In the next four postings, we’d like to provide you with insights into the three principal accelerated or advanced programs of study offered to high school students in the US. After we consider each of three programs, we’ll wrap up with a brief comparison.
This first in the series describes the College Board’s familiar Advanced Placement.
AP ― Advanced Placement
Most everyone in high school knows about College Board’s AP courses and exams. As the name implies, the curricula for these classes are more rigorous than non-AP classes in the same subject, and high scores on the year-end exams may garner college credit and advanced placement into college classes. More importantly, doing well in AP courses better prepares you for college and improves your chances for college admission. College Board recognizes five levels of distinction* among students who receive high scores on a designated number of AP exams.
More recently, the College Board implemented their AP Capstone™ diploma program with three principal parts:
- AP courses and exams
Students typically take AP Seminar in the 10th or 11th grade, followed by AP Research in their senior year. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP exams will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. Alternatively, students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.
* AP distinctions:
Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.
AP Scholar with Honor
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
AP Scholar with Distinction
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
State AP Scholar
Granted to the one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP Exams, and then the highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken.
National AP Scholar
Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.
The next in our series of posts will address the IB Diploma.