High school students apply themselves with AP credit
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 01:10
High achieving high school students hope to obtain the scores of at least three on Advanced Placement (AP) and a five on International Baccalaureate (IB) tests each May. At Miami University, these scores ensure that students receive college credit. Currently, 59 percent of the first-years at Miami either took AP or IB classes in high school, according to the director of Admission, Ann Larson. According to the College Board, 57 percent of the 43,000,000 students who took AP tests in 2012 received college credit.
Larson explained that students in the AP and IB systems take classes at a higher level of difficulty and faster pace, with a test at the end of the year. However, AP scores range from one to five and IB scores range from one to seven, with five and seven being best.
Both AP and IB classes offer a variety of subjects, Larson said, including math, science, literature, language, music, art and many others that are instructed similar to college level courses. Students who take AP or IB courses must prepare for an exam at the end of the year to see if they have mastered their subject material.
“Advanced Placement courses are basically equivalent to college courses,” first-year Kendall Bilardo said. “The work is difficult and is done more individually than with the teacher. We prepare the whole year for the test in May and hope to get a score that qualifies for college credit.”
According to Larson and first-year academic adviser Sarah Ganson, scores of three and above on the exam will receive college credit, which helps minimize some of the Miami Plan classes that students would have to take.
“It’s certainly an advantage to have students take AP courses in high school,” Larson said.
Students can move ahead in curriculum, receive credit for Miami Plan courses or courses for their major, finish early, study abroad or even double major.
Nine percent of the current first-years have come with at least 32 credit hours, which constitutes them as sophomores, according to Larson. The average student comes to Miami with 16 credit hours.
However, while AP and IB courses are looked at positively on admission applications, students who have not taken these classes are not penalized.
“If some high schools do not offer these classes or programs, we do not by any means discount these students,” Larson said. “We look into the context that the student is put in. We expect that students will take these classes if they are offered at their schools; likewise, a student’s chances are not decreased if his or her school does not offer these programs.”
Even though AP and IB credit is a mostly positive option that high school students utilize, it can make advising appointments difficult for both the adviser and student.
“Sometimes with a large load of AP credit hours, it’s hard to determine which classes the student should take,” Ganson said. “The student typically has to make an appointment with an adviser within his or her major. Our main goal is to help the students take courses for Miami Plan or for their major.”
According to Bilardo, overall, AP and IB credit benefits students in the long-term, especially in regards to scheduling.
“It was a lot of work, but the AP courses were definitely worth doing,” Bilardo said.