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College Board to launch Pre-AP classes in 2018

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Replies to: College Board to launch Pre-AP classes in 2018

  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    @skieurope - I would call a 14/15 year old who can get college credit in any way a success story.... but to each their own.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 1,750 Senior Member
    Our school has always just called them honors and will continue I hope.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    @skieurope I have to agree. DS19 is in grade 11 and will not take any AP courses until next year in grade 12 so we have yet to see how rigorous they really are. His courses this year are still "Pre-AP". When he was accepted into the program it was stressed that AP courses were equivalent to first year university courses so I was very surprised to read how many students in grades 9 & 10 in the US appear to be taking AP courses. I find it hard to believe that that many are capable of university level work as well leaving me to believe that some of those courses are not in fact university level. DS will most likely be taking predominantly math and science APs and my understanding from his school is that they will be covering the same material as they would if they were enrolled in the equivalent university course. Even so my research of how these courses are being accepted by the various universities here for transfer credit has found that there is great variability both between schools and between programs. The most rigorous STEM programs will only accept credits for courses outside of core requirements. My view is then that while they are more rigorous than our standard grade 12 university stream courses, the majority will most likely not be directly equivalent to university courses. I have come to view them instead as better prep for university. Ever since Ontario eliminated Grade 13 in 2003 the universities here have been complaining that the incoming students are not as well prepared as they used to be. My feeling is that these AP courses will be more like the grade 13 courses that I took when I was in high school. Hopefully that will mean that DS will have an easier transition to university and he will probably only accept 1 or 2 credits for transfer.
  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    I will freely admit that my freshman AP course in NO way resembles an actual college classroom.... but I don't think it SHOULD. My kids get mountains of support as we go through the course, learning how to take in lots of information, how to present a written argument with evidence, delving into complex understandings and nuances of topics etc. Learning those things in HS (whether or not you get college credit for doing it) will help kids be more prepared when they get to college - THAT is what I like about AP. And though the tests can be the bane of my existence....in general kids take things more seriously when there is a potential reward.

    @gwnorth - does your school offer AP classes before grade 12? Statistically, kids test scores improve significantly based on the number of tests taken. Not all of my freshman score, but the vast majority of my sophomores, and ALL of my juniors/seniors do. (to be fair - my junior/senior class is an elective, so I get kids who are enthusiastic rather than taking it b/c they have to get the credit in some way)
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,541 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    I would call a 14/15 year old who can get college credit in any way a success story.... but to each their own.

    However, the AP courses/tests most commonly taken in 9th and 10th grade (e.g. human geography, world history) are probably the least likely ones to be given subject credit in college (though a student may earn generic elective credits if s/he attends a school that is generous with credit units for AP scores).

    Obviously, unusual examples like math prodigies taking calculus BC in 9th grade are a different story. Perhaps somewhat more common would be those taking the foreign language ones early due to previous knowledge of the language (heritage speaker and/or from an elementary school program that includes extensive foreign language instruction and immersion).

    The College Board itself, in https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/apc/Appropriate-Grade-Levels-for-AP-Courses.pdf , suggests that AP courses are generally to be offered to 11th and 12th grade students, with a few being suitable academically prepared 10th grade students.

    https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/research/2016/Program-Summary-Report-2016.pdf indicates that, for 2016, the percentage of AP tests taken by students in each grade, and the percentage of AP test taking students in each grade was:
    Grade		% of tests	% of students
    9th		 3.8		 6.4
    10th		13.3		19.5
    11th		38.5		36.3
    12th		42.7		35.7
    

    Note that human geography made up the majority of AP tests taken by 9th grade students, and most human geography AP tests were taken by 9th grade students. The other AP tests where the bulk were taken below 11th grade were European history and world history, both with the majority taken by 10th grade students.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    @toowonderful the AP program at DS's school is brand new. AP is not that common in Canada though it is growing. The AP courses are a little tricky to incorporate into our curriculum as they are not officially recognized. DS is in the first cohort of students in the program at his school and they've only been rolling out the courses as the cohort advances. Up to now all the courses offered have been Pre-AP. DS is in grade 11 this year so now they are up to 3 grades of cohorts. This is the first year that actual AP's have been offered: AP English Lang & Comp & AP US History as grade 11 credits and AP Psychology and AP Physics 1 as grade 12 credits. DS signed up to fast track grade 12 AP Physics 1 in second semester, but they didn't get enough students signing up (most likely because the majority of the students chose to take all 3 grade 11 Pre-AP sciences). In fact the only AP they got enough enrollment to offer this year is AP English Language which he is not taking so next year will be the first year he can register for AP's. For the subsequent cohorts, they will have the option to take AP's earlier if they decide to fast track and there is enough room. DS most likely will be taking grade 12 Pre-AP Advanced Functions + AP Calculus BC, grade 12 AP Chemistry, and grade 12 AP Physics 1. Since AP Physics 1 wasn't offered this year he switched to grade 11 Pre-AP Biology so he could potentially take grade 12 AP Biology next year too but I doubt he will. If he does take Bio it will most likely be the regular grade 12 U level. The other grade 12 AP he may opt to take is European History if it is offered though I'm inclined to think he should just take the grade 12 U level in that as well. 1 Pre-AP and 3 AP courses is plenty.

