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Advanced Placement


Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

Updated on: 04 Jun 2024


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What is Pre-AP?

Pre-AP is a set of grade-level courses that are designed to prepare students for the rigors of Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams. Typically taught in grades 9 and 10, Pre-AP courses offer a valuable opportunity to gain a solid foundation in the material that they will need to know for the AP exams

Pre-AP courses are back-mapped from AP courses, ensuring that students gain the necessary content knowledge, skills, and practices for success in AP.

Example of how to use the Pre-AP to AP course map:

  • Interest: Science
  • Goal: To take AP Biology and AP Environmental Science
  • Course selection: Pre-AP Biology

Plan: Take Pre-AP Biology in my sophomore year.

For example, if you want to take AP Biology and AP Environmental Science, you could take Pre-AP Biology in your sophomore year or junior year.

It is important to note that not all schools offer Pre-AP courses. 

Pre-AP courses follow a consistent instructional model of planning, teaching, assessing, and reflecting, providing continuity for students and teachers across all courses.

Why Pre-AP Matters?

There are many reasons why Pre-AP matters. Pre-AP classes can help students to:

  • Develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for success in college and beyond.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the subjects they are learning.
  • Be more competitive for college admissions and scholarships.
  • Make a more informed decision about whether or not to take AP classes in high school.

Who Should Take Pre-AP Classes?

Pre-AP classes are a good fit for any student who is interested in challenging themselves academically and preparing for college. 

Pre-AP classes are also a good fit for students who are considering taking AP classes in high school but are not sure if they are ready for the rigors of AP coursework.

What is the difference between Pre-AP and AP?

The main difference between Pre-AP and AP is that Pre-AP courses are designed to prepare students for AP courses, while AP courses are college-level courses that can earn students college credit.

Pre-AP courses are typically taught in grades 9 and 10, while AP courses are typically taught in grades 11 and 12. Pre-AP courses are open to all students, while AP courses are typically for students who are planning to attend college.

Unlike AP courses, Pre-AP classes do not provide college credit or require a final exam.

How Pre-AP Prepares Students for AP?

Pre-AP courses are designed to prepare students for the rigor and demands of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. They do this in several ways:

  • Pre-AP frameworks are back-mapped from AP: Pre-AP courses cover the same material as AP courses, but at a slower pace and with more support, which helps the students start learning the skills they need for AP courses before they take the courses.
  • Pre-AP performance tasks model AP free-response questions: Pre-AP courses use tests that are similar to the tests used in AP courses. This means that students can practice answering the types of questions they will see on AP exams.
    A performance task on Pre-AP is a type of assessment that requires students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills by completing a real-world task. Performance tasks are designed to be authentic and challenging, and they often require students to think critically and creatively
  • Pre-AP promotes equity: Pre-AP courses are open to all students, regardless of their academic background. All students have the opportunity to take challenging coursework which helps to close the gap between students who have different levels of academic achievement.


Pre-AP is a valuable program that can help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college and beyond. You can check out the Pre-AP to AP Course Map to figure out which Pre-AP course you should take.

Reviewed by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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