Advanced Placement (AP)

The Advanced Placement (AP) program is a curriculum sponsored by the College Board that offers standardized high school courses that are roughly equivalent to undergraduate college courses. AP courses are designed to give high school students the opportunity to earn college credit and/or advanced placement in college by taking and succeeding on rigorous AP exams. Below is an outline for a comprehensive AP curriculum that prepares students for the exams and ultimately for college-level work.

General Structure
  • AP courses are typically taken by high school juniors and seniors, with some sophomores also participating.

  • Students can choose from a variety of AP subjects across different disciplines.

  • Courses are designed to be challenging and require a higher level of student engagement, critical thinking, and independent study.

  • Each course culminates in a standardized exam administered globally in May each year, where a score of 3 or higher on a 5-point scale can lead to college credit and/or placement.
AP Subjects

AP English:

  • AP English Language and Composition: Focuses on rhetoric and effective argumentation, non-fiction, and analytical writing.

  • AP English Literature and Composition: Involves the study and interpretation of literature, poetry, and drama, with an emphasis on literary analysis and writing.

AP Sciences:

  • AP Biology: Explores molecular and cellular biology, genetics, evolution, and ecology.

  • AP Chemistry: Deals with atomic theory, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium.

  • AP Physics 1 and 2: Covers classical mechanics, electricity, magnetism, waves, and simple circuits.

  • AP Environmental Science: Focuses on ecological concepts, human impact on the environment, and sustainability.

AP Social Sciences:

  • AP World History: Examines civilizations, cultural, economic, and political developments globally from prehistory to the present.

  • AP U.S. History: Studies the development of American institutions and identity from the colonial period onwards.

  • AP Psychology: Introduces psychological theories, applications, and research.

  • AP Human Geography: Explores patterns and processes that shape human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface.

AP Mathematics:

  • AP Calculus AB and BC: Covers differential and integral calculus, including advanced topics for BC.

  • AP Statistics: Involves collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data.

AP World Language and Cultures:

  • AP Spanish Language and Culture: Develops proficiency in Spanish language skills and understanding of Hispanic cultures.
  • AP French Language and Culture: Aims to improve French language abilities and knowledge of Francophone cultures.

  • AP German Language and Culture: Focuses on German linguistic skills and insight into German-speaking regions’ customs.

  • AP Italian Language and Culture: Enhances Italian language competencies and familiarity with Italian traditions.

  • AP Chinese Language and Culture: Strengthens Mandarin Chinese communication skills and explores Chinese culture.

  • AP Japanese Language and Culture: Builds Japanese language expertise and cultural awareness.

AP Arts:

  • AP Studio Art: Offers several courses, including Drawing, 2D Art and Design, and 3D Art and Design, each requiring a portfolio submission.

  • AP Music Theory: Covers music fundamentals, composition, and aural skills.

  • AP Art History: Examines art and architecture from various cultures, from prehistory to the present.
Preparation for AP Exams
  • In-depth Coursework: Each AP course includes rigorous content that aligns with college-level expectations, including extensive reading, laboratory work, and problem-solving.

  • Skill Development: AP courses emphasize the development of critical thinking, analytical writing, and research skills across all subject areas.

  • Practice Exams: Students take practice AP exams to familiarize themselves with the format and to practice time management under exam conditions.

  • Review Sessions: Leading up to the exams, students participate in review sessions to reinforce key concepts and address any areas of weakness.

  • Lab Work and Art Portfolios: For courses with lab or portfolio components, students spend significant time developing their skills and compiling their best work for submission.

  • Language Immersion: Language courses employ an immersive approach, with instruction and conversation predominantly in the target language.

  • Supplementary Materials: Teachers provide study guides, exam tips, and additional resources to aid student preparation.
Extracurricular Engagement
  • AP Clubs and Study Groups: To supplement classroom learning, students can join or form study groups and clubs focused on AP subjects.

  • Competitions and Academic Challenges: Participation in subject-specific contests can enhance students’ understanding and application of AP content.

  • Community Projects: Especially for AP Environmental Science and language courses, students can engage in community service projects that relate to their coursework.
Support Services
  • Academic Counseling: Counsel ors help students select AP courses that align with their academic goals and college aspirations.

  • Tutoring Services: Schools may offer tutoring for students who need extra help with AP course material or exam preparation.

  • College Board Resources: Utilization of official AP materials and College Board resources, such as AP Classroom, for practice questions and progress tracking.

  • Teacher Professional Development: Ongoing training for AP teachers to stay updated on course curricula, teaching strategies, and exam changes.
Teacher and Peer Feedback
  • Regular assessments and graded assignments provide students with feedback on their understanding and mastery of the course content.

  • Peer review sessions encourage collaborative learning and help students learn from each other’s perspectives and insights.
Technology Integration
  • Incorporation of educational technology tools to enhance learning, including online simulations for science labs, language learning apps, and digital art portfolios.

  • Use of online platforms for submitting coursework, accessing additional learning materials, and participating in discussion forums.
College and Career Readiness
  • Information sessions on how AP credits are recognized by colleges and universities, and how they can impact college placement and credit.

  • Guidance on how AP courses and exam scores can strengthen college applications and support scholarship applications.
Wellness and Stress Management
  • Programs and resources that support student well-being, including stress management workshops and mindfulness exercises, particularly as exams approach.

  • Encouragement of a balanced approach to study, with time for relaxation, exercise, and hobbies.
Assessment and Quality Assurance
  • Continuous review of AP course offerings and student performance to ensure alignment with College Board standards and student success on AP exams.

  • Analysis of AP exam results to identify trends, celebrate successes, and develop strategies for improvement in teaching and learning.
Post-AP Exam Opportunities
  • Exploration of subject areas beyond the AP curriculum for interested students, including independent study, research projects, or internships.

  • Celebration of students’ hard work and achievements in AP courses, recognizing the dedication and effort required to complete these rigorous classes.

By offering a robust selection of AP courses and providing comprehensive support for exam preparation, the AP curriculum aims to prepare students for the academic rigor of college courses, while also offering the opportunity to earn college credit in high school. The program is designed to challenge students, foster a love of learning, and equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in higher education and beyond.