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Advanced Placement

AP Exam Info

Summer Reading Assignments

AP Classes offered at McNeil High School

English Social Studies
AP English III AP World History
AP English IV AP US History
AP Psychology
Science AP US Government & Politics
AP Biology AP Human Geography
AP Chemistry AP Macro Economics
AP Physics B
AP Physics C Other Language
AP French Language
Math AP French Literature
AP Calculus AB AP Spanish Language
AP Calculus BC AP Spanish Literature
AP Statistics AP German IV
AP Latin IV
Fine Arts
AP Studio Art Other
AP Art History AP Computer Science
AP 2D Design
AP 3D Design
AP Music Theory

Pre-AP Classes offered at McNeil

English Social Studies
Pre-AP English I                Pre-AP World Geography
Pre-AP English II
Science Pre-AP Algebra II
Pre-AP Biology Pre-AP Pre-Calculus
Pre-AP Chemistry Pre-AP Geometry
Pre-AP Physics

Benefits of the AP Experience

1.     Earn Advanced Placement graduation status

AP students receive recognition from more than 3,600 colleges in the US that annually receive AP scores—over 90% of which provide credit and/or accelerated placement for qualifying scores.

2.     Stand out in the college admissions process

Taking AP courses demonstrates maturity, a student’s willingness to take more rigorous courses, and emphasizes a student’s commitment to academic excellence.  College credit may be received after participation in AP classes and successfully passing the appropriate AP exam.

3.     Save money – earn college credit while still in high school

AP exams allow students to earn college credit hours for a minimal cost, plus AP students are more likely to graduate from college within four years and qualify for many more scholarships.

4.     Gain skills and strategies that will improve their chances for success in college

AP courses prepare students for college level work, improve study habits, and sharpen problem-solving techniques.

5.     Broaden intellectual horizons

In AP courses, students regularly engage in intense discussion, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to communicate more effectively.

6.    Advanced Placement Courses are globally recognized 

Students at schools in more than 100 countries participate in Advanced Placement courses.  More than 600 schools outside of the US recognize AP scores for credit, placement, and/or admissions purposes.


What is the Advanced Placement Program?

The Advanced Placement Program, administered by College Board and taught at local high schools, allows students to participate in a college-level course and possibly to earn college credit by exam while still in high school. Secondary schools and colleges cooperate in this program in order to best prepare students for the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of college-level material on the AP exams in May of each school year.

What are Advanced Placement and Pre-Advanced Placement Classes?

Advanced Placement (AP) and Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) courses are designed to challenge students with college-level material to prepare them for the spring AP exams offered by College Board.

How are AP and Pre-AP courses different from the other classes my child has taken?

Instruction in these courses provides students with a deeper understanding of the subject area through the incorporation of college-level material for advanced analytical and conceptual work in the high school classroom. AP and Pre-AP courses will be more demanding than standard high school courses.

Who can take AP/Pre-AP courses?

All students are welcome to take AP and Pre-AP courses. Students who take an AP or Pre-AP course are interested in the subject and committed to the class. To enroll in an AP or Pre-AP class, students should talk with their counselors about the appropriate course(s) to take. Students who were commended on TAKS, are in the TAG program, have shown AP potential through the PSAT report, or have a high interest in an academic subject area should enroll in the corresponding AP or Pre-AP course.

What is the difference between AP courses and Pre-AP courses?

To help students prepare for the demands of the Advanced Placement Program, McNeil High School offers Pre-AP courses in most of the disciplines. Pre-AP courses are strongly recommended for students interested in entering the AP program, for they act as a bridge between on-level and AP courses.

How much college credit does an AP score provide?

Each university determines the amount of credit they will award for AP scores. Most colleges accept grades of 3 or above on the national AP Exams. To find out how AP grades are considered for credit by individual colleges, students should contact the colleges or universities’ Admissions Offices. To find out if the college of your choice offers credit for AP courses, use the following link:


Can’t my child earn college credit by taking dual credit courses instead?

Pre-AP, AP, and dual credit courses should all be considered as vital opportunities in your student’s high school academic experience. For specific information on dual credit courses, please see our College and Career Center webpage at:


When are the AP exams?

AP exams are administered at McNeil High School through College Board in the spring semester each school year.

