What is an Advanced Placement (AP) course?

The Advanced Placement (AP) Courses Program offers hardworking and capable students an opportunity to study college-level material in high school and gives them an opportunity to show that they have mastered the material by taking AP Exams. Students can receive college credit, placement into college courses, or both if they qualify.

Prerequisites for Advanced Placement classes vary by the course. See our course listings for more information.

Benefits of Enrolling in AP Classes
AP courses provide a challenging college-level curriculum and the opportunity to place out of an introductory college course, thus saving tuition money and/or allowing early graduation from college.
Depending on the score a student makes and the policies of the college/university the student selects, the student may receive three or more semester hours of college credit for each test taken.
AP students can take a wide variety of courses in multiple disciplines or concentrate on AP courses within a discipline (for instance, a strong science student could choose to concentrate on AP science courses and take regular or Honors courses in the other disciplines.)
AP courses are weighted one or two additional points, depending on the year the student entered as a freshman.
Students who do well in AP classes increase their chances of college success, and the College Board recognizes the following AP Scholar Designations and notifies both the high school and college the student attends of these distinctions:

AP Scholar Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

AP Scholar with Honor An average of 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four + exams.

AP Scholar with Distinction Students who receive an average of 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

AP State Scholar Granted to one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP Exams and then the highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken.

National AP Scholar Students in the U.S. who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of the exams.

How can I help to prepare my child for college?
The College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) provides students and families with planning tools. Discover how to enter high school ready for the next level. CFNC provides tools to help your child plan, apply, and pay for college. This free resource supports college and career readiness and provides students with tips for planning for the future.

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