Advanced Placement (AP) Program

  • The AP Program offers college-level courses and exams that you can take in high school.

    Research consistently shows that AP students are better prepared for college than students who don’t take AP, regardless of their exam score. They’re more likely to enroll and stay in college, do well in their classes, and graduate in four years. Taking AP can help you:

    • Get a Taste of College. Get familiar with college-level work—and boost your confidence by tackling it.
    • Develop College Skills. Time management, critical thinking, scholarly writing—AP courses and exams help you hone the skills you’ll need in college and career.
    • Discover Your Passion. Studying a subject in depth could give you new insights and even put you on the path to a career.
    • Boost your GPA. Taking an AP course and exam can boost your GPA. 

    Taking AP courses and exams in high school could give you an advantage in college by letting you:

    • Earn College Credit and Placement. Your AP score could earn you college credits before you even set foot on campus. In fact, most AP students who enroll in four-year colleges start school with some credit.
    • Save Money and Time. Earning credit or placement can open up time on your schedule or even let you graduate college early.
    • Stand Out to Colleges. “AP” on your high school transcript shows colleges you're motivated to succeed, and taking the exam demonstrates your commitment to tackle and complete college-level work.
    • Keep Your Options Open. Earning college credit with AP can give you the flexibility to change majors, pursue a second degree, study abroad, or seek internships.

    Nearly all colleges and universities in the United States grant credit and placement for qualifying AP scores. Use College Board's tool to find colleges you’re interested in and see what you could earn with AP.

Your AP Journey

  • Here are the steps on the path to college credit and placement.

    1. Sign Up. See which courses your school offers, choose the course you’re interested in, and talk to your teacher or school counselor about signing up.
    2. Take the Course. First join your class in our online system. Then work hard in the course. You can practice for the exam with our free online resources.
    3. Take the Exam. Register for your exam by the fall deadline. Exams are given in May. When you take the exam, you’ll have a chance to choose a college or scholarship program to send your scores to.
    4. Send Scores. Check your scores when they’re released in early July. You can send additional scores—or send scores for the first time if you haven’t sent any yet.

    AP courses are offered in the disciplines of arts, English, history and social science, math and computer science, the sciences, and world languages and culture. You should choose an AP course based on the subjects you’re passionate about and the classes you do well in. Learn more about choosing your AP courses here

Overview Presentation

  • Sycamore High School is committed to every student’s success and believes access to rigorous coursework such as Advanced Placement (AP) plays an important role in that success. Getting the word out to students and parents about the ways AP is beneficial is imperative for the growth of our AP program.

    Each year in January, we offer an overview presentation to help inform families about the benefits of AP courses, exams, and more. The topics included in the presentation include:

    • What are Advanced Placement Courses?
    • The Benefits
    • AP Exams
    • Preparing for the AP Exams
    • What Is It Like to Take AP?
    • Next Steps: Help Your Child Make the Best Choices
    • Q & A

How to Access Your AP Resources

  • Learn how to access AP resources, including AP Classroom and AP Daily videos, by creating a College Board account and then joining your class section.

AP Exams

  • AP Exams are standardized exams designed to measure how well you’ve mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course. Most AP courses have an end-of-year exam, but a few courses have different ways to assess what you’ve learned—for example, AP Art and Design students submit a portfolio of work for scoring.

    Exam Timing and Structure. Each exam has its own unique requirements; however, almost all of the exams have the following things in common.

    • Most exams are 2–3 hours long.
    • The first part of the exam usually consists of multiple-choice questions.
      • You will choose 1 of 4–5 answer choices for each question.
      • Your total exam score on the multiple-choice section is based only on the number of questions answered correctly. You won’t receive or lose points for incorrect answers or unanswered questions.
    • The second part of the exam usually consists of free-response questions that require you to generate your own responses. Depending on the exam, your responses could be in the form of an essay, a solution to a problem, or a spoken response.
    • Details about each subject are on the exam pages.

    Practice for the AP Exams. The best way to prepare for an AP Exam is to participate in your AP class. It also helps to set aside consistent study time, complete all assignments from your teacher, and become familiar with the exam by practicing with exam questions created by AP. On AP Central, we release the free-response questions for exams that have them. We also post sample student responses and scoring guidelines for past exam questions so you can see why a real exam taker got the score they did.

    Where will students be testing? You will be receiving an email in late April or early May about your testing location.

    What if a student is not taking an AP exam this year? Attend school as a regular day, you will not report to a testing location.  

    What are College Board’s exam policies and guidelines? Please read over the policies and guidelines to prepare you for the AP exam linked here.

AP Coordinator