Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) courses give you a head start on college. AP courses are designed and updated annually to reflect what’s being taught in cutting-edge college courses. Students receive an external evaluation—the AP Exam—which is scored by college faculty from around the world who verify that the student has mastered college-level studies.
Taking the end-of-course AP Exam sends a powerful message to colleges and universities that a student is ready for them, and can enable students to gain admission, college credit, and placement into advanced courses.
A 1999 U.S. Department of Education study found that the strongest predictor of college graduation is something students do before they ever go to college:Participate in rigorous, college-level courses in high school—and AP courses in particular.
Clifford Adelman, Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance , and Bachelor’s Degree Attainment (1999), U.S. Department of Education.
The Benefits of AP Courses
• AP courses are often the most interesting and fulfilling courses a student takes in high school.
• AP teachers are among the most prepared, dedicated, and inspiring teachers at their schools.
• Students develop confidence, and learn the study habits and time management skills essential for success in college.
• AP Credit Expands Students’ Options
• College credit earned through AP Exams allows students to move into upper-level college courses sooner, pursue a double major, and gain time to study and travel abroad.
• Colleges rank “Grades in college prep courses” and “Strength of curriculum” as the top two factors in the admission decision.*
• 85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions.**
What Are AP Courses Like?
AP courses typically demand more of students than regular or honors courses.
• Classes tend to be fast-paced and cover more material than typical high school classes.
• More time, inside and outside of the classroom, is required to complete lessons, assignments and homework.
• AP teachers expect their students to think critically, analyze and synthesize facts and data, weigh competing perspectives, and write clearly and persuasively.
* 2009 State of College Admission, NACAC
** Unpublished institutional research, Crux Research Inc. March 2007
Why Take AP Exams?
More than 3,200 colleges and universities offer credit or advanced placement for qualifying AP Exam scores. This includes more than 90 percent of four-year U.S. colleges and universities.
• Credit: Students earn points toward their college degrees
• Advanced placement: Students can skip introductory courses, enter higher-level classes, and/or fulfill general education requirements.
AP Helps Students Graduate on Time…
Students who take AP courses and exams are much more likely than their peers to complete a college degree on time.
• Only one in four students who enter college complete a bachelor’s degree in four years.*
• A recent study** showed that students taking AP courses and exams were much more likely to earn a college degree in four years.
* IPEDS database, 2008
**Camara, Wayne (2003). College Persistence, Graduation, and Remediation. College Board Research Notes (RN-19). New York, NY: College Board.
AP Boosts Eligibility for Scholarships
31% of colleges and universities consider a student’s AP experience when making decisions about which students will receive scholarships.*
AP and College Success
A recent study** showed that students who earned a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Exam had higher first-year college grade point averages and were more likely to return for the second year of college than non-AP students of similar ability.
AP Courses Offered at Elizabeth High School
- AP Art Studio
- AP Biology
- AP Calculus
- AP Chemistry
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP English Literature and Composition
- AP European History
- AP Government and Politics
- AP Human Geography
- AP Italian
- AP Physics
- AP Psychology
- AP Spanish Language
- AP Statistics
- AP US History
- AP World History
* Unpublished institutional research, Crux Research Inc. March 2007
**Krista Mattern, Emily Shaw, and Xinhui Xiong, “The Relationship Between AP Exam Performance and College Outcomes” (2009), The College Board.
Elizabeth High School saves the community $108,072 in college tuition alone
The average cost per credit hour of a public four year college in New Jersey is $316.00. Last year we had 114 scores on AP exams that can be submitted for college credit. That’s a savings of $108,072 returned to the parents and students of Elizabeth High School.
“As a freshman, I was able to skip general education requirements and head straight into the higher-level classes I wanted to take. Taking AP Exams literally saved me semesters of time.”—Brent Wiese, University of Iowa
“We look favorably on students who have taken AP courses. The presence of AP courses is a sign that a student has chosen to challenge him/herself.” –College Admissions Officer
“Having the AP Exam score can make the difference when it comes down to awarding precious scholarship dollars.”
—Edwina Harris Hamby, former Dean of Admission, Fisk University