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About the AP Program

What is the Advanced Placement Program?

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program consists of 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 administed 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. WCHS AP teachers receive regular professonal 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 the AP Program

  1. AP students experience the academic rigor of college level studies.
  2. AP students choose from a wide selection of courses to best fit their academic interests.
  3. AP students at WHS 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.
  4. 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."

Advanced Placement Courses Offered at WHS:

  • AP American Government/Politics
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP English Literature
  • AP United States History

AP Scholar Awards

The AP Program offers several AP Scholar Awards to recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. Although there is no monetary award, in addition to receiving an award certificate, this achievement is acknowledged on any AP score report that is sent to colleges the following fall.

Award Levels

AP Scholar
Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

AP Scholar with Honor
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

AP Scholar with Distinction
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

Courtesy of The College Board