Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Senior Year - AP Courses and Tests

AP - Advanced Placement is a program here in the United States offering college-level curriculum and examinations to high school students. There are currently 34 courses and exams offered.

An excerpt from a recent special insert in The Seattle Times - On Course Your Guide to College Planning 2013 noted that an "AP exam can earn credit or placement at college and universities. An AP Chemistry test score of 4 can equal Chemistry 142, for example."

AP tests are scored on a 1 to 5 scale as follows:
  • 5 – Extremely well qualified
  • 4 – Well qualified
  • 3 – Qualified
  • 2 – Possibly qualified
  • 1 – No recommendation

AP classes are challenging but are great. I am not speaking from personal experience myself, but my daughter has definitely benefited from taking them. Sure there has been some complaints about the homework load some days (AP Government Politics - United States just sounds like a big homework -work load) but she has had a great time learning in these challenging classes. I often say to her the phrase "So. Much. Nerd." because she sends me midday up date texts that look like this:

What she kicked ass in was AP Government Politics Jeopardy.
In case you are wondering, I do wake up every morning truly thankful for how different my kids are from what I was when I was a teenager.  My daughter already has a college credit for French from the University of Washington.  For a fee of $89.00 for the AP exam she is walking away with college credit if her scores are high enough. It is budget friendly in comparison to what you'll have to pay for the equivalent credit in college. That $89.00 fee is per exam too. Be sure to add that to your upcoming costs list for your kid's high school years.  There is financial assistance for the fee for those who qualify.

I wanted to put this information out there now because we're currently enrolling for classes for next year at the high school now. If your son or daughter can place in an AP course and can handle the extra work load I highly recommend you and your child consider it. It is a great way to save a little money on college fees and get a little bit ahead a little early. Also the challenge of the classes is the greatest benefit of all. (As you can tell from the screenshot above.)

Other programs to consider are the Running Start Program (Washington State) - is a program for high school juniors and seniors and allows students to enroll in college courses numbered 100 or above, tuition-free, while completing high school. I actually participated in this program in its early years and I benefited from it as I was not really high school material.
Also there is the IB - International Baccalaureate is a 4 year program offered at many high schools. The IB program isn't offered at my kid's high school but at another school within our district, so I don't have much knowledge about its courses and focus, but I have heard it is an in depth program. For more information check out


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