The Advanced Placement exams are seven months away. That doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about them.
Students in their second and third years of high school are often those who can benefit most from these exams. They are beginning to take more advanced courses, understand the subjects they are good at and enjoy, and realize where they need to improve. Because they are not yet facing the stress of applications, these students are in an ideal position to take their first AP exams and courses.
We are going to review how these exams work, provide you with a full list of the subjects offered, and discuss the exam schedule.
Brief review of the basics
As we have discussed before, the AP exams are scored from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). A rating of 5 indicates that a student would have earned an A (the top mark) had the student taken a university-level course in that subject. 3 means that the student has an average grasp on the subject, which is sufficient for the college level. A score of 4 means that a student is above the average, would have little trouble in a college-level course, and has a solid grasp on the topic.
AP courses, on the other hand, are semester-long courses. These courses are excellent ways to prepare for the exams, though you can take a class without taking the exam. Sometimes, students choose to take the courses just to understand a particular subject better, and that is an equally valid reason to take them.
The exams are scored by computer and by curriculum experts and university professors. These people also help design and refine the free response questions before they are used on the exam as well. This system ensures that exam scores are a) determined fairly and accurately, and b) are similar in rigor to college courses.
Here is the full list of exams offered, categorized by subject.
The AP exam schedule is over the course of two weeks in May 2018: May 7-11 and May 14-18. If you need more information about the AP courses and exams, please contact us.