Advanced Placement (AP) is a program of college-level courses and exams that give motivated students the opportunity to earn credit for college while they are still in high school.  The AP Program is divided into 2 components: a course of study and a nationally coordinated exam.

AP courses are developed by committees composed of college faculty and high school teachers.  Each AP labeled course has been approved by The College Board through an extensive review process.  These courses cover the breadth of information, skills, and assignments in corresponding collegiate courses.  Most AP courses at Waukee and Northwest High School are a full semester and provide a more intense and rigorous academic experience.  Because of this, AP courses carry weighted grades.  This means that an “A” in an AP course is worth more points than an “A” in a regular class. This can help raise a student’s overall GPA.

The AP exams are developed and coordinated on a national level by The College Board.  All exams are administered during a 2-week period in early May.  Each subject exam is structured differently according to the curriculum.  However, all exams include multiple-choice and free-response sections.  All AP exams are scored on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the highest.  The curriculum and test structure dictate’s how the exam scores are calculated for each subject area.  Evaluation standards are based on the college courses at Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and the University of Iowa with a 5 representing an A, 4 representing a B, and so on.