Judith Hegedus, executive director international initiatives, College Board, that conducts the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, talks to Aaditi Isaac, on how the programme helps students earn foreign university credits while still in school.
What is the Advanced Placement programme?
It is an academic passport that comprises university level courses and exams, which can be taken by secondary school students to prepare for university level study in 34 subjects. More than 18,000 schools in 115 countries offer the AP courses and exams, where students can take college-level courses while they are still in school. In fact, a student with an AP score may even get certain college-level courses waived later.
How does it give students an edge?
They are introduced to university level core content, knowledge, and skills. The students also get a feel of US university education. They are better prepared for college, especially because they develop critical thinking skills through these courses as they promote inquiry and problem-solving and are available to be taught in an interdisciplinary mode. The final assessments are designed to measure how the students apply the knowledge and skills gained through the course. Apart from earning foreign university credits, students who have AP courses and exams on their academic transcripts tend to be more attractive candidates during the admission process. In addition to most universities in the United States, the AP scores and exams are also accepted by 100% of the universities in Canada and Germany. AP scores and exams are also accepted by most leading institutions in over 80 countries, including the UK and Australia.
Who teaches the programme?
The AP programme is taught by schools, which pick up subjects and allow their students to pick courses from the ones that are taught in the school. These courses are provided for free to the school by College Board. Students also have the flexibility to study independently and appear for the AP courses and exams at the nearest test centre. An example of resources available for students to independently prepare includes a number of online courses approved by the College Board.
Who offers the test in Delhi?
Apart from USIEF-Delhi, students can register with MeritTrac whose Delhi centre is Modern Public School.
What is an ideal score?
For advanced college credit, a student should score 3 or above on a scale of 5. However, certain universities may ask for a higher score.
Is there an age restriction?
A student must be under 21 years of age at the time of the exam in order to take the exam.
What is the format of the exam?
The three-hour exam is offered in pencil and paper format. On an average, 50% of the test has multiple-choice questions and 50% of it has free response or essay type questions. It may vary slightly with the subject.
How does one get the scores?
The exam is conducted once a year in May for two weeks all over the world and students can get their scores in July. The exam fee is around $143 dollars, excluding the tax in the test centre.
Courtesy: Times of India