AP Subjects Help
Advanced Placement (AP) coursework is designed to challenge those students who may otherwise find themselves stagnating within the general high school curriculum. These fast-paced classes, however, can also easily overwhelm even the most gifted students.
AP courses are designed to mimic the rigor of entry-level college courses. As such, they place a strong emphasis on critical thinking and comprehension, encouraging students to think beyond memorization and focus more on application of topics taught. This critical mindset, combined with the tremendous content pool tested in most AP courses, can create undue stress and anxiety for high school students who may not have anticipated the arduousness of these courses. These effects are even further compounded when you consider that many students take multiple AP courses at once, all whilst balancing their regular coursework and extracurriculars.
AP courses are available for a multitude of general high school subjects. Among the most popular tests are the AP courses for English Language and Composition, US History, Calculus AB, Psychology, and Biology. AP courses are also available for a number of foreign languages, as well as a variety of science, history, and art topics. Many of these courses correspond to a general requirement for the high school curriculum; for example, AP US History can be used to satisfy the high school graduation requirement for US History. However, beyond the correspondence between AP subjects and high school graduation requirements, a strong performance in an AP course can have even greater benefits.
Each AP course culminates in an optional AP exam administered by The College Board. These standardized tests are designed to evaluate a student’s mastery of all concepts taught in the AP curriculum of the subject at hand. Naturally, these exams are quite strenuous, encompassing a wide range of high-level concepts. Question formats range from multiple-choice questions to free response calculations or essays, depending on the subject. Though the tests are optional, scoring well on these exams can carry forward to help you benefit for years to come.
AP exams are scored on a scale of 0 to 5, with a 3 considered the requisite passing score. Many universities will accept high scores on AP exams (usually a 4 or 5) in lieu of entry-level courses, while other institutions may offer unassigned college credits to help further a student’s standing or progress toward graduation. Even some graduate schools may allow students to bypass prerequisites by presenting acceptable AP exam scores.
Though AP courses can be grueling for high-schoolers to face, the payoff for a strong exam performance can be long-lasting and cummulative. Not only are you gaining valuable college credits, but you are developing the core knowledge upon which future coursework will build. This advanced education may be the most valuable asset attained from the AP curriculum, as it can give you a much-needed boost during your initial college education endeavors.
The difficulty of the material presented in AP courses, along with the emphasis on critical thinking and the ever important cumulative exam, combine to make these classes particularly daunting. To help students face these arduous courses, Varsity Tutors has compiled a comprehensive database of resources. Whether you are several months away from the AP Chemistry exam or are cramming to prepare for your AP Statistics exam next week, the practice tests, diagnostic exams, and other materials available through Varsity Tutors’ Learning Tools portal may be able to help clarify the topics that give you the most trouble. Creating an account with us will allow you to save scores and track your progress as you study for your course or exam. The AP curricula are designed to push students to achieve their academic potentials. Let Varsity Tutors lend a hand to make this journey a bit easier.