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ERIC Number: ED558110
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-8
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 1
An Investigation of College Students' Perceptions of Advanced Placement® Courses. Research Note 2013-2
Cooney, Siobhan M.; McKillip, Mary E. M.; Smith, Kara
College Board
The present study investigates how current college students perceive their experiences in high school Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses. The goal of this research was twofold: We wanted to not only add to the existing literature on outcomes for AP students but also investigate possible benefits for students without success (i.e., a score of 3 or higher) on at least one AP Exam. For the purposes of this research, the College Board Advanced Placement Program partnered with a large public university in the southwestern United States. In April 2012, freshmen and sophomores who had taken at least one AP course in high school were recruited via the university's email system. Participants (n = 128) completed an online survey that included closed- and open-ended items. About two-thirds of participants reported taking an AP Exam for each of their AP courses. Although three-quarters of participants reported scoring a 1 or 2 on one or more exams, only a small subset (n = 16) did not have AP Exam success; one participant had never taken an AP Exam, and 15 participants had never scored higher than a 2 on an AP Exam. Participants on the whole tended to report that their AP courses were of high quality, challenging, and ultimately beneficial in terms of improving specific skills (including writing, test taking, revising work based on feedback, balancing study time with competing demands, and analyzing the strengths and flaws of different points of view) and giving them the confidence to believe that they could do well in college. Participants were largely in agreement that their AP teachers were passionate about their subject areas and had high expectations for their students. The importance of students' AP teachers was also reflected in many open-ended responses: Teaching quality reportedly affected not only how much students enjoyed the experience but also how much they benefited from each of their AP courses. Students without AP Exam success tended to report positive AP course experiences and a range of benefits attributed to their AP courses. Their responses were very similar to those of students with AP Exam success; only a few small differences were noted. Given the small number of participants in this study, particularly when focusing on those without AP Exam success, further research is recommended with a larger sample.
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: College Board