College admission officers look for students who carry a challenging course load and take advanced courses. This gives them insight on how well the students will perform at a college level. One way for high schoolers to demonstrate their academic abilities is to take Advanced Placement® courses. But, how can homeschoolers take those courses and the AP® exams without attending a public high school?
It is important to understand the advantages of taking the AP® courses besides demonstrating college readiness. Research indicates those students who pass the AP® exams are more likely to lower their cost of tuition. We can all benefit from saving money, right?
Now that I really have your attention, you may wonder where you may purchase the courses. Parents cannot purchase the official AP® class material. However, there are ways around that. Our high school students may utilize rigorous homeschool curriculum and study the AP manual® for a particular course. Another option for taking an AP® course is to participate in a distance education course online.
The College Board sponsors the Advanced Placement Program® and encourages public schools to allow homeschoolers to take the exams. Be sure to follow the steps for registering for the exams closely. It is imperative to follow the course calendar and meet the deadlines. Contact the AP® services (see below) by March 3 to find out where your student can take the exam locally. You will then need to call the coordinators from the high schools offering the AP® exam to inquire about their exam dates by March 17.
You will want to indicate on your child’s transcript that he/she took a rigorous course. The best way to do so is to state the course as an honors course. An example is Honors World History verified by AP® exam.
You may find it helpful to read the Bulletin for AP® Students and Parents. It will provide you with detailed information guiding you through each step of the AP® process including what to do before the exam date, what to do the day of the exam, specific information for homeschooled students, how to obtain results, and more.
AP® Service Center
Call Center Hours
M–F, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
Please note: the dates for the deadlines change each year. Please refer to the AP® website for current deadlines.
As a Homeschool Consultant, I am always looking for ways to help other homeschool moms. Do you have a question or topic you would like for me to write about in my upcoming blog posts? If so, please let me know. I will be happy to add it to my list.
Image Attribution: By Alton (photograph self-made) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons