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AP Course Description
For a full description, additional information and course requirements, visit http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/subjects.html
AP Art History is designed to provide the same benefits to secondary school students as those provided by an introductory college course in art history. In the course, students examine major forms of artistic expression from the ancient world to the present and from a variety of cultures. They learn to look and analyze works of art within their historical context, and to articulate what they see or experience in a meaningful way. A meaningful way to experience works of art is learning to frame an understanding that relates how and why works of art communicate visual meaning.
The AP Studio Art portfolios are designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on a written examination; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year.
The ultimate goal of an AP Music Theory course is to develop a student's ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. The achievement of these goals may best be approached by initially addressing fundamental aural, analytical, and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. Building on this foundation, the course should progress to include more creative tasks, such as the harmonization of a melody by selecting appropriate chords, composing a musical bass line to provide two-voice counterpoint, or the realization of figured-bass notation.
The student's ability to read and write musical notation is fundamental to such a course. It is also assumed that the student has acquired (or is acquiring) at least basic performance skills in voice or on an instrument.
An AP Spanish Language course is comparable to an advanced level (5th- and 6th-semester or the equivalent) college Spanish language course. Emphasizing the use of Spanish for active communication, it encompasses aural/oral skills, reading comprehension, grammar, and composition.
The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course is designed to provide you, the student, with a learning experience equivalent to that of an introductory college course in literature written in Spanish.
The course introduces you to the formal study of a representative body of texts from Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic literature. The course provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your proficiency in Spanish across the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the five goal areas (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities).
The overarching aims of the course are to provide you with ongoing and varied opportunities to further develop your proficiencies across the full range of language skills—with special attention to critical reading and analytical writing—and to encourage you to reflect on the many voices and cultures included in a rich and diverse body of literature written in Spanish.
The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help students become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer's purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.
The AP English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work's structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.
Calculus AB is designed to be taught over a full high school academic year. It is possible to spend some time on elementary functions and still cover the Calculus AB curriculum within a year. However, if students are to be adequately prepared for the Calculus AB examination, most of the year must be devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. These topics are the focus of the AP Exam.
Before studying calculus, all students should complete four years of secondary mathematics designed for college-bound students: courses in which they study algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, and elementary functions. These functions include those that are linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, and piecewise defined. In particular, before studying calculus, students must be familiar with the properties of functions, the algebra of functions, and the graphs of functions. Students must also understand the language of functions (domain and range, odd and even, periodic, symmetry, zeros, intercepts, and so on) and know the values of the trigonometric functions of the numbers 0, pi/6, pi/4, pi/3, pi/2, and their multiples.
Calculus BC is a full-year course in the calculus of functions of a single variable. It includes all topics taught in Calculus AB plus additional topics, but both courses are intended to be challenging and demanding; they require a similar depth of understanding of common topics.
The purpose of the AP Statistics course is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:
- Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
- Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
- Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
- Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses
Computer Science A emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology with an emphasis on problem solving and algorithm development and is meant to be the equivalent of a first-semester course in computer science. It also includes the study of data structures and abstraction.
The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.
AP Chemistry should meet the objectives of a good general chemistry course. Students should attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course should contribute to the development of the students' abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic.
The AP Biology course is designed to enable you to develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses—a goal of every AP course.
The Physics B course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability using algebra and trigonometry, but rarely calculus. In most colleges, this is a one-year terminal course including a laboratory component and is not the usual preparation for more advanced physics and engineering courses. However, the B course provides a foundation in physics for students in the life sciences, premedicine, and some applied sciences, as well as other fields not directly related to science.
The purpose of this AP Psychology course is to introduce the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Included is a consideration of the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.
The AP United States History is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and enduring understandings necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States history. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students should learn to assess historical materials—their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance—and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. An AP United States History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in an essay format.
AP World History
AP Modern European History. The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of the AP program in European History are to develop (a) an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European History, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing.
The purpose of the AP Human Geography course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth's surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.
The AP Government & Politics: United States course provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. While there is no single approach that an AP Government & Politics: United States course must follow, certain topics are generally covered in college courses.
An AP course in Macroeconomics is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. Such a course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price determination, and also develops your familiarity with economic performance measures, economic growth, and international economics.
The purpose of an AP course in Microeconomics is to provide a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the larger economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.