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What are Advanced Placement courses?
These are college level courses that challenge gifted or academically talented students who need a qualitatively differentiated program that takes into consideration individual learning styles and special abilities.
How are these classes different from other courses?
Advanced Placement courses develop skills in independent study, research, creative thinking and critical thinking. These courses contain a more in-depth approach in content, more discussion, and higher-level thinking, focusing on analysis and synthesis of knowledge.
Who determines the content of the courses?
The class teacher determines the specific content based on the Diocesan Course of Study for the subject, the requirements of the College Board, and the curriculum of the prerequisite courses the students have already taken.
How are these courses graded?
The teacher in each course sets the specific criteria for assessment based on the standard grading scale. To compensate for the difficulty of the course, students earn a .5 bonus point. That is, a numerical grade that would equate to a 3.5 in a regular course would equate to a 4.0 in an Advanced Placement course.
How are students selected for participation in these courses?
Students are selected through an application process that begins in the spring. They must meet the specific prerequisites for the course that normally include standardized test scores, previously earned grades in that subject area, teacher recommendations, and specific course requirements.
What are the benefits to taking Advanced Placement courses?
Students benefit by being in a class setting that is best suited to their gifts and talents. They also can pursue more in-depth study of a subject area that interests them. College admissions personnel are often as—or more—interested in the types of courses students take than in just the grades they earned. In addition, students can earn college credit and/or placement by taking these courses.
How can college credit and/or placement be earned?
They may take the Advanced Placement exams offered by the College Board each May. These exams vary in length and format, depending on the course. College professors and high school teachers of AP courses grade the exams; students and the colleges they will be attending receive their scores in July. The specific college determines the placement or credit given to the student.
How do students usually perform on the Advanced Placement exams?
The exams are graded on a basis of 1 to 5. AP grading standards are set so that a grade of 5 is comparable to a college grade of A or A+, a grade of 4 is comparable to a grade of B to A-, and a grade of 3 is comparable to a college grade of C to B-. While the percentage of passing scores varies nationally according to the particular exam, roughly 55% to 60% of the students who take these tests earn a grade of 3 or higher. In May 2017, 137 students took a total of 201 exams with 85% earning a passing score of 3 or better. Over half of our students earned 4’s or 5’s. In Ohio, 60% achieved a grade of 3 or better; globally, only 55% did.
What Advanced Placement courses are currently offered?
Bishop Watterson offers Advanced Placement courses in Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Computer Science A, English Literature and Composition, Psychology, United States History, Government and Politics: United States, Latin, Italian Language and Culture, Spanish Language and Culture, Biology, Chemistry, Physics 1, Macroeconomics, and Microeconomics.
Where can I get more information about this program?
You can go to https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/home to access general information about the benefits of the Advanced Placement program, course descriptions, and additional information. You can access specific information about courses offered by different schools at http://www.collegeboard.com/apcourseledger. Click on “Search AP Course Ledger Now” and enter the name(s) of the school(s) you want to research.
Advanced Placement Course Offerings
Computer Science A
Computer Science Principles
English Literature and Composition
English Language and Composition
Italian Language and Culture
Spanish Language and Culture
United States History
United States Government and Politics
For more information and a complete description of each course, please see our
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