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Advanced Placement

What are the Advanced Placement courses?

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are classes that are equivalent to first year college courses. The academic rigor of these classes prepares students for college level studies. Students demonstrate mastery of the curriculum by taking AP Exams in May administered by the College Board. AP courses and exams are recognized by most of the nation's colleges and universities, including the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems.

AP teachers are specifically trained to deliver instruction beyond the standard curriculum.  They receive regular professional development to stay up to date in their respective subject matters and offer many years of experience in AP course instruction. 

Students and parents should expect that the demands will be much higher in an AP class than in a regular class.

Benefits of taking AP Courses

  1. AP students experience the academic rigor of college level studies.
  2. AP students at SHS earn an extra point towards their Grade Point Average (GPA) when receiving a "C" or better in the course. For example, an "A" in an AP class is 5 points versus 4 points for an "A" in a regular class. This is how many students are able to earn higher than a 4.0 GPA. 
  3. AP students can improve their college admission eligibility, earn possible college credit by passing AP Exams, and get a head start for college.

According to the College Board:

"More than 90 percent of four-year colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of AP Exam scores. By entering college with AP credits, you'll have the time to move into upper level courses, pursue a double-major or study abroad."

"Research shows that your AP experience can benefit you in several important ways when you reach college:

  • AP students are more likely to graduate from college in four years - students who take longer to graduate at public colleges and universities can spend up to $19,000 for each additional year.
  • AP helps students qualify for scholarships - 31 percent of colleges and universities look at AP experience when determining scholarships."

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AP Courses at SHS

AP Art Studio

AP Art History

AP Biology

AP Calculus

AP Chemistry

AP English Literature

AP English Language

AP Environmental Science

AP Government

AP Human Geography

AP Music Theory

AP Psychology

AP Spanish Language

AP US History

AP World History

*For more information on Advanced Placement courses at SHS, please speak to the students Counselor.