What is the Advanced Placement Program?
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) is a rigorous academic program that gives motivated students the opportunity to pursue university-level studies while still in high school. AP courses and exams can help students to stand out in the college admissions process, earn college credit, and build skills that are essential for success in college and beyond. Research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on AP Exams (on a 5 point scale), typically experience greater overall academic success in college.
Indian students thinking of heading to US, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore or other countries for undergraduate studies should be encouraged to take AP courses and exams. The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) also grants equivalence certificates to students taking AP Exams as part of their high school diploma requirement, enabling them to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in India.
Established in the 1950’s, AP has helped students achieve their dream of university study around the world for more than 60 years. In 2014, more than 2.2 million students took over 4 million AP Exams worldwide, and sent scores to over 3,000 universities in more than 65 countries.
Who creates content for AP and what subjects are exams available in?
AP courses and exams, available in India in over 23 different subjects across Sciences, Mathematics, Social Science, Languages, and Art, are developed by committees of American and international university professors who work alongside expert high school teachers. AP committee members teach at top colleges and universities such as Columbia, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania.
When can students take AP Exams and what is the exam format?
AP is flexible, allowing students to take as many or as few exams as they wish to, in any given year. Students usually take AP Exams in Grade 11 or 12 or both, but some take them earlier, in Grade 9 or 10. Some students also choose to take AP Exams in a gap year after completing high school, before they go to college. AP courses are taught in several schools in India, but students also have the option to self-study and take AP Exams. The exams, that take place in May every year, have a combination of multiple choice and free-response questions, and are between 90-200 minutes in length, depending on the subject.
How do you register for AP Exams in India and what is the cost?
The 2015 AP Exam schedule is released, and the exams are from May 4-15. Registrations for the 2015 AP Exams will take place in February-March 2015. Students will be able to take exams at any of the 10+ test centers across India. All information related to the Registration Process will be available on www.ap-india.org in January 2015. AP Exams are priced at Rs. 8,900 per exam. Some test centers might add an administration fee on top of this price, so students should check the website before registering.
The College Board also offers students the option to take AP Exams during the ‘Late Testing’ period, which will be from May 20-22, 2015. If students cannot take AP Exams during the regular testing period due to unavoidable circumstances, such as a clash with other exams, extreme illness, etc., they can register for AP Exams during Late Testing.
In Part 2, I will explain the different benefits of AP Courses and Exams in detail.
Lisa Jain is the Representative of The College Board in India. In her role, she works extensively with schools across India to support implementation of College Board programs. She also interacts directly with students and parents, educating them about how College Board’s programs and resources (such as SAT, AP, PSAT or Big Future) help in the college application and admission process.