• Wren High School-Advanced Placement (AP)

    What is Advanced Placement?
    AP classes consist of college-level coursework that is made available to high school students. The courses are weighted above the Honors level on the SC Uniform Grading Scale. Depending upon the student’s level of achievement on the AP exam, the student may receive college credit for the course. (Each colleges sets the requirement for college credit.)

    What are the advantages of taking AP courses?

    *AP students are more likely to do the following:

    • attend a four-year college;
    • graduate from college on time;  
    • earn higher grades in introductory and subsequent college-level course work;
    • attend more selective colleges and have higher college-level GPAs.

    *AP courses are more likely to do the following:

    • increase the possibility of skipping introductory courses at the college level which saves time and money;
    • help to prepare students for the academic standards of college.

    *Even if the student does not score a 3 or higher on the exam, the experience of taking such a rigorous course in high school is worthwhile.

    How are AP courses scheduled?
    *AP courses are scheduled at the optimal period for the majority of students that request them. 

    *Some AP courses require a semester lab that is taught along with the course. See the course guide for additional information.

    Do AP courses receive extra weight on a student’s GPA and class rank?


    *In determining GPAs, AP courses carry more weight than Honors, CP, and/or  applied courses.

     

    *Example of Uniform Grading Scale weighting differences:

    A final grade of 89-letter grade B:   CP/applied course=3.90; Honors course=4.40; AP/Dual Credit course=4.90.

     

    * See the course guide for the  complete Uniform Grading Scale for letter grades and weightings.

     

    AP course offerings

    AP English Language                                               AP English Literature

    *AP Calculus                                                          AP Biology

    AP Human Geography                                             AP Psychology

    *AP US History                                                     AP Studio Art 

    AP Physics

    *denotes courses that require a lab

    Academic Expectations and Skills as compiled by Wren High School AP teachers

    Expectations

    1. Students should be willing to put forth effort to complete all assignments and be prepared to go above and beyond the requirements. Teachers expect AP students to complete all tasks and put in as much effort outside of the classroom as they do in the classroom. Homework is mandatory and can be written work, projects, or reading a large amount of material with an understanding that the information will be used during class discussion and/or assignments.

    2. Students should be self-motivated. Unlike a non-AP course, teachers expect students to study and be prepared for class without prompting by the teacher. This includes conferencing with the teacher as needed for tutoring and/or additional help.

    3. Students are expected to work independently. While there are group assignments and students will need to be able to work collaboratively, individual initiative is extremely important.                                                 

    4. Students should be willing to put in the time that is necessary to master the material. Like other classes, some content will be easier than others, but students are expected to do whatever it takes to understand the material. This includes class participation, note-taking, finding and using additional resources, out of class study, meeting individually with the teacher, and completing all assigned tasks.

    5. Some background knowledge of the content area  is necessary in order to take an advanced placement course. It is important that the prerequisites are met, and students are able to use their prior knowledge to learn new material.

    6. Study skills within the AP courses require more than memorization. There is a heavy emphasis on application, active note-taking, ability to study in ways that connect to the subject matter, and includes getting with the teacher as needed for clarification. Students should review their notes continuously even if no homework is assigned.

    7. Students are required to use higher order thinking skills that include but are not limited to application, process thinking, critiques, analysis, summarization, problem solving, self- assessments, reflection, and creation.

    8. Students should have an openness and interest in the particular subject. In addition, they should appreciate and respect the subject matter so that they are willing to be fully involved in being successful. For example, students who do not enjoy reading, writing, and discussing may not be best suited to take an AP English class.

    Descriptions of Subject-related skills and Example Assignments:

    *See the course guide for a complete description of each course.

    AP ART: apply concepts, problem solve, solve from various parameters, create using different perspectives, self assess, reflect, critique, share and communicate, compare and contrast portfolios, ability to share and communicate, compare and contrast

    AP ENGLISH: confidence in critical reading and analysis of complex texts, love for reading and writing, ability to create solid arguments with supporting evidence, participation in discussion, careful reading of various texts, explain and evaluate, interpret literature

    AP SOCIAL STUDIES: actively  participate,  use active reading strategies, comprehend and evaluate, close reading of text,  ability to formulate questions, apply prior knowledge, connect themes across time periods, active note taking, ability to craft arguments to form a big picture, complete required summer reading, analyze, understand primary source documents

    AP SCIENCE: active participation in labs, analysis of data, use what they have learned, study key concepts, create notes in a way that makes sense to the student, make time to meet with the teacher to clarify any areas of concerns

    AP MATH: ability to reason independently, analyze complex mathematical formulas, apply a variety of combinations of mathematical topics to higher levels of learning

    *It should be noted that students who only take an AP to boost their GPA do not typically do their best if the necessary skills, effort, and interest in the subject area are lacking.