FAQs and FACTS

  • Who creates AP exams?

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    AP course descriptions and AP exams are prepared by College Board Development Committees comprised of college and university faculty and experienced AP teachers from around the world. These committees are assisted by content experts from Educational Testing Service (ETS). Each year the Development Committees set specifications and develop new versions of the exams.

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  • What are the exams like?

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    AP Placement Exams are offered in May each year. Except for Studio Art, which consists of a portfolio assessment, all AP exams contain a free-response section (either essay or problem-solving) and another section of multiple-choice questions. The modern language exams also contain a performance section that includes the recording of students' responses on audiotape. Exams range from two to three hours in length.

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  • Who can participate in the AP Program?

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    The AP program at Columbia Heights is open to students who meet the following qualifications:

    - Complete the application

    - Positive teacher recommendation in the subject area for the AP course

    - 2.5 cumulative GPA

    - 3.0 GPA in subject area of the AP course

    - Student has completed the required pre-requisite courses as described in the course scheduling guide.

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  • How does the AP Program benefit schools!

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    The quality of the AP Program and its participating schools is reflected in the fact that the National Education Goals Plan uses AP as a measure of academic excellence. Schools with successful AP programs are regarded as strong academic institutions and their participation helps set a standard of achievement for students and contributes to the faculty's professional pride as well as community pride.

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  • How does the AP Program benefit teachers?

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    Teachers are offered professional development. The College Board sponsors workshops, which are attended by about 40,000 AP teachers each year. In addition, approximately 10,000 teachers complete graduate courses or extended workshops at various universities and professional development institutes.

    Teachers gain job satisfaction. Most AP teacher derive enormous satisfaction from being able to teach their subjects in greater depth to a group of able and motivated students.

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  • How does the AP Program benefit students?

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    Students demonstrate scholarship on national and international academic levels. Taking an AP examination enables students to compare their knowledge and understanding of a college- level subject with the high academic standards established by college faculty. The challenge of meeting these national and international standards gives students a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Students who plan to attend a university outside the United States may also be eligible to receive the Advanced Placement International Diploma for Overseas Study.

    Students study in greater depth. Students who take AP courses learn a subject in depth, develop analytical reasoning skills and form disciplined study habits that can contribute to continued success at the college level.

    Students are often exempted from introductory courses at college. Over 90% of the colleges and universities in the United States, as well as schools in other countries, use AP grades. The associated cost savings can be as much as $3,000 per course! Course exemption also gives students time to broaden their college experience by exploring additional subject areas, participating in internships and studying abroad.

    Students may be granted sophomore standing. Students who earn satisfactory grades on enough AP Exams may be granted a full year's credit by their college or university. The grading scale on the AP test is 1-5. Most universities grant credit for a passing score of 3 and above.

    Students are eligible for AP Scholar Awards. The AP Program offers several prestigious awards to recognize high school students who demonstrate college-level achievement on specified numbers of AP exams.

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  • What is the AP Program?

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    The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP) is an opportunity for students to pursue college-level studies while still in secondary school. Through this program, students may earn credit, advanced placement, or both, for college. By challenging and stimulating students, the AP Program provides access to high quality education, accelerates learning, rewards achievement and enhances both high school and college programs.

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The Benefits

    • Challenges and stimulates students

    • Upgrades a student's high school and college program

    • Gives students the chance to earn college credit without leaving the high school campus

    • Permits students to take more advanced courses in college

    • Reduces requests from students for early graduation from high school

    • Reduces educational costs for parents and saves time and money for students

    • Fosters leadership qualities in outstanding students

    • Accelerates learning

    • Motivates students to improve study habits

    • Rewards achievement

    • Individualizes education

    • Stimulates and revitalizes teachers and departments

    • Improves libraries and laboratories

    • Improves articulation within a school as well as between high school and college

    • Indicates to the public that a school values intellectual achievement and academic excellence

    • Increases collaboration between colleges/universities and high schools.

    • Improves curriculum for all students when teachers participate in training and conferences