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Advanced Placement (AP) and Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) Classes

The College Board offers Advanced Placement exams in 35 subjects, and successful completion of an exam grants a student college level credit for the subject material. Akins High School has a wide selection of AP classes, including English Language & Composition, English Literature & Composition; U.S. History, Government, Macro Economics; Statistics; Calculus AB; Chemistry, Physics; French IV, Spanish IV and 5, Music Theory.

What Is Pre-AP/AP?
The Pre-AP/AP course of study is a concerted effort to support educational excellence for all students. The intention of the program is to teach and reinforce crucial academic skills. According to the College Board, successful Pre-AP/AP courses include:
* On-going emphasis on promoting essential academic habits of mind.
* Increased communication and alignment of curriculum.
* Strong administrative, parental, and community support.
* Inclusion of academic strengths and interests of students and teachers.
The Pre-AP/AP curriculum is based on two important beliefs: (1) The belief that all students can perform at rigorous academic levels; and (2) The belief that we can prepare every student for higher intellectual engagement through early development of skills and knowledge.

Why Take Pre-AP/AP Classes?
Students who participate in the Pre-AP/AP program learn valuable skills and strengthen their foundation for future academic and career success. According to a 1986 University of Texas study, students who participated in Pre-AP/AP courses were better prepared academically and were more likely to choose challenging majors and complete college-level work.
Students participating in the Pre-AP/AP program not only improve their academic skills, but AP courses at the 11th and 12th grade offer students an opportunity to gain college credit while still in high school and/or gain advanced placement in college.
What Does it Take to Succeed in Pre-AP/AP?
Successful Pre-AP/AP students are hard-working, self-motivated, and inquisitive learners. Pre-AP/AP students are expected to possess productive study habits and time management skills.

Akins’ Pre-AP/AP Record
Because Akins is the newest high school in Austin, our Pre-AP/AP program is still growing. In 2002, 28 Akins’ AP exams earned credit. In 2003, 90 exams scored a 3 or higher. The number rose to 108 exams in 2004, 109 in 2005, and 118 exams in 2006. In 2007, our students earned 3s or higher on 176 exams, setting a new Eagle record.  We applaud the extra effort that many students exerted to achieve at this level.  Students within the program gained valuable academic skills and habits of mind as well as college-level experience.

Frequently Asked Questions
* How do Pre-AP/AP classes differ from academic classes?
Differences may exist in: (1) Pacing, (2) Depth, (3) Focus, and (4) Knowledge Core.
* How much homework will I have?
The homework load for Pre-AP/AP courses is heavier than that of non-Pre-AP/AP classes, but it will vary by subject area and teacher. You will be responsible for completing your work on time and to the best of your ability. Additional out-of-class reading, writing, research, and/or computation are common in Pre-AP/AP classes.
* Should I take all Pre-AP/AP classes?
That depends on the student. It is recommended that students enroll in the classes in which they show high interest and dedication. This will help promote higher levels of performance within those classes.
* Can I withdraw from Pre-AP/AP classes if they are too hard?
Students may exit a Pre-AP/AP class if they are having difficulty. This will require approval of the teacher, student, parent, and counselor, and should only be considered as a last resort.
* What kind of grades should I expect in Pre-AP/AP classes?
If you have always made good grades without too much effort, you may notice a drop in your average. As long as you are doing your best on every assignment, you should be satisfied with a single letter-grade drop due to the difficulty of the classes. The reward for trying harder classes will be extra points on your overall Grade Point Average (GPA).

The advanced placement section of the College Board’s website has more information about AP classes. Please visit the AP section of The CollegeBoard for more information on AP Subjects and Testing process.

New Course for Juniors in 2017-2018:  AP Seminar
Learn about the AP Capstone Program.
Questions about AP or PreAP?
Rebecca Redland-Sturzl,
AP Program Director
rebecca.redland-sturzl@austinisd.org
(512) 841-9912
 
Questions about AP Exams?
Shawn Mena,
AP Program Admninstrator/Coordinator
shawn.mena@austinisd.org
(512) 841-9938