AP (Advanced Placement) is a curriculum and examination program designed and administered by the College Board, which also administers the SAT. Few international schools in Hong Kong offer AP courses.
The AP courses are college-level programs that students take while still in high school, hence they are considered electives. AP students have the option, at the end of the school year, to take the courses’ AP exams, which are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest grade. Students can also take the exams without being enrolled in an AP class.
By obtaining high grades in AP exams, students can gain college credit or placement in advance, allowing them to skip introductory classes and save time and money in college. It also provides flexibility to students in terms of switching majors, acquiring a second degree, or studying abroad.
AP scores are not required for university admission or scholarship consideration. Nonetheless, a streak of exceptional AP exam scores will help some students stand out in the intense competition at highly selective universities. The College Board reports that 85 percent of top schools and institutions consider AP experience a positive admissions consideration.
As admissions committees at prestigious colleges receive applications from considerably more competent candidates than they have openings in the incoming class, impressive performance on standardised exams (such as SAT, AP) are always one of the most recognizable methods to distinguish some applicants from others. We strongly suggest our mentees who plan to study in the US prepare early and excel in standardised tests to build competitive edges.