 18,000 schools in 115 countries use the AP Program. Top colleges and most four-year universities in the U.S. accept qualifying AP Exam scores for college credit and advanced placement. Nearly all leading universities in Canada and the U.K. recognize AP for admission, credit or placement. For all colleges that accept the exams as class credit, makes it possible to graduate college in a shorter amount of time, saving your money. AP exams demonstrate real academic interest in a certain subject. For example, if you are an engineering aspirant, taking AP Calculus and AP Physics and passing the exams proves to a college admissions committee that you are serious about engineering and have the skills to pursue it. If you are interested in political science taking AP US History, AP US Government, would show strong preparation for those topics.
A high school student already has a big to-do list and recommending him one more series of the exam would certainly look like a punishment. But let’s consider few points here, if the performance in studies and other school curriculums is average but the student has deep aspirations to do his majors then AP exams would be the best option to explore. Admission officers prefer considering students who willingly take on college level courses at such a young age.
Know more about the significance of AP Exam
Even if the GPA is not upto the mark of college’s eligibility criterion, an application with AP on its transcripts holds a better chance with admission officers, who value the enthusiasm of the student to take on the challenges of college- level course work and expectations as a priceless possession. By taking the AP you are building the skill set required for an enhanced performance in your undergraduate studies.
Next challenge is to choose the right subject for AP exam, let’s have a look at the list of AP Courses:
- Art History
- Calculus AB
- Calculus BC
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Computer Science A
- English Language and Composition
- English Literature and Composition
- Environmental Science
- European History
- French Language and Culture
- German Language and Culture
- Government and Politics – Comparative
- Government and Politics – US
- Human Geography
- Italian Language and Culture
- Japanese Language and Culture
- Music Theory
- Physics 1 (Note this is new in 2014-15 and replaces AP Physics B)
- Physics 2 (Note this is new in 2014-15 and replaces AP Physics B)
- Spanish Language
- Spanish Literature
- Studio Art Drawing
- Studio Art 2D Design
- US History
- World History
What are the benefits for an Indian student taking an AP exam?
There are many benefits for an Indian student taking AP Courses and Exams.
- Taking AP courses helps students stand out in the college admissions process, by demonstrating to admission officers that they have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them. Universities around the world look favourably upon students who take AP courses and exams because performance in AP demonstrates a student’s commitment and ability to succeed at university-level studies.
- AP Exams enable students to earn college credit or advanced placement before they even start college, which can enable them to graduate early (students can sometimes save as much as a year at college), save tuition, pursue a double major, move into upper-level courses sooner, gain time to travel abroad, or complete an internship. Over 90 per cent of universities across the U.S. offer credit, advanced placement or both, on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. Additionally, all leading universities in Canada and the UK recognize AP for admission, credit or placement, as do many European universities. Credit policies differ by college, so students should understand the policies of the colleges they are interested in. To view credit policies for US colleges, students can visit www.collegeboard.org/apcreditpolicy and to check AP policies at universities outside the US, visit www.collegeboard.org/apintl.
- The AP Program recognizes high school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through AP courses and exams, with the AP Scholar Awards (non-monetary). Indian students also have the opportunity to earn the Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID), by achieving a score of 3 or higher in 5 or more AP Exams. Succeeding in AP Exams can also help students earn academic scholarships and awards from colleges and universities directly.
- AP can help a student illustrate his or her competence in a particular field of study and can also give students an opportunity to study a subject that they are interested in, but not able to study at their school. Some students take AP Exams to complete their General Education requirements at university.
- AP courses and exams help students develop the critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving and communication skills that are essential for success in college and beyond. This is especially important in the Indian context, as the studying methodology in schools following the Indian curriculum, can sometimes be very different from what has practised abroad.
- Universities across the world recognize the AP Program, and AP Exams are taken by students in more than 120 countries. A score of 5 in an AP Exam is interpreted the same way, whether that student is from Nairobi, New Delhi or New York. Hence, AP Exams also allow Indian students to provide a score from a standardised and globally recognised academic program in their college applications.