Julianne Neuman Effective Writing 10/7/12 AP: Advanced Placement or Absolute Pain?
“Are you ready for a unique learning experience that will help you succeed in college? Through AP’s college-level course and exams, you can earn college credit and advanced placement, stand out in the admission process, and learn from some of the most skilled, dedicated, and inspiring teachers in the world.” This excerpt comes from the main web page about AP course on College Board’s official website. In 1900, the College Board was created to expand the availability to getting a higher education. Formed by a handful of colleges, their purpose was to simplify the application process for students and college admission offices. More than a century after evaluating those first test-takers, their job has been helping more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition into college each year, and continue to serve the education community through research on behalf of students, schools and teachers. Over the last several years it has become crucial for high school students to take AP or Advanced Placement courses in order to get into a good college, or at least that is what they tell teenagers. As a former high school student, I was constantly told by the college admissions committees how it would make a difference to see that I took AP courses on my college application and got good scores on the AP test, but was it really worth the time and effort that I put into those classes? Because of the stress over the work and the obsession getting accepted into a good, AP classes are doing more harm than good.
Advanced Placement is a program created by the College Board in which high schools offer college-level courses and exams to students. The AP curriculum consists of various subjects that are created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level professors. The class credits are supposedly transferable to college, thus putting students ahead of the game. For a high school course to have the AP recognition the course must be reviewed by the College Board to establish it as a class and it satisfies the AP curriculum. If the course is approved, the school may use the AP title and the course will be publicly listed on the AP course list.
After World War II, the Ford Foundation created a trust that supported committees who were studying education. The program was founded at Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio, by the college president Gordon Chalmers. The first study was tested by three prep schools: Lawrenceville School, Phillips Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy along with three universities: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. In 1952, they created the report which was titled the General Education in School and College: A Committee Report. It was designed to allow high school seniors to study different types of college level material and to take an achievement exam that will allow them to receive college credit for the work. The second committee, the Committee on Admission with Advanced Standing, was the committee who got to plan the curriculum. The pilot program began running in 1952.The College Board, a non-profit organization, has run the AP program since 1955.The courses for AP vary from physics, to chemistry, to biology, all the way to history, geography, and english. It also supports teachers of AP courses, and supports universities. Because of these activities, the program and anyone involved are funded through fees charged to students taking AP Exams.
Of course the AP course sound like a good idea when one is told about them. There are benefits to taking these college level courses, because at almost every college in the country, your...
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