Advanced Placement, Honors Placement, & Advanced Courses
Oakland Tech students have the opportunity to take an array of Advanced Placement (AP), Honors (HP) and Advanced courses, which are more difficult and comprehensive than regular college preparatory (CP) classes, and proceed at a faster pace.
AP & HP, Explained
AP courses often follow a set curriculum that is updated and refined each year to reflect what’s being taught in college-level courses. Each May, students take an external evaluation — the AP exam — which is scored by college faculty from around the world who determine the degree to which the student has mastered college-level studies.
At Oakland Tech and most public schools around the country, AP courses receive a bonus grade-point — which means a student who gets an A in an AP course is given 5 grade-points, as compared to 4 grade-points for an A in a regular CP course. This is how students are able to achieve better than a 4.0 grade-point average. Bonus grade-points are not given if a student receives a D or F in the class. Additionally, some colleges give students college credit for having completed an AP class and scored a 3, 4, or 5 on the accompanying exam.
HP classes, by comparison do not follow a set curriculum and, though challenging, do not qualify for college credit. Many of Tech’s HP classes receive a similar bonus grade-point.
AP & HP Classes
*Courses meet the criteria for UC Honors designation and qualify students to earn bonus grade-points in their UC GPA computation. Check the UC site for more information.
Weekday Homework Estimates
Success in CP, HP & AP Classes: Estimations of Weekday Homework
Reasons to Take an AP, HP or Advanced Class
- You are thoroughly prepared because of the classes you’ve taken previously
- You are willing to work hard and put in a lot of extra time (in AP classes, particularly)
- You are interested in the subject
- You are motivated to succeed
We encourage students to carefully weigh how many Honors/AP classes they can take at one time given the time and energy required to do well. Doing poorly in an AP/Honors class can have serious consequences. OUSD Summer School only offers College Prep level courses (recognized by UC/CSU) — not AP/Honors courses. Low AP/Honors course grades remain on student transcripts and are reflected in GPAs.
What’s more, dropping AP/Honors classes in the fall or spring semester affect the Master Schedule. Students often mistakenly believe that it is easy to move to a lower level or different class if they feel the accelerated coursework is too challenging. However, that’s frequently not the case. College Prep classes may be full and some classes cannot be dropped after a certain time period.