What is an AP Course?
An AP course is comparable to a course taught at any college or university. AP courses are much more rigorous than high school college prep courses. In all AP couses, students learn how to think critically and write clearly.
Committee members, sponsored by the College Board, put together a set of topics and objectives for each AP course. Our AP teachers use these topics and objectives as a guideline for their curriculum. The AP exams which are administered during the first weeks of May are comprised of problems from these objectives. If a student passes an AP exam, then he/she may receive college credit.
In order to be permitted to use College Board's AP designation, all Mill Creek AP teachers have submitted syllabi for their courses, which have been approved by College Board.
Should you take an AP Course?
AP courses are more demanding than other college preparatory courses taught in high school. They move rapidly and cover a great deal of material. If you are a strong student in a particular subject area, then you will probably do well. Your current teacher can advise you. Since AP courses are more demanding than other college-prep courses, AP students receive 10 points added to their average (in each AP course) at the end of each semester to balance any grade discrepancy. (Note: The 10 points is not used in calculating GPA for Hope Scholarship eligibility. See your counselor for details on how your GPA is calculated for Hope.) Students who excel may have higher than a 100 average in the class.
Colleges look favorably on students who succeed in AP courses. The presence of AP courses in a student's transcript indicates that a student took the most rigourous courses available. The following comments were made by presidents or deans of notable universitites.
- Michael F. Adams, former President of the University of Georgia, states (inGeorgia Magazine, December 2004), "if there are advanced placement courses available, take them."
The college Board also published the following quotes:
- William Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Harvard University, state that "one of the best standard predictors of academic success at Harvard is performance on AP Examinations."Clark Ross, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Davidson College, states, "At Davidson College, the students who have succeeded well in AP courses while in high school form the core of our higly selective student body. Their AP success serves as an effective placement tool here at Davidson that rarely disappoints us."
The College Board has also compiled the following statistics:
- Students who take AP courses and exams are much more likely than their peers to complete a bachelor's degree in four years or less.
- Students who do well on an AP Exam are academically prepared to place out of a corresponding introductory college course and move on to the next higher-level course.
The AP Exam
The AP exams are usually given during the first two weeks of May. The exam schedule is posted on the school's website.
To determine if your college takes AP credit, you can either call the registrar's office, or log onto http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html. On the website, you can find most colleges' AP policies. For example, some colleges only take scores of 4 or 5 on AP exams. Some schools don't give college credit for AP classes but want you to take them anyway to ensure that you had a rigorous preparatory high school experience. You are encouraged to investigate this prior to enrolling in any AP course.
Exams are graded during the summer. The free-response (writing) section is graded by high school teachers and college professors from all over the country. Scores are usually sent to the students and schools during July. The scores range from 1-5 and mean the following:
5 - Extremely well qualified
4 - Well qualified
3 - Qualified
2 - Possibly qualified
1 - No recommendation
*Note: Students will take ALL Advanced Placement exams at Mill Creek High School.
AP Exam Fees
AP Exam Fees:
- All students are required to pay a $10.00 registration fee. This fee is the same regardless of the number of AP tests the student needs.
- Gwinnett County will pay for ONE AP TEST. However, the student must be enrolled in the AP course in order to receive the free exam through MyPaymentPlus.
- Any student who wants to take a test for a course that they are not enrolled in must pay the full $97.00. GCPS will not cover any fees if the student is not enrolled in the course.
Testing fees are listed below:
- One Test: $ 10.00 (one free test/registration fee only)
- Two Tests: $ 107.00
- Three Tests: $ 204.00
- Four Tests: $ 301.00
- Five Tests: $ 398.00
- Six Tests: $ 495.00
Please follow the link below to read information about fee reductions from College Board in cases of financial need.
If you have any additional questions in reference to registering for Advanced Placement tests you may contact Dr. Monica Cook in the 11th/12th grade office.
AP Capstone Diploma Program
The AP Capstone Diploma Program is a unique opportunity that affords students the chance to learn about and complete true research as well as earn the distinction of a Capstone Diploma from the College Board. In order to qualify for the AP Capstone Diploma, students must pass AP Seminar, AP Research, and four more AP Exams of their choice. Passing scores are determined in July of the calendar year. Therefore, students should seek to earn this diploma prior to the start of their senior year at MCHS. Having already earned the diploma allows the students to declare it on college applications, etc. Additionally, MCHS recognizes those students who have earned the diploma at honors night in May of their senior year. If students fail to meet the requirements prior to the start of their senior year, they may still earn the diploma prior to the start of their collegiate career, but due to timing, they will not be recognized at honors night.
Given the importance of timing, and the maturity necessary for this rigorous program, students’ eligibility will be determined by their successful completion of the first semester of their freshman year and their participation in at least one AP course during freshman year. Eligible students are invited to apply for the program and selections are made based on writing samples and schedule flexibility. If you have more questions about the Capstone Diploma in general, please see https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/ap-capstone.