The CollegeBoard has made some fundamental changes to the way Advanced Placement (AP) classes across the country are taught and organized in order to ensure consistency from class to class.
Last year, the CollegeBoard sent out an audit which required AP teachers to register their classes officially. This included having teachers turn in their syllabuses and the work students would be doing in that particular class for CollegeBoard approval.
This measure was taken to make sure that AP classes nationwide would cover the same material and progress at a similar pace.
According to Assistant Principal Morenike O’Neal, all of the school’s AP courses have been CollegeBoard approved.
“Having been at schools where AP [classes] are taught differently from class to class, I’ve seen that it’s much nicer where there is the same material and pace in the same course,” O’Neal said. “It’s very difficult without that.”
Many students agree with O’Neal.
“I believe that the [changes made to the] AP classes are a necessary step that cannot be overlooked simply because it benefits the students that actually are taking the AP class,” sophomore Darren Choi said.
However, some of these changes have raised concerns from students who aren’t sure about whether the new policies would affect weighted GPA credit on their transcripts.
“I did not attend the AP meeting last year, so I did not hear [about] any of the ‘official’ CollegeBoard changes,” sophomore Flora Champenois said. “But rumors went around about how if you didn’t pass the AP exam, the AP class could not be weighted.
However, according to Counselor Judy Prothro, students don’t need to take the AP test in order to earn weighted credit at the school.
The CollegeBoard website said there had been no significant changes to the way colleges count credit for taking AP classes because most of this is at the discretion of the university itself.
With qualifying AP test scores, students can earn credit at more than 90 percent of four-year colleges and universities in the United States, as well as at colleges in 40 other countries. However, if a student decides not to take the AP test but has taken the course they may receive high school weighted credit but no college credit.
According to O’Neal, the rule of thumb for college credit is that depending on a specific major chosen, the credits earned from taking AP classes in high school can be counted toward meeting major, subject, graduation or general credit required for the university.
Overall, the changes made by the CollegeBoard have been well-received.
“I think that because of the changes made by the CollegeBoard … the teachers have a lot more work,” Assistant Principal Morenike O’Neal said. “But they really stepped it up and that’s where the changes were helpful.”
Flora agrees with O’Neal and feels like the changes will help everyone in the end.
“I think the changes were overall beneficial,” Flora said. “Now, no matter what school you are from, colleges will look at your AP class in the same way.”