AP exams separate students from the rest of pack | College Connection
Susan Alaimo
College-bound students know the GPA and SAT scores listed on their college applications are scrutinized by college admissions officers. But so too are additional numbers: the scores on their AP exams.
AP stands for Advanced Placement. Its the term for college-level courses, created by College Board (the same folks who bring you the SAT exam), that provide high school students with the opportunity to earn colleges credits if they score high enough on end-of-year exams.
AP exams are currently offered in 38 subjects, including the Arts, English, History and Social Science, Math and Computer Science, Science, and World Languages and Cultures, although not all courses are offered at every high school. AP exams were introduced in the 1950s and have greatly increased in the number of options and in popularity over the years. Currently, some 2.8 million students take AP exams each May. Students who score 3 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 5) are offered college credits by many of the nations colleges and universities.
The most popular AP exams, according to College Board, are English Language and Composition, United States History, Psychology, Calculus AB, and Spanish Language and Culture. When choosing AP courses, students should consider their college and career plans and select the most relevant courses. Students planning a pre-med course of study often take AP Biology and AP Chemistry as part of their high school curriculum. Those planning to pursue a college major in business often favor AP Statistics, AP Calculus, AP Microeconomics, and AP Macroeconomics.
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