• About AP®
    AP enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Through more than 30 courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both. Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought out the most rigorous course work available to them. Each AP course is modeled upon a comparable college course, and college and university faculty play a vital role in ensuring that AP courses align with college-level standards. Talented and dedicated AP teachers help AP students in classrooms around the world develop and apply the content knowledge and skills they will need later in college. Each AP course concludes with a college-level assessment developed and scored by college and university faculty, as well as experienced AP teachers. AP Exams are an essential part of the AP experience, enabling students to demonstrate their mastery of college-level course work. More than 90 percent of four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant students credit, placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. Universities in more than 60 countries recognize AP Exam scores in the admission process and/or award credit and placement for qualifying scores. Visit www.collegeboard.com/ap/credit to view AP credit and placement policies at more than 1,000 colleges and universities. 
    The score-setting process is both precise and labor intensive, involving numerous psychometric analyses of the results of a specific AP Exam in a specific year and of the particular group of students who took that exam. Additionally, to ensure alignment with college-level standards, part of the score-setting process involves comparing the performance of AP students with the performance of students enrolled in comparable courses in colleges throughout the United States. In general, the AP composite score points are set so that the lowest raw score needed to earn an AP Exam score of 5 is equivalent to the average score among college students earning grades of A in the college course. Similarly, AP Exam scores of 4 are equivalent to college grades of A–, B+, and B. AP Exam scores of 3 are equivalent to college grades of B–, C+, and C.
    AP Score Qualification
    5 Extremely well qualified
    4 Well qualified
    3 Qualified
    2 Possibly qualified
    1 No recommendation
    AP Courses Offered at Southwestern
    Calculus AB
    English Lit. & Composition
    U.S. Government & Politics
    Studio Art:  2-D
    Studio Art:  Drawing
    Physics B
    Physics C: Mechanics
    Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism            
    Virtual Advanced Placement (VAP) Class Information
    These AP Courses are taught by a teacher from another school district. The majority of content, learning and communication is done online with an IPAD or similar device. 
    The purpose of the AP course in microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.
    The Exam
    The AP Microeconomics Exam is a little over 2 hours long. The exam consists of a 70-minute multiple-choice section and a 60-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for two-thirds of the student’s exam score and the free-response section for the remaining one-third. Some questions in the free-response section require graphical analysis. The free-response section begins with a mandatory 10-minute reading period. During this period, students are advised to read each of the questions, sketch graphs, make notes, and plan their answers. Students then have 50 minutes to write

    their answers. Major areas covered in each exam are discussed in this book. When answering the AP Microeconomics free-response questions, a student should respond clearly and concisely. Including paragraph or even full-sentence responses is not always necessary; however, it is important to address the verb prompts appropriately (as explained below). A written response that presents conflicting answers is likely to lead to the loss of points. Definitions of the following terms that are frequently used as prompts in free-response questions are:

    • “Show” means to use a diagram to illustrate your answer. Correct labeling of all elements including the axes of the diagram is necessary to receive full credit.

    • “Explain” means to take the reader through all of the steps or linkages in the line of economic reasoning. Graphs and symbols are acceptable as part of the explanation.

    • “Identify” means to provide a specific answer that might be a list or a label on a graph, without any explanation or elaboration.

    • “Calculate” means to use mathematical operations to determine a specific numerical response, along with providing your work.

     World History
    The AP World History course content is structured around the investigation of five course themes and 19 key concepts in six different chronological periods, from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present.

    • The Four Historical Thinking Skills

    The framework defines a set of shared historical thinking skills, which allows teachers to make more informed choices about appropriate ways of linking content and thinking skills.

    • Key Concepts and Themes

    * The use of key concepts and themes to organize the course facilitates both chronological and thematic approaches to teaching AP World History. Given the vast nature of the subject matter, using both approaches — even alternating between the two — often aids instruction.

    * The key concepts support the investigation of historical developments within a chronological framework, while the course themes allow students to make crucial connections across the six historical periods and across geographical regions.

    * The concepts are designed to provide structure for teaching the course, serving as instructional units that can be addressed separately or in conjunction with other key concepts within any given period.

    * By framing historical processes and developments beyond a perceived list of facts, events, and dates, the key concepts help teachers and their students understand, organize, and prioritize historical developments within each period. So the framework provides a comprehensive content outline organized by key concepts.

    Exam Information
    The AP World History Exam is 3 hours and 5 minutes long and includes both a 55-minute multiple-choices section and a 130-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section of the examination accounts for half of the student’s exam grade, and the free-response section for the other half.
    Question Type Number of Questions
    Timing Multiple-choice 70 questions 55 minutes
    Document-based question 1 question 50 minutes. (Includes a 10-minute reading period)
    Change-over-time essay 1 question 40 minutes
    Comparative essay 1 question 40 minutes

    Section I consists of 70 multiple-choice questions designed to measure the student’s knowledge of world history from Period 1 to the present. This section follows the percentages listed below; questions will draw from individual or multiple periods:

    Periods Period Weights
    1 Technological and Environmental Transformations to c. 600 B.C.E. 5%
    2 Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies c. 600 B.C.E. to c. 600 C.E. 15%
    3 Regional and Trans regional Interactions c. 600 C.E. to c. 1450 20%
    4 Global Interactions c. 1450 to c. 1750 20%
    5 Industrialization and Global Integration c. 1750 to c. 1900 20%
    6 Accelerating Global Change and Realignments c. 1900 to Present 20%

    Multiple-choice questions will also measure various geographical regions, with no more than 20 percent of multiple-choice questions focusing solely on Europe.

    In Section II, the free-response section of the exam, Part A begins with a mandatory 10-minute reading period for the document-based question. Students should answer the document-based question in approximately 40 minutes. In Part B students are asked to answer a question that deals with continuity and change over time (covering at least one of the periods in the concept outline). Students will have 40 minutes to answer this question, 5 minutes of which should be spent planning and/or outlining the answer. In Part C students are asked to answer a comparative question that will focus on broad issues or themes in world history and deal with at least two societies. Students will have 40 minutes to answer this question, 5 minutes of which should be spent planning and/or outlining the answer.

    Computer Science
    Computer science embraces problem solving, hardware, algorithms, and perspectives that help people utilize computers to address real-world problems in contemporary life.  Students are well prepared to continue their study of computer science and its integration into a wide array of computing and STEM-related fields.

    The curriculum provides resources, such as application related labs, that connect with students with diverse interests, particularly female and underrepresented student populations.  The course is engaging and underscores the importance of communicating solutions appropriately and in ways that are relevant to current societal needs.  The course can help address traditional issues of equity, access, and broadening participation in computing while providing a strong and engaging introduction to fundamental areas of discipline. 

    The course introduces students to computer science, with fundamental topics that include problem solving , design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing.  The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design.  These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems.

    Exam Information
    The exam is three hours long and has two parts — multiple choice and free response. Each section is worth 50% of the final exam grade.

    You will not be tested on minor points of syntax. All code given is consistent with the AP Java subset showing the classes and interfaces used in the Computer Science A course. All responses involving code must be answered in Java. The exam also includes a quick reference sheet for the Computer Science A Exam to both the multiple-choice and free-response sections of the exam.

    Section I: Multiple Choice — 40 Questions; 1 hour and 15 minutes

    Question topics will include:

    ·         Programming Fundamentals

    ·         Data Structures

    ·         Logic

    ·         Algorithms/Problem Solving

    ·         Object-Oriented Programming

    ·         Recursion

    ·         Software engineering

    Section II: Free Response — 4 questions; 1 hour and 45 minutes

    The free response section tests your ability to solve problems involving more extended reasoning.