  • warbrainwarbrain Registered User Posts: 655 Member
    edited September 13
    I think many people on CC are blinded by their own experiences at very high preforming high schools that offer quality classes without the AP branding. But it's important to realize these schools are not representative. For most schools, the AP program has been an incentive to offer more advanced and more rigorous courses. It's a bit frustrating when people say things like, AP Human Geography is a useless class because it doesn't offer college credit. Maybe this is true at a place like Exeter or Harker. But at most schools, the alternative to a class like AP Human Geography is a social studies course based almost completely on memorization, with no analysis and no writing apart from fill in the blanks. So in that sense, AP Human Geography is great.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 1,750 Senior Member
    The honors social studies track at our school is:

    9- APHUG
    10- AP Euro
    11- APUSH
    12- some combo of the two AP econ and AP Gov

    The non-honors track is:

    9- no social studies
    10- World History
    11- US History
    12- Gov/Econ

    There are no honors classes, no pre-AP classes, in Social Studies. It's AP or general population.
  • snowfairy137snowfairy137 Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    My school has no honors social studies either, even though we have honors everything else... I wonder if that's common.

    9th: regular world history/AP Euro
    10th: no social studies/AP Art History(optional)
    11th: reulgar USH/APUSH
    12th:regular civics and current world affairs/ AP Gov and Econ

    Anyone can choose which level they want each year.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 1,750 Senior Member
    I guess people could move back and forth between regular and AP but it is pretty uncommon.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,541 Senior Member
    warbrain wrote:
    It's a bit frustrating when people say things like, AP Human Geography is a useless class because it doesn't offer college credit. Maybe this is true at a place like Exeter or Harker. But at most schools, the alternative to a class like AP Human Geography is a social studies course based almost completely on memorization, with no analysis and no writing apart from fill in the blanks. So in that sense, AP Human Geography is great.

    Both of the following can be true:

    a. AP human geography is a useful course to offer to strong 9th grade students compared to the weaker social studies courses commonly offered.
    b. AP human geography is not really worthy of the AP label, if the AP label is intended to mean that the course covers college level material.
  • MomOf3DDsMomOf3DDs Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    This can also be true:
    A "regular" high school can offer a strong social studies class, that includes analysis and writing, without having to be an AP class.
  • warbrainwarbrain Registered User Posts: 655 Member
    Yes, in an ideal world that would be the case. But the reality is that many don't. Even the honors history courses at my high school did not have any analysis or writing, apart from DBQ's which were clearly copying the DBQs in the Advanced Placement curriculum.
  • YnotgoYnotgo Registered User Posts: 3,376 Senior Member
    edited September 13
    DS21's high school is exactly like @VickiSoCal's. DS17's is like that except that no social studies at all is offered in 9th because that is when students take "Freshman Seminar" (pointless) and Health.

    We have a 6-period day, which is limiting as far as the number of classes that can be taken. There are evening World History and US History classes at the community college, and a number of students take those in place of those AP classes. They are more like college classes in that there is less hand-holding and the grades are based on essays for both homework and tests. They are not like the AP classes in that they cover what the professor wants to focus on, not trying to provide a thin overview of the entirety of history.

    California schools tend to limit the number of classes that qualify as "honors" because the UC system typically only certifies AP and IB classes as earning the honors point for UC admissions except for some precalculus and foreign language classes. So, in the case of CA schools, there is a strong disincentive to "offer a strong social studies class, that includes analysis and writing, without having to be an AP class."

    For example, here are the offerings of a couple of the top private high schools in California. Notice that the only social science classes (category "a) that get the UC honors point are the AP classes.

    https://hs-articulation.ucop.edu/agcourselist#/list/details/3248/
    https://hs-articulation.ucop.edu/agcourselist#/list/details/3531/
  • toowonderfultoowonderful Registered User Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    To jump back in- my school currently offers an AP option for all 4 years of Soc Studies. (Euro, US, Gov, Econ) but no honors. Last year out of a class of approx 250 in each grade we had 50ish in Euro, 80ish in US, 125ish in Gov , and 70ish in Econ (some seniors want an easy year).
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