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What AP Students Should Know About AP Seminar Performance Tasks

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert 492 replies2918 threads CC Admissions Expert
"THE COLLEGE BOARD launched the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma Program in 2014, giving high school students the chance to develop research and argumentative skills needed to succeed in college and beyond.

Possession of an AP Capstone Diploma adds a competitive edge to a student’s college application. The program is comprised of two yearlong required courses: AP Seminar, which is taken during sophomore or junior year and allows students to thoroughly investigate different areas they are interested in, and AP Research, where the following year students focus their research on a chosen topic and prepare to write a scholarly paper." ...

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Replies to: What AP Students Should Know About AP Seminar Performance Tasks

  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2078 replies33 threads Senior Member
    Dave_Berry wrote: »
    Possession of an AP Capstone Diploma adds a competitive edge to a student’s college application.

    I’m curious as to whether others find this to be true.

    From what I’ve seen, few schools offer college credit for the classes, and it’s often generic credit, not a specific course that can be skipped. I’ve never seen or heard it mentioned on admissions pages or by admissions officers. Giving up two full course periods over HS seems a tough trade off, but I can’t say I’ve fully researched it.

    Do others think it’s a valuable approach, given the opportunity cost of two HS courses?
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2993 replies72 threads Senior Member
    In our HS, freshmen are offered the opportunity to take AP Seminar based on their PSAT 8/9 scores. The class, however, is purely an elective (it doesn't even count towards an English requirement), Our HS is heavy on requried classes (four years of gym, plus consumers ed, drivers ed, a fine arts class, etc.) and stingy on the elective spots, especially to students wanting/needing to get four years in of each core requirement.

    So while I believe the research skills taught in the class would be useful, as a practical matter, any STEM hopefuls plus anyone in band or chorus (folks who've by default used up a precious elective spot) tend to take a pass on it. There just isn't enough time.

    It might be and attractive and worthwhile choice for a humanities hopeful, though. I've heard some high schools will count it in lieu of a required English class. That would change the equation too.

    Honestly, unless you're looking at it as the humanities version of PLTW, I am not entirely sold on the idea that it "adds a competitive edge to a college application". At least not in our high school where most of the best and "high performing" students don't take it, even after the school plays it up by sending them a special invitation to do so.
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