Advanced Placement (AP Courses)


What is AP?

AP stands for Advanced Placement. AP is a curriculum endorsed by the College Board that culminates in sitting for an Advanced Placement exam in May. High scores on an AP exam can lead to earning college credit or placing out of certain pre-requisites in college, depending on the credit policy of the college.

How do I know if I should request an AP course for next year?

AP course enrollment should be an indication that you are truly passionate about the subject. If you are so interested that you would be excited to have several hours per night of independent, challenging work in that subject, you may be a good fit for an AP course. You will also be asked to think critically and not just read or solve problems, but to analyze content and practice skills at a higher-level independently without explicit instructions from your teacher. Keep in mind, it is possible to take an AP course and earn a low grade. Colleges want to see students taking the most challenging courses they can handle AND earning strong grades in those courses.

How can I take an AP course?

Each spring students are presented with the AP course offerings. The faculty and staff then evaluate candidates for AP courses on the basis of: attendance, overall GPA, subject specific GPA, and potential to succeed in an AP level curriculum. If a student is not approved for an AP course, there is an appeals process, but final AP course enrollment is at the discretion of the school. AP courses have a limited number of seats and not every request will be able to be accommodated.

What are the benefits of AP?

AP classes move at a faster pace than a traditional high school class. They have more homework and demand more time commitment. AP classes require a higher level of critical thinking and are equivalent to introductory college level classes. Because of this, a strong foundational background in the subject is necessary. You are not just asked to work harder, but to think harder and work more independently. Some colleges also grant credit for high scores on the AP exam.

What are the drawbacks of AP?

An AP course is a tremendous commitment. Students should be prepared for the course to move very quickly through the curriculum topics with minimal review time built into class. Students who succeed tend to be self-directed learners. If your stress level is high, you are earning low grades, or you need a lot of additional support, you should be thoughtful about whether AP is right for you.

How many APs can I take?

UASEM policy traditionally limits AP enrollment to two AP courses per year. Occasionally, programming allows for a very small number of students to be approved for a third AP course, but as a small school offering a large catalog of courses this is very uncommon. Colleges have a copy of our school profile that explains this very clearly so they understand that we do not believe in students taking too many AP courses at a time.

If I take the AP course at UASEM, do I have to take the AP exam?

Yes. You commit to taking the exam when you enroll in the course.

How much does the test cost?

The AP exams are $96 per exam in 2022. For a full explanation of costs please visit the CollegeBoard AP Exam Fees page.
If you have significant financial need Fee waivers may be available.

Will the colleges/universities I am interested in grant me AP credit for my performance on the AP exam?

Every college is different, some grant credit, others waive prerequisites, and others still do not award any advanced status. Even if a school does not grant credit, there are still benefits in having taken the courses. AP classes are a universally recognized curriculum that the admissions committee will see. The higher level thinking required will be an indication that you have maximized the level of rigor in that subject area at our school. For a links to the AP policy for each college, visit CollegeBoard.
AP Course Offerings
AP Psychology
AP Environmental Science
AP English Language and Composition 
AP Literature and Composition 
AP US History 
AP Pre-Calculus