Jumpstart Your College Career
Exploring the A.P. Option
What is the A.P. Program?
The Advanced Placement (AP) program is designed to assist students who are exceptionally
motivated to prepare themselves for college. Those with qualifying scores are eligible
to earn credit for course work before they even graduate from high school at the
more than 90 percent of four-year colleges that provide credit for good scores.
For students who are anxious to begin their college career, AP just might be the
right option. Typically, the courses are rigorous. They demand the full attention
of the students involved and 100 percent of their commitment to achieve success
and earn college credit. If you do well though, you could be saving money by skipping
the required courses you’ve tested out of, and freeing up time to do things like
pursue courses in your major or even graduate early.
Where is the A.P program available?
One of the best things about the AP program is that students have access to it just
about anywhere in the country. Many high schools offer a variety of AP courses,
and any student who is interested in taking an AP exam is encouraged to do so. There
are more than 30 AP courses to choose from across a wide variety of subject matter—from
Chinese Language and Culture to Statistics—but be sure to make sure to do your research
on the current list of subjects offered, as they are subject to change.
Are you a home schooled student interested in participating? Not a problem. Home
schooled students can also take advantage of the AP program and are encouraged to
do so, with some states even sponsoring online AP courses for the hundreds of home
schooled students who take the tests annually. The right preparation and thorough
instruction will leave any student well-prepared to succeed on the exams.
If you are interested in taking an AP course at your high school see your guidance
counselor or talk with a teacher familiar with the coursework for more information.
The cost to register for an exam is typically $86 per test, but some state and school
districts may offer reduced fees to qualifying students. If you would like to take
an A.P. exam and your high school does not offer the program, get in touch with
an A.P coordinator by March 15. You’ll need to tell that coordinator that you are
looking for a school willing to administer the exam you’re interested in. That coordinator,
rather than your high school’s administrators, counselors, or teachers, will be
your point of contact for questions on where you need to be, what you need to pay,
and what you should be bringing to your exam.