NSHS AP Program
Advanced Placement is a program run by College Board (the makers of the SAT) that allows you to take courses right in your high school that can earn you college credit and/or qualify you for more advanced classes when you begin college. AP courses challenge students with rigorous course work that is at the college level while they are still in high school. The College Board monitors each of these courses carefully to ensure the AP Classes here at North Salem are providing rigor and a true College curriculum experience. The result is a curriculum that engages students and encourages problem solving and analytical thinking skills. Students taking these courses create a motivated environment that is characterized by in-depth discussions and intellectual investigation.
In May, the College Board offers examinations in each of their AP subjects. These exams assess knowledge in that specific content area and are scored on a scale of 1-5. Students who earn a score of 3 or above are eligible to receive college credit for that course. Depending on the University a score of 4 or 5 maybe necessary to get credits.
AP Calculus AB
Calculus AB is primarily concerned with developing the students’ understanding of the concepts of calculus and providing experience with its methods and applications. The course emphasizes a multi-representational approach to calculus with concepts, results, and problems being expressed graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally. The course is intended to be challenging and demanding.
Exploring data: observing patterns and departures from patterns using graphical and numerical techniques. Note distribution, shape, location, variables, unusual values.
Planning a study: deciding what and how to measure, identifying important variables related to conjecture, specifying how they are to be measured and formulating a model from which inferences can be drawn.
Anticipating patterns: producing models using probability and simulation. Probability is oriented toward describing data distribution, rather than axiomatic or combinatorial focus.
Statistical inference: confirming models. Use models to draw conclusions from data; use data to critique modes.
The AP Biology course is designed for the college bound student who has an interest in pursuing a biological science or related career. The course will enable the student to understand: molecules and cells, genetics, evolution, organisms, ecology, populations and behavior.
AP Computer Science Language
Students will use the language C++ to prepare for the Advanced Placement exam. Students will focus on projects using this language, especially looking at the AP case study. All material through recursion and dynamic data structures, therefore through the AB version of the AP computer science exam, will be covered. This material will lead to the AP Exam during the middle of the 4th quarter of the class.
AP Environmental Science
This is a college level course for high school students who seek to understand issues facing our environment on a global and local scale. Students must have completed two years of high school laboratory science – one year of life science and one year of physical science or chemistry.
AP Physics I
This course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability using algebra and trigonometry. The B course provides a foundation in physics for students in the life sciences, pre-medicine, and some applied sciences, as well as other fields not directly related to science.
AP Physics C: Mechanics
A rigorous course aimed at pre-engineering majors that is equivalent to the 1st semester of college calculus based physics. In this course students explore topics including the study of kinematics, force, momentum, energy, circular motion, rotation, and oscillation.
AP European History
This year long course addresses European history from 1450 to present. Emphasis will be placed on intellectual, cultural, political, diplomatic, social and economic history. College credit for this course may be earned after the successful completion of the course.
AP US Government and Politics
This Advanced Placement course gives an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. The course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret US politics and the analysis of specific examples. Students will learn about various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that have played important roles in the US government and political system.
AP US History
AP United States History is a chronological study covering Colonial America (1607) to contemporary America (2001). The course provides students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge to deal critically with the political, economic and social issues of United State history. Students will learn to assess historical scholarship.
AP Human Geography
The AP Human Geography course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the earth’s surface. It serves as an introduction to human geography/cultural geography. Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications.
The AP Psychology course provides students with an introduction to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with psychology sub-fields.
AP English Language & Composition
AP Language and Composition is an intensive study of writing, argumentation, and analysis. Students will read and explore various forms of rhetoric and argument, write analytical and argumentative essays, and develop techniques for dealing with on-demand writing prompts. While the focus of this course is writing, students will read several major literary texts during the course. This course is designed for the college-bound student and offers credit at many universities based on a student’s AP exam scores.
AP English Literature & Composition
In AP Literature and Composition, students engage in a careful study and discussion of texts in a variety of literary genres, and sharpen their awareness of author’ uses of stylistic techniques while learning the essentials of literary analysis, criticism, and major literary time periods. In addition, this course teaches students to develop the mature voice needed for college level writing and also places special emphasis on the skills and confidence needed for in-class essay writing.
Pre-AP Spanish Literature
This course will provide students with a foundation in literary analysis by focusing on contemporary Spanish literature. Emphasis will be on high-level reading comprehension and literary analysis. Students will increase their familiarity with terminology and concepts useful in writing about literature.
AP Spanish Literature
This course is equivalent to an introductory literature course at the college level. Students focus on a variety of literary genres and authors and engage in analysis through discussion, presentations, and writing. Students will understand culture and historical context of literary genres.
AP Spanish Language
This course is designed for native and non-native Spanish language learners who wish to pursue college credit for course work that is approximately equivalent to at least a second-year college course in advanced Spanish language. It is designed to develop and advance skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish; and in acquiring knowledge of the Spanish and Latin American cultures.
AP Studio Art
This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Studio Art Portfolio Review. It will cover a wide range 2-D and 3-D media. Students will complete a professional portfolio including at least 24 college level art works.
AP Music Theory
AP Music Theory includes the study of foundational skills hearing and notating music, functional harmony, analytical, compositional and aural skills. The year long course will prepare students to take the AP Music Theory Exam administered by the College Board.
How to get started.
Talk with teachers and your school counselor about getting into AP courses. North Salem offers a number of Honors classes that better prepare students for the rigors of college level courses. AP courses are for students who want to challenge themselves and be college ready. It is suggested that incoming freshman interested in AP courses take Honors classes first, to prepare themselves for the rigor of AP courses.
The following Honors courses are offered here at NSHS:
- Honors English 9
- Honors English 10
Honors Physics and Chemical Systems
Honors Biological Systems
- Honors Geometry
- Honors Algebra II
- Honors Chemistry
The Benefits of Taking AP Classes
Courses Advanced Placement courses often come with a common misconception—that they are only available to high achieving students. The reality is that any student can enroll in an AP course regardless of physical or mental blocks that the student might feel may be preventing them from taking AP.
Since AP is geared toward preparing students for college, all students interested in attending a college or university should really consider taking an AP course. AP classes look great on college applications, earn you college credits, build college skills, and allow you to skip the introductory classes in college. Students must decide on whether or not their schedules can accommodate the rigorous study, time, and dedication needed to take an AP course.