Ms. Bryan - 2015-16

A.P. English Literature and Composition - The A.P. Program


AP English


The A.P. Exam

Grading Policy


The Advanced Placement Program provides an opportunity for high school students to pursue and receive credit for college-level course work completed at the secondary school level. The AP Program, sponsored by the College Board, is based on the premise that college-level material can be taught successfully to able and well-prepared high school students. Like other College Board programs, the AP Program is worldwide in scope; its policies are determined by representatives of College Board member institutions and agencies throughout the country (public and independent secondary schools, colleges, and universities) and are implemented by the College Board. The AP Program is open to any secondary school that elects to participate. Similarly, the examinations are open to any candidate who wishes to participate. Operational services and development, scoring, and grading of the examinations are provided by Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The AP Program serves three groups: students who have the ability and desire to pursue college-level study while still in secondary school, secondary schools that are interested in offering such opportunities, and colleges that wish to encourage and recognize such achievement.

In essence, the AP Program is a cooperative endeavor that helps high school students complete college-level courses and permits colleges to evaluate, acknowledge, and encourage that accomplishment through the granting of appropriate credit and placement. Many colleges award sophomore standing to an incoming first-year student who has successfully completed three or more AP courses.


The AP Program was born in the early 1950s out of a general concern within the academic community for the educational progress of able students. At that time, a number of colleges and universities already had programs of early admission and/or advanced standing for talented students.

In the fall of 1954, the College Entrance Examination Board voted to accept the AP Program and to administer AP Examinations in the spring of 1956. They also requested that Educational Testing Service be responsible for developing the examinations.

Charles R. Keller, head of the History Department at Williams College, was appointed the first College Board director of the AP Program. Under his leadership and that of his successors, the AP Program has grown steadily. AP Examinations are now offered in 34 subject areas across 19 disciplines.

In 2003, more than 1 million students representing some 14,000 secondary schools took more than 1,700,000 examinations. They had their results sent to approximately 3,435 colleges.

By challenging and stimulating students, the AP program provides access to high-quality education, accelerates learning, rewaqrds achievement, and enhances both high school and college programs.

Why Take the AP Exam?

Many schools offer AP courses in several subject areas. Some make them an integral part of their curriculum and may give an honors weight for those taking the AP Exam. Some offer AP classes as an alternative and leave the final decision regarding the AP Exam to the students.

Many students wonder whether the college of their choice will give them credit for their AP course. It is important to remember that, first of all, more and more colleges and universities are now giving credit to students who score high enough on the AP Exam to meet their criteria. For more information, contact the Advanced Placement Program, The College Board, 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023-6992; (212) 713-8066. Some colleges do not give credit for AP and require incoming students to take their "in-house" test. It is obvious that, if students have taken the AP course and the examination, they are very well prepared for the entrance test and should score much higher than they would have without that level of instruction.

The benefits of AP are not only academic; they are also financial. Students can enter a more advanced course in their field, replace the exempt course with a different one, or choose to graduate earlier. Because today's college degree requirements are more demanding than ever before, some students have to take another semester or two of courses to satisfy them. In such cases, the value of AP is indisputable. Because of the selectivity of many universities, a student who has taken an AP course is usually considered to be a very desirable candidate.

The cost of taking the Advanced Placement Examination may present an obstacle to some students, but it is important to remember that a financial benefit may come later. the College Board offers reduced fees to sutdents who can demonstrate financial need, and in some states, public funding is available to cover AP Exam fees.