Last Updated: April 14, 2021
Advanced Placement Courses and Exams
The Advanced Placement program is conducted by the College Board for students who aspire to take extra credits for college before even applying to a college. Taking an AP course provides the student with the experience of intro-level courses that they will have to attend during their first semester in college. This program helps students who are brilliant in their fields to graduate sooner or focus on the more important subjects during college since they can finish the less important ones while in high school.
While the Advanced Placement program is immensely beneficial to the students, the course also makes it easier for admission officers to provide admissions to students if they have taken AP courses. By clearing an AP course with a high score, the student is proving to have academic skills that are required in college even before attending college.
Courses Offered in Advanced Placement
There are 38 courses offered under the Advanced Placement program and these courses come under different categories like Arts, English, History and Social Sciences, Math and Computer Science, Sciences, and AP World Languages and Cultures. The official College Board website provides students with the options of choosing a course they might excel in by making the student choose their aspired career options and offering a list of courses that can help them attain their career goals. They also have the option of offering apt guidance if the student provides them with their PSAT/ SAT scores.
The different courses offered are as follows-
Capstone Diploma Program
- AP Seminar- Students will have to develop their skills in research and communication in the ways in which it is required in an academic space. They will be required to investigate topics, write research-based essays and give presentations.
- AP Research- This course builds on what the student has learned in AP Seminar and lets the student explore academic topics and problems that are of individual interest. They will be able to design and plan their year-long research based on their learning.
- AP Art and Design Program- This course deals with making works of art through experimentation and revision of ideas related to art and design mainly in the written and visual expression.
- AP 2-D Art and Design
- AP 3-D ART and Design
- AP Drawing
- AP Art History- The course deals with the history of art from prehistory to the present. Works of art will be observed, discussed, and researched about in the duration of the course.
- AP Music Theory- Students will have to recognize, understand and learn about the basics of music including the materials and processes. It is expected that students will have to read, write, listen to and perform various kinds of music during the course.
- AP English Language and Composition- The course contains information related to argument and composition that can help the student develop their critical reading and writing skills. Essays from different periods will be provided based on which the student will have to explain, argue or persuade others of an idea or perspective.
- AP English Literature and Composition- Students will have to read, understand and evaluate fiction, poetry, and drama written in different periods from different cultures. They will also be required to write essays on literary works supporting their analysis of the work.
History and Social Sciences
- AP Comparative Government Politics- The course contains information regarding the political institutions and processes of 6 different countries which are China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Students are required to compare the political structures in these 6 countries and draw conclusions about the systems in place.
- AP European History- This course includes the socio-economic, cultural developments in Europe from 1450 to the present which has to be inferred from texts, visual sources, and available historical evidence. Students are required to write essays in the course regarding the historical arguments they could make.
- AP Human Geography- Human Geography deals with the ways in which humans have understood, used, and altered the surface of Earth for their benefits. Geographical thinking processes are to be used while exploring concepts like human population, migration, and land use.
- AP Macroeconomics- This course deals with principles of economics by using graphs, charts, and other data to explain economic concepts and understand them.
- AP Microeconomics- This course deals with the principles of economics that reflect the behavior of individuals within an economic system. The study will be based on graphs, charts, and other data that can explain economic concepts.
- AP Psychology- This course contains ideas, theories, and other scientific methods of studying behavior and mental processes. Students will have to gather information from psychological research studies and examine psychological concepts through extensive reading.
- AP United States Government and Politics- This course includes concepts and institutions of political systems and culture in the United States. Students have to read and analyze the U.S. Constitution and complete an applied civics or research project in order to clear the course.
- AP United States History- United States History deals with the study of socioeconomic, cultural, and political developments that have occurred in the United States from 1491 to the present. Texts, visual sources, and other historical data will be used to study the same which has to be presented in the form of essays.
- AP World History: Modern- This course deals with the socio-cultural, economic, and political developments that influenced the world from 1200 to the present. Texts, visual sources, and historical evidence are used to study the same.
