New AP/IB Testing Policy

With a few dozen AP and IB classes in subjects anywhere from Computer Science to US History, Bloomfield Hills High School offers college-level curriculum for all students to participate in.

   Kathleen Small teaches AP Psychology at BHHS and has previously taught AP US Government and IB World Religions.

   “I think one of the most obvious answers for what the advantages are for students taking AP/IB classes would be to try to earn college credit before you enter your first year in college or university,” Small explained. “However; I think some less obvious answers could be that some students want to engage with a challenging curriculum in a class they think they might enjoy or in a field they might want to major in.”

   However, they may be disadvantages to consider before deciding to take an AP or IB class.

   “Unfortunately, I think some students feel that they need to take many AP/IB classes to be competitive in the college admission process and can easily become overwhelmed with the course rigor and workload,” Small said.

   In general, selective colleges and universities report that they prefer students who do not just take advanced classes, but also take the end-of-year college credit exam. The exam gives students the opportunity to showcase their gained skills throughout the school year.

   School administrators have launched a new AP/IB test policy for this school year. The policy lays out three tracks for students to follow in terms of the end of class curriculum.

   The first track is for students who sit for the official College Board and International Baccalaureate exam in May. Students on this track will still receive the 5.0 weighted GPA boost afforded by AP/IB classes with an AP/IB designation on the high school transcript. BHHS administrators say that this is the most competitive option for college applicants.

   Students who do not elect to take the College Board exam in May can either take an end-of-course final worth 10% of their semester grade or seek “advanced coursework designation.” Those who take the course final will still receive a 5.0 GPA boost and the AP/IB designation on their transcript. However, those who opt out of the end-of-course final will not receive the GPA boost and instead receive an “advanced” designation on their transcript.

   BHHS administrators hope that this new policy will help students earn more college credit and be more competitive in the college admissions and scholarship process.


Graphic Provided by BHS