Advanced Placement Courses

  • Description

    Advanced Placement® (AP) courses provide students with a unique and challenging learning experience that promotes college readiness. Students can take these rigorous courses and exams while still in high school to earn college credit and advanced placement in college course sequencing, helping them to stand out in the admissions process. There are nearly 40 available AP courses and exams designed by the College Board in the following subject areas: Art, Mathematics and Computer Science, History and Social Sciences, English, Sciences, and World Languages. Refer to College Board’s AP Course Descriptions to learn about each course.

    In addition to taking individual AP courses, students may earn AP Scholar Awards to showcase to colleges that they have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through their performance on multiple AP Exams. The College Board also offers an AP Capstone Diploma program that provides students with an opportunity to engage in a rigorous scholarly practice of the core academic skills necessary for successful college completion. This innovative program is built on the foundation of two courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study provided through at least four other AP courses of the student’s choice. The Capstone program cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical evidence-based decisions.

    The College Board also offers AP Innovation courses which partner industry certifications with specific AP subject areas. AP Innovation embeds the practice of related software skills into the curriculum of an AP course. Participating students will take both the course-related AP exam and a certification exam in the related digital tool. The following pairings are currently offered.

    • AP Microeconomics with Microsoft Excel
    • AP English Language & Composition with Microsoft Word
    • AP Computer Science with Javascript
    • AP Studio Art: 2D Design with Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud

    For schools to offer an authorized AP course, the teacher must submit a syllabus for approval through AP Course Audit, and the school must designate an AP Coordinator who will be responsible for organizing and administering that school’s AP program, exams, and materials. If a school does not have the resources to offer an AP course, students may also enroll in AP courses through Florida Virtual School or Palm Beach Virtual School.

    While Advanced Placement coursework is challenging. However, any student who is motivated and interested may take an AP course. As a District policy, students who register and take an AP course must also take the AP exam to successfully complete the course. The AP exams are developed and scored by college and university faculty members as well as experienced AP teachers. When students earn a successful exam score of 3 or above, most two-and four-year colleges and universities worldwide will award them with college credit and/or advanced placement.

    Palm Beach County weights for AP, AICE, DE, and IB courses are as follows:

    • A = 6.0
    • B = 4.5
    • C = 3.0
    • D = 1.5

    Please note that this weighting is used to calculate HPA (Honors Point Average), but that not all colleges and universities keep this weighting when calculating GPA (Grade Point Average) for admissions determinations.

    Schools that offer Advanced Placement courses
    All-District high schools offer at least one AP course – which courses and how many are offered vary by school, based on student interest, as well as teacher expertise and resource availability.

    Links to information on college acceptance of AP scores:
    Each university determines its own awarding of college credits based on their own policies (see AP Credit Policy Search); however, all public state universities in Florida adhere to the statewide articulation agreement. In order to receive college credit or placement for their AP scores, students must send their scores to the college they will be attending. The District's AP score results can be found annually on the District Research & Evaluation website.

    For more information, contact the K-12 Accelerated District Team: