“We’re always proud to recognize the students who achieve this score because the 5 is the maximum you can score on the Advanced Placement exam,” Assistant Superintendent Ken Clouse told The Daily Tribune News. “Students who have achieved that score have certainly demonstrated really collegiate work, and oftentimes what happens in the colleges ... for a score anywhere from a 3 to a 5, students can exempt some college classes when they get there. So it’s certainly a financial incentive for the students and the parents.”
He continued, “We feel an AP class is very significant and colleges look at AP classes. Regardless of their score, if a student has taken an AP class, that’s again a college-level course, so we’re always encouraging our students to take as many of those AP classes as possible.”
The school system has expanded its offerings of AP classes over the last few years in an effort to encourage more students to take advantage of college-level opportunities while in school.
“We’ve made a conscious effort to [expand] and I believe we have two [AP classes] in each of the core-content areas, which would be English, science, math and social studies, but we also now offer them in art, band, Spanish — so we’re trying to offer as many opportunities in their interest and strength areas,” Clouse said.
Sophomore Adam Harper took AP U.S. Government and Politics his freshman year.
“You’re dealing with a lot of government institution and the structure of the government, but also relating it with current politics as well ... because there’s a lot things you can relate,” Harper said.
He said, in his experience, the rigor of AP classes is dependent on the instructor, but overall the AP exams are more difficult than End of Course Tests in other classes, especially if students don’t treat the class seriously.
“If you’re unprepared over the course of the class, if you don’t prepare for the AP exam correctly so that you make a good score, it’s definitely going to be harder,” Harper said.
This year, Harper is taking AP Psychology and AP World History.
Senior Rachel Webb, who took AP English Literature and Composition as a junior, said the course was challenging, but the effort required paid off when taking the test, which consisted of a multiple-choice section and essay portion.
“It was probably the hardest literature class I have ever taken because it’s just very heavy on reading,” Webb said. “You spend hours throughout the week reading the text so you can participate in the discussion during class and do well on the test.”
She said by the time she graduates high school, she expect to have nine or 10 AP classes on her transcript.
“I think I’ll be able to go to college almost as a sophomore and I think that’s awesome so I can focus on what I’m going to college for,” Webb said. “It’s awesome to get core [classes] out of the way in high school and I loved taking the classes, so it’s not like it was a chore.”
The other students recognized by the CCBOE for their performance on last year’s AP exams were: Carter Brown, Giovanni Martino, Tommy Morrison and Joseph Ndoum for AP Psychology; and Francisco Alonzo and Dana Mercado for AP Spanish Language.