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Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement® Program

College Board logoThe Advanced Placement® (AP®) program was designed by the College Board to give high school students an opportunity to enroll in college level courses during their junior and senior years in high school or even earlier. Because the Advanced Placement® curriculum and exams are standardized nationwide, AP® gives students an opportunity to complete coursework that is recognized by a majority of U.S. colleges and universities as a measure of a student's ability to handle the rigors of college work.

AP® courses are college-level courses and require a high degree of commitment to academic work from the students as well as their families. AP® courses are among the most rigorous and academically challenging courses students may experience in JPS. Therefore, students and parents should carefully discuss the commitments required to succeed in these demanding courses. Students should demonstrate a history of achievement within the content area for which they plan to take an AP® course. To be successful in AP® courses, students should be analytical, critical thinkers as well as be able to read extensively, write clearly, and express themselves competently. Parents and students must sign a letter of commitment before enrolling in any AP® course.

Tenth grade students who perform well on the College Board’s PSAT/NMSQT® exam, which is administered in the fall of each school year and perform well in language arts, social studies, science, and mathematics courses are especially encouraged to enroll in AP® courses. JPS will use results from the PSAT/NMSQT® to steer more students into AP® courses, especially those students who may not have selected AP® courses because they feared the courses’ levels of difficulty.

At the end of each school year, in April or May, students are encouraged to take the corresponding AP® exam(s). To pass the exam, students must score a 3 or better on a five-point scale: 5 – extremely well qualified; 4 – well qualified; 3 – qualified; 2 – possibly qualified; and 1 – no recommendation. Scores on AP® exams do not influence a student's grade point average (GPA)*; however, course grades for AP® receive more weight than regular course grades. In calculating high school GPAs, a “B” in an AP® course is counted as an “A,” a “C” is counted as a “B,” and so on. A comparison table is given below.

 

Weighted Quality GPA for AP® and IB® Courses

Weighted Quality GPA for Regular Courses

 Letter Grade

Score

 Quality Points

 Letter Grade

Score

Quality Points

A

100-90

5.0

A

100-90

4.0

B

 89-90

4.0

B

89-80

3.0

C

79-70

3.0

C

79-70

2.0

D

69-60

2.0

D

69-60

1.0

F

59 & below

0.0

F

59 & below

0.0

 

For entry into an AP® course, a student must

  1. Provide a letter of commitment signed by the student and his/her parents;
  2. Have a high degree of commitment to academic work demonstrated in previous courses; and
  3. Have passed the prerequisite/recommended core course(s) as well as passed the state’s Subject Area Test(s). Exception: AP® U.S. History is not offered until grade 11.

JPS strongly recommends that in addition to the above-mentioned requirements, students should have –

  1. Demonstrated a history of achievement within the content area for which they plan to take an AP® course by passing the recommended core course(s) with grade(s) no lower than a 90 in regular courses, as well as passing the state’s Subject Area Test(s), scoring proficient or advanced for those core course(s).
  2. Performed well on the PSAT/NMSQT® exam, administered during grade 10.

To remain in an AP® course, students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Maintain at least a “C” for each nine weeks term.
    • Once a student, parent, and teacher recognize that the level of difficulty of the AP® course(s) is such that the student may not be successful, a course change should occur immediately. Please see the school counselor for the AP Schedule Change Guidelines.
  2. Continuously demonstrate a high degree of ongoing commitment to rigorous, academic coursework.

All AP® courses offered by the district are authorized by the College Board and are taught by AP® certified teachers.

For additional information, please contact your child’s high school counselor or the Office of Advanced Academics at (601) 960-8310.