The AP Program

The Advanced Placement Program (AP) is a way for students to take college-level courses and to earn college credit while still in high school.  The AP Program was established by the College Board in 1955.  The College Board has stated that it is “committed to providing access to AP Exams for homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP courses” (“Welcome to the AP Program,”, 2008).  The College Board does not require students to take an AP course prior to taking an AP exam.  These exams are intended primarily for students in the third or fourth year of high school who plan on continuing their educations at a post-secondary level.  With 37 courses and exams across 22 subject areas, the AP attempts to offer something for everyone. The only requirements are a strong curiosity about the subject you plan to study and the willingness to work hard.

Art History


Calculus AB

Calculus BC


Chinese Language and Culture

Computer Science A

Computer Science AB



English Language

English Literature

Environmental Science

European History

French Language

French Literature

German Language

Comp Government & Politics

U.S. Government & Politics

Human Geography

Italian Language and Culture

Japanese Language and Culture

Latin Literature

Latin: Virgil

Music Theory

Physics B

Physics C


Spanish Language

Spanish Literature


Studio Art

U.S. History

World History


The AP exams which are most directly related to the Oxford tutorials are the exams in English and Latin.  There are two AP English exams, one entitled “English Language and Composition;” the other is “English Literature and Composition.”  The first is considered a more basic and general exam which covers a wide range of literature; the second is considered a more advanced exam which focuses upon imaginative literure (poetry, fiction and drama).  There are also two Latin exams, one entitled “Latin Literature,” the other “Latin: Vergil.”  However, Latin Literature exam will be discontinued after May 2009.  Unfortunately the exam in World History has a postmodern, relativistic and sociological emphasis.  For example, the current instructions for the exam state: “The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies.”  This faddish orientation makes the exam of little use.

Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, Oxford Tutorials will be attempting to assist students in preparing for the AP exams in English and Latin.  The following information will introduce current expectations of the AP English exam in Language and Composition.  Although the College Board doesn’t mandate any specific curriculum, they do offer curricular guidelines and resource requirements.  The following is an overview of those guidelines and requirements.



A. General Guidelines
     1. Wide range of reading experience in different genres and disciplines including
          the arts and sciences.

     2. Familarity with the basic purposes of writing and different methods for
          appealing to different audiences.
     3. Skills in argumentation, summarizing and citing secondary source material.
     4. Experience in discussing and evaluating other ideas and points of view.
     5. Practice in self-criticism and in writing and rewriting their own ideas to improve
          their writing skills.

B. More Specific Recommendations
    1. Ability to distinguish and evaluate primary and secondary sources, to synthesize
         these sources in an original essay, and to cite sources using professional
         literary conventions (e.g. MLA- Modern Language Association; or UC Press-
         Chicago Manual of Style).
    2. Ability to write for a variety of purposes (e.g. argumentative; narrative; expository;
          analytical; persuasive).
    3. Ability to identify and evaluate a variety of literary genres (e.g. poetry and prose;
         essays; fiction; drama).
    4. Mastery of a wide range of vocabulary “used appropriately and effectively”
    5. Familiarity with a wide range of representative authors and genres (e.g.
         autobiographers and diarists; biographers and historians; cultural and literary
         critics; essayists and fiction writers; journalists; political writers; science and
         nature writers)
    6. Mastery of the stages involved in the writing process (e.g. inquiry; research;
         drafting; revising; editing; review; re-writing; etc.)
    7. Mastery of English grammar and famiiliarity with a wide range of grammatical
         conventions and stylistic elements.  The AP exam assumes that student is
         familiar with a wide range of literary devices and is able to evaluate how
         different authors utilize them in distinctive ways for different purposes.
         *** PLEASE SEE: “Literary Terms” and “Literature Glossary” ***


Course Calendar

Spring before starting an AP course

Well ahead of time, you need to start thinking about what AP courses you might want to take. Learn more about the AP Program on this Web site. Discuss your AP plans with your parents, teachers, and AP Coordinator.


Some AP teachers require that you complete work (like summer reading) during the summer months to prepare for their course. For example, for AP English you may be given a reading list. Make sure you complete these assignments, so that you're up to speed when the class begins.


Talk to your AP teachers and/or AP Coordinator about taking the exams. Contact the disabilities (SSD) coordinator at your school if you will need testing accommodations.

February 22, 2008

Deadline for submitting complete disability documentation for students with disabilities whose SSD Eligibility Forms require Documentation Review.

March 1, 2008

Deadline for homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP to contact AP Services for a list of local AP Coordinators at whose schools they could arrange to test.

March 7, 2008

Deadline for submitting complete student Eligibility Forms for students with disabilities using the School Verification Process.

March 15, 2008

Deadline for homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP to contact AP Coordinators identified by AP Services.

May 5-9 and May 12-16, 2008

Exam dates

May 21-23, 2008

Late-testing dates

June 15, 2008

Deadline for receipt of requests for grade withholding, grade cancellation, or a change in college grade report recipient.

Early-Mid July

AP Grade Reports released to designated colleges, students, and their high schools.

July 1, 2008

Grades by Phone available for current year's administration.


Scholar Award and International Diploma notifications sent to schools and students.

September 15, 2008

Deadline for ordering free-response booklets.

October 31, 2008

Deadline for requesting Multiple-Choice Rescore Service


AP Tests- $84; AP grade reports cost $15. The College Board's College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS), a college financial aid application meant to help students pay for college, also requires a fee. For the 2008-09 school year, the price is $25 for the first report sent, and an additional $16 for each additional college.


Students can register to take the exams and find testing dates and local test centers at: