Advanced Placement® courses provide high school students the chance to study subjects at the college level while still enrolled in high school.
The Vision of the College Board’s Advanced Placement® Program is to connect students to college success and opportunity.
This mission of the DeKalb County School System is to ensure student success, leading to higher education, work, and life-long learning.
The DCSD AP Program is designed to serve the district’s mission by providing a variety of high-quality courses in all core subject areas, the arts, and world languages. AP® classes can lead to college credit and acceleration. All DCSD’s traditional high schools offer Advanced Placement® courses. See your school’s website or contact the counselor to find out more.
DCSD offers a wide variety of AP® courses. Check your local school website to find out which ones are offered in your high school. To access the College Board’s course and exam descriptions for prospective students, go to AP Course and Exam Pages.
AP examinations represent the culmination of each AP course and are held in May of each school year. The exams are developed and standardized by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and managed by the College Board.
AP exams consist of both multiple choice items and free response (also known as student-produced response) items. The free response items are scored each year by readers, both AP teachers and college professors, who ensure that grades are fair and consistent. Grades, usually released in July, are awarded on a five-point scale that indicates the degree to which students’ exam performance indicates qualification for college credit in that course:
- 5: Extremely well qualified
- 4: Very well qualified
- 3: Qualified
- 2: Possibly qualified
- 1: No recommendation
AP exam scores do not affect high school GPA. In both the United States and world-wide, colleges and universities award credit or advanced standing to students based on AP scores. Usually, a score of 3 or more is required for credit in a comparable college course to be waived. Some colleges and universities have prescribed more stringent standards, requiring AP grades of 4 or even 5 for students to earn advanced standing or course credit. However, even if students do not earn exam scores that result in college credit, there are numerous benefits to taking AP classes, including demonstrating a commitment to course rigor in high school, exposure to more content depth, and practice with the academic skills and dispositions required for college students to be successful, such as close reading, interpretation of data, evaluation of evidence, construction of effective arguments, and seeing issues from multiple perspectives.
For more information about AP exams, see apstudents.collegeboard.org