All you Need to Know About Advanced Placement: Fact Vs Fiction

Advanced Placement isan inclusive way to successfully prepare students with the skills they need for university, the workplace and beyond.

What is AP?
Advanced Placement (AP) is a program designed to teach high school students a university-level curriculum in grades 11 and 12. If a student has a high score in their AP examinations, they may be granted course credits and advance to second-year courses upon acceptance to a university.

When did Advanced Placement Start?
Advanced Placement was created at the end of World War II in the US and piloted by 3 prep schools and 3 universities: Harvard, Princeton and Yale University. The program was successful in preparing students for university and in 1955, the program was taken over by the College Board and expanded across the US and Canada.

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Which are the Advantages of Advanced Placement?
A huge advantage of AP is that students who take pre-advanced placement (grade 9-10) and Advanced Placement (grade 11-12), gain the soft skills and critical thinking skills that sets them up for success in university and in the workplace. It allows students to sharpen their research skills, learn effective time management, gain confidence through presentation skills and gives them the ability to see different ways of problem-solving.

Who is AP for?
AP is designed to accommodate different types of learners, and it trains teachers to have a flexible approach to accommodate learning styles. The philosophy of the AP course is to be inclusive, and encourages students who may be hesitant to learn something new, to try it. For example; a more creative-learning student is encouraged to learn computer science and not be intimidated by the subject matter. AP trained teachers to give the necessary support and care for all students to be successful in their learning and getting out of their comfort zone.

Advanced Placement: Fiction Vs Fact
There are some misconceptions about the program that occasionally come up in my conversations with parents about the program:

  • Is AP for all students?

Fiction:AP is only for students who already have high grades.
Fact:AP is for any student who is academically prepared and motivated to expand their learning with university-level courses.

  • Are AP courses worth it?

Fiction:AP courses will only add unnecessary stress.
Fact:AP courses are challenging, yet the support students receive from AP teachers will take the stress off of what you are learning.

  • Do I need to get 5 on AP exam to get University Credit?

Fiction:If I don’t score 5 out of 5 on my AP exam, I won’t get my university credit.
Fact:You don’t necessarily have to score 5 out of 5 on your AP exams. Many universities will grant credit for 3 or higher.

  • Will AP Scores Affect my Chances of Admission?

Fiction:Taking AP courses will hurt my overall marks.
Fact:This is important to note, your AP mark is private unless you choose to share it with universities.

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Advanced Placement courses are interesting, challenging and rewarding for students. If you feel that this could be the right fit for your student, you can get more information through the College Board website and ask your child’s school guidance counselor if they offer AP. The benefits of this program will last a lifetime.

Byline: Johanna Ziegler, Director of Admissions, Fulford Academy

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