Math and Computer Science
- AP Calculus AB- This course deals with differential and integral calculus and is based on a theoretical framework where students will have to solve problems based on their knowledge and skills.
- AP Calculus BC- This course also deals with differential and integral calculus but it also includes topics like parametric, polar, and vector functions, and series. Students will have to perform experiments and investigations to solve problems that are provided in the course.
- AP Computer Science A- This course familiarizes students with the concepts and tools of computer science that are mainly focused on the Java programming language. Students will have to design, write, and test computer programs that can solve or accomplish tasks.
- AP Computer Science Principles- This course is essentially about the principles that are used in computing and also about developing the thinking skills that computer scientists use.
- AP Statistics- The course contains information regarding concepts and tools used for collecting and drawing conclusions from data. Students will have to design surveys and experiments.
- AP Biology- Course deals with the study of theories and principles associated with living organisms and biological systems. It also includes laboratory work where students have to investigate natural phenomena.
- AP Chemistry- This course lets students learn about the fundamental concepts of chemistry including structure and states of matter and reactions. Students will have to work in a laboratory and use chemical calculations.
- AP Environmental Science- The course deals with the interrelationships of the natural world through which students are required to analyze environmental problems which are both natural and human-made.
- AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based- This course contains principles in physics-based in Newtonian mechanics. Students will have to do laboratory work to investigate phenomena like work, energy, power, mechanical waves, and sound.
- AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based- The course deals with physics-based on topics like thermodynamics, electric force, field, and potential, electric circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, etc. where the students have to work in laboratories to investigate these phenomena.
- AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism- This course contains topics like electrostatics, conductors, capacitors and electric circuits, magnetic fields, electromagnetism. Students have to investigate phenomena and combine calculus with physics to solve problems.
- AP Physics C: Mechanics- This course lets the student explores concepts like kinematics including Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy, etc., along with rotation, oscillations, and gravitation.
AP World Languages and Cultures
The language courses deal with an in-depth exploration of the language and their culture through mediums like the study of newspapers, articles, films, music, and books. The study of their culture begins with concepts such as family and the influence of language and culture on identity.
- AP Chinese Language and Culture
- AP French Language and Culture
- AP German Language and Culture
- AP Italian Language and Culture
- AP Japanese Language and Culture
- AP Latin
- AP Spanish Language and Culture
- AP Spanish Literature and Culture
Popular Courses in Advanced Placement
The courses that are most commonly taken by students for Advance Placements are English Language and Composition, United States History, English Literature and Composition, World History, and Psychology. The language courses are often chosen least due to the lack of practical application in colleges and universities.
While courses like Calculus are taken by students who excel in the subject, it is not recommended that students choose the toughest subject available since it may affect their overall grades. Students are to choose subjects that fall under their comfort zone and will benefit them in the course they are going to choose for their higher studies. Language courses, even though they are chosen least, are recommended for students who want to stand apart from the rest of the students.
Choosing a Good Advanced Placement Course
Choosing a good Advanced Placement Course starts with having an insight into the kind of colleges the student wants to go to. Narrowing down the list of colleges gives the student the space to research the AP policies of the said college in order to understand the credit amounts required for admission.
Students will have to choose courses that are thematically similar to the courses that they aspire to take since this provides the student with an opportunity to demonstrate their area of expertise while applying for admission. But at the same time, students can always choose language courses that do not essentially contribute to the degree of their choice but can make them stand out in the admission process.
A good Advanced Placement would then be one that lets the student express their skills than learning one from scratch. The requirements for colleges and universities differ from one another. Students must always opt for courses that will guarantee them a score of 4 or above instead of choosing tough courses that they might scrap a 3 in which is the passing grade.
Courses like AP English Language and Composition, AP Microeconomics, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP United States History are thematically similar to most of the courses that students will have to take in their first semesters in college. So, taking up these courses provides leeway to students while actually attending their college.