An Advanced Placement (AP) course is a college level course where students “​​can potentially earn college credit by getting a qualified score on the exam that is administered every year,” said math teacher, Chris Giordano. The College Board is an organization that offers these courses to high school students nation-wide. They also offer the SAT and the PSAT.

Having taken AP courses is “proof that you had a strong education because if you mastered those skills, you can demonstrate them on an AP exam,” said english teacher, Jennifer Clapp. 

Every university and college have their own range of acceptance for qualifying scores to receive college credit. “They have different standards of whether they accept a three, four, or five for college level credit, but each subject matter has different test, different components,” said Giordano. 

Giordano has taught AP Statistics in Malden High for over five or so years. “It is one of my favorite classes to teach.” At first, Giordano did not have a lot of practice with statistics and was “very intimidated by AP Statistics.,” Giordano used his own time to learn materials covered in the course and eventually it became his favorite subject matter. “I actually took AP Calculus so it was kind of a fun transition to learn more about this course as I started getting interested.” 

James Hill has taught AP World History, U.S. History and AP Economics in previous schools and is currently teaching AP World History at Malden. When discussing the curriculum of AP History classes, Hill claims that it is not possible to “review or teach [every] little piece of the curriculum in class,” due to the curriculum being large. 

AP History classes are especially challenging as they “[require] students to really use a lot of history skills rather than learning a lot of history knowledge, in AP, it is particularly intense,” adds Hills. “To do well in an AP history exam, you will need to know a lot about history, but you also need to be able to analyze documentaries extremely well and you need to be able to use critical thinking and much more reasoning.”

A staged photo of reporter Jenayah Moreno taking an "AP Exam." ADA ZHANG

Clapp has experience teaching all kinds of AP English classes. “I taught AP Literature for the longest time; I have also taught AP Language, and for the last seven years, I have been teaching AP Seminar.” 

Elizabeth Tirrell has taught AP Calculus for “a handful of years.” Tirrell has also helped to grade some of the exams. “So the college board employs teachers like myself to grade the exams from across the countries. I grade hundreds and hundreds of exams in one week. It's a really cool experience.”

AP courses are different from CP and Honors courses. “The curriculum is tied to what those classes expect in college. So it is a college level class being offered in high school,” said Giordano.

The AP exam takes roughly two to four hours long. “They take their tests for a few hours during their school day,” said Tirrell. 

Senior Jason Zhang, who took AP Physics, felt that the exam was “too long,” and quite grueling. However he does not regret taking the class itself as it has proved to be quite beneficial and that learning with AP Physics teacher Brian Morrison was a great experience.

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