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Academic Readiness

Academic Readiness

Academic readiness focuses on preparing students for the academic challenge of college and careers. Amarillo ISD's curriculum bundles help prepare all students to be ready for their postsecondary ventures. Our Advanced Placement (AP) program, Dual Credit opportunities and AVID program are also critical district-wide activities that help support students' academic readiness.

Students should:

  • Challenge themselves with Pre-AP and AP courses in their best subjects
  • Earn college credit in high school with dual credit courses and by earning a 3 or better on AP exams
  • Take advantage of intervention, tutorial, and enrichment opportunities.

Advanced and Pre-Advanced Placement Programs

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program that allows high school students to participate in a college level course and possibly earn college credit while still in high school. Students receive the opportunity to show mastery in college-level courses by taking the AP exam in May of each year.

The College Board is responsible for developing and maintaining college level courses and exams in various subjects. They also report official AP scores to the colleges of the student’s choice. Scores on the AP exam range from 1 (no recommendation) to 5 (extremely qualified). Each individual college determines the scores to be accepted for credit, but most consider a score of at least 3. Colleges may award three, and sometimes six, hours of credit per test depending on their policy.

Amarillo ISD offers Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) classes in middle school and high school. These courses are designed to prepare students for college level AP classes that are typically taught in 11th and 12th grade. The amount of skills and content that must be covered in a Pre-AP course requires that students read and write extensively outside of class.

Students who complete AP courses are:

  • Better prepared academically
  • More likely to specialize in more challenging majors
  • Likely to complete more college coursework in four years
  • Likely to perform significantly better in college than students who did not take AP courses
  • More likely to exercise leadership
  • More likely to graduate with a double major
  • Twice as likely to go into advanced study (Ph.D. Programs, medicine, and law)
  • Have college admission advantages.

Source: Willingham & Morris, 1986; University of Texas, 1988

Helpful Links For Creating An Account and Exploring The AP "Experience"

The College Board's AP Students page (opens in new window) is the home page and provides students a login screen (log in or register for your account), a calendar showing upcoming events and information regarding A.P., and much more.

The College Board's Explore AP page (Opens in new window) gives students and families information that helps you understand what it takes, the "AP Experience," the rewards of taking AP courses, how to enroll, and much more!

The College Board's Credit and Placement page (Opens in new window) lets you search colleges and universities to see their respective AP credit policies.