Advanced Placement


Advanced Placement is a program of college-level courses and exams that gives high school students the opportunity to receive advanced placement and/or credit in college. The content of these college-level courses is determined by the College Board. Currently 60% of the nation’s high schools participate in AP. Students who score well on the exams may be awarded college credit in most of the nation’s colleges and universities. In assessing a student’s application, many colleges also look favorably upon courses designated as AP since these courses represent more rigorous content than the standard high school curriculum. Most of the nation’s colleges and universities have an AP policy granting incoming students credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP exams. Students are encouraged to investigate the AP policy of the college of their choice. In preparation for some Advanced Placement courses at ACAA, students must complete summer work. Summer assignments are available in the late spring from content-area directors.


AP examinations offer students the following benefits:
• The opportunity to sharpen academic skills, allowing them to enter college with the confidence that they can succeed
• Exemption by the college or university from introductory courses and permission to take higher-level courses, enabling students to move ahead in areas of interest
• An opportunity to demonstrate to colleges the ability to successfully pursue rigorous coursework
• Academic credit that can give them a head start in college
• Tuition savings – a year or more of credit may be granted for a sufficient number of qualifying AP grades
• Time to explore undergraduate subject areas that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to study, and time to pursue internships or to study abroad
• The opportunity and satisfaction of meeting a challenge.
• Eligibility for collegiate honors and other special programs open to students who have received AP recognition

Every examination receives an overall grade on a five-point scale:  

Extremely Well Qualified     5
Well Qualified                      4
Qualified                             3
Possibly Qualified                2
No Recommendation         1

Scoring 3, 4 or 5 on an exam is considered an “honor grade.” Colleges typically place greater emphasis on AP exam results that have earned honor grades. In addition, the College Board has an AP Scholar recognition program that honors those students who meet defined standards on AP exams.