Who pays for the AP exams?

Each student pays for the exams he or she takes. Funds are available, including some federal funding, to assist students who have financial difficulty in paying for these exams.  Students can find out if they’re eligible for aide by visiting their counselor.

Are AP courses difficult?

The curricula taught in AP and Pre-AP courses are intended to prepare students for success at the college level, so they are not easy. However, they are not impossibly difficult.  Students in AP and Pre-AP courses are expected to be highly motivated to investigate the subjects to greater depth and breadth and to attain valuable critical thinking skills.

How many AP courses should a student take?

Be conscious about course choices and extracurricular activities and the inherent time involved in the courses and activities on the whole. It’s important that students budget their time outside of school to be sure they can successfully accomplish their assigned coursework and keep commitments to teams, clubs, and/or student organizations they join. If unsure about the workload to expect from a course, speak with the teacher prior to signing up.

What are the advantages of my child taking an AP course?

  • Better preparation for college

  • Students master content at the college level more easily after completing AP courses

  • Students acquire sophisticated academic skills and increased intellectual confidence

  • Scoring well (3, 4, or 5) on an AP exam counts as an advanced measure, which is a requirement of the Texas Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP)

  • Students who take AP exams may receive college credit while still in high school, saving both time and money. For specific information on how much money can be saved by taking AP classes go to the following link:


Why should I encourage my child to take an AP class? Won’t it hurt my child’s GPA?

Colleges look for AP and Pre-AP classes within students’ academic course loads. They want to see that students are challenging themselves academically. AP classes are weighted on a 5.0 scale, as opposed to the 4.0 scale of an on-level course. A student’s GPA is not adversely affected by taking accelerated AP courses. Colleges look favorably on students who tackle AP courses because they recognize that such classes better prepare students to handle the rigor of college classes.


Establish a good working relationship with your teacher, for she is your best source for information about the course.

  1. Use course calendars to effectively manage your time and workload for each class.

  2. Consult your peers—rely on each other to streamline studying for a challenging course by forming a study group with classmates.

  3. READ each and every chapter or assignment critically—take notes, summarizing salient points IN YOUR OWN WORDS, and record questions as they occur to you for subsequent use in tutorials or class discussions.

  4. Take lecture notes IN YOUR OWN WORDS so they have clear meaning to you.

  5. Study notes from lectures and previously assigned readings on a consistent basis—a small amount of time every night is most effective—until tested on the material.

  6. STAY ORGANIZED in each of you classes.

  7. Beware of the dreaded snowball effect.

  8. Attend tutorials any time you don’t fully understand major concepts.

  9. Make a list of new vocabulary terms and their corresponding definitions; study such new terms regularly until you internalize them.

  10. ADVOCATE for YOURSELF: ask questions (in or out of class), seek assistance (in person or via email), and attend tutorials as needed.


  1. Pay attention to your child’s school work and monitor whether or not your student is keeping up with assignments. Calendars and class materials are often available on teachers’ websites.

  2. Assist your student in developing successful time management skills. Encourage him to think ahead about how much time he will need to complete class projects or to prepare for multiple tests in the same week.

  3. Be positive about the education your student receives and the skills and opportunities gained through her hard work. Reinforce the benefits of participation and diligence in school and the rewards reaped by maintaining good grades.

  4. Create, organize, and maintain a quiet study area at home.

  5. Utilize Home Access through the web to stay up-to-date on your student’s progress in each of his classes.

  6. Set high but realistic expectations for your child’s performance. Expect that she will be challenged by her course work and support her as she stretches to tackle those challenges.

  7. Encourage your student to attend tutorials as needed. Tutorials provide great opportunities for your child to receive additional one-on-one assistance from his teachers.

  8. Be realistic about your student’s course load. Too many AP classes for a student active in several clubs, sports, or organizations may cause her to be overextended or exhausted.

  9. Discuss with your child the commitment he is making when enrolling in AP or Pre-AP classes. Your student should anticipate remaining in these courses for the duration of the class.

  10. Celebrate accomplishments regularly. Praise your student’s achievements and efforts; such affirmation will help your student to build self-confidence in her intellectual ability and motivate her to continue on the path to academic achievement.