The Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Board enables students to complete college-level studies as well as prepare for AP exams that give students the opportunity to receive college credit or placement for qualifying exam scores. AP courses encourage critical and creative thought, fine-tune analytical skills, enhance reasoning abilities, and serve as an “academic bridge” to help smooth the transition for students from high school to college.
The examinations are structured to measure depth of knowledge, completeness of thought, and synthesis of ideas. Approximately 1200 institutions of higher learning award credit based on a student’s AP examination scores. Exams are graded on a five-point scale with college credit usually given for scores of 3 or higher. The score requirement and number of college credit hours or placement credit awarded varies among universities and colleges. The exams are administered in May of each school year to students enrolled in AP courses. All McKinney ISD AP students are required to take AP exams. The district fee for not taking the AP exam per course is $45.
The AP courses offered in MISD are listed below. Most AP courses are one-period offerings, the exceptions being Studio Art, Biology, Chemistry and Physics B which require two periods due to the laboratory requirements of these courses. The semester averages in AP courses are assigned weighted grade points (6.0).
Many of the core courses in the major academic disciplines offer advanced courses referred to as Pre-AP. These courses lay the foundation for success not only in the AP program, but ultimately in college coursework. Pre-AP courses emphasize the same types of thinking skills and student expectations as the AP courses, although the course content is at the appropriate grade level. Students who elect not to take AP courses will still benefit greatly from the curricula and requirements of the Pre-AP course of study. The Pre-AP program in McKinney ISD is an inclusive program. A student may enroll in a Pre-AP class as long as the prerequisite courses (i.e., Eng II before Eng III) have been successfully completed, and the student is willing to accept the time and learning requirements of an advanced class. Each student signs a course contract when enrolling in a Pre-AP course. The contract and course description for each class outlines in detail the requirements of the class.
The high school Pre-AP courses offered in MISD are listed below. The semester averages in Pre-AP courses are assigned weighted grade points (5.0).
McKinney ISD is committed to the principle that all students deserve an opportunity to participate in rigorous and academically challenging curriculum. Because of this, students are highly encouraged to take AP courses when appropriate. According to research, by the time students enter college the type of courses they took in high school is more important than test scores, class rank, or grade averages. Students participating in AP courses are significantly more likely to attain a college degree than those without an AP experience (Adelman, 1999).