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Advanced Placement

The Advanced Placement (AP) is a program offering college-level curriculum and exams to high school students. American colleges often grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores above a certain number on the examinations.

AP courses are offered at each of our district comprehensive high schools. AP courses follow a national curriculum provided by The College Board, the publishers of the SAT college entrance exam. These courses give students the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.

Each May, AP exams are offered to students as they complete their coursework. Students earning a minimum score on the exam can receive either elective credit or course replacement credit depending on the college or university policy.

Parents and students are encouraged to review these policies on the college website for colleges under consideration. AP courses are college-level courses that reflect a student’s willingness to follow the demands and rigor of college-level studies.

These courses assist students in stretching themselves to think or learn at a higher level and will help students stand out in the college admission process. A fee is required for each AP exam, but a waiver can be requested through the student’s High School Guidance Counselor.

A high school curriculum of high academic intensity and quality found in Pre-AP/AP courses is the factor that most contributes to a student’s likelihood of completing a college degree. Exposure to this curriculum is a much better predictor of college success than a student’s high school GPA or test scores. AP students:

  • are exposed to the rigor of college-level study
  • explore advanced topics in greater depth and detail
  • earn college credit while in high school
  • build confidence in their capability to succeed in college
  • increase the likelihood of getting accepted to the college of their choice
  • save money; course waivers earned in AP will save on tuition
  • improve their writing skills and sharpen their problem-solving techniques
  • assume responsibility for reasoning, analyzing, and understanding for themselves
  • earn up to a semester of college credit for free
  • increase the likelihood of college admission

AP courses offered in Thompson School District: Art History; Biology; Calculus AB and BC; Chemistry; Economics: Macro; Economics: Micro; English Language and Composition; English Literature and Composition; Environmental Science; European History; Government and Politics: Comparative or United States; Human Geography; Music Theory; Physics I; Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism; Physics II: Mechanics; Psychology; Research; Seminar; Statistics; Studio Art: Drawing, Photo, 2-D or 3-D Design; U.S. History; World History; and World Languages: Spanish, German and French.

For more information on the AP program, please visit


  • Most US Colleges recognize AP and offer credit for scores (usually 4 or 5) 
  • Show challenge/rigor for college admissions. 


  • Chance for college credit is dependent on a single test 
  • Cost: Free to take the course. $95/test plus book fees. (fee subject to change)  

 How to Earn Credit for Your Scores