This is the minimum level of course work that a four-year university or college will accept for entry directly out of high school. Typically this class level has homework four to five nights a week, and has a broad and rich curriculum for the "average" student.
This level is largely offered in the 9th and 10th grades prior to beginning the Advance Placement level of course work in 11th and 12th grades. This level includes the broadest and deepest level of study combined with a much faster pace. Students are expected to be self-motivated, responsible, and committed to academics. Homework is nightly and on week-ends. Honors and Advance Placement level courses come with a weighted grade point average as an incentive and reward to students. For example, if a student earns an "A" in the College Prep level, it is calculated as 4 points and a "B" at 3 points whereas in the Honors and AP levels, an "A" is calculated at 5 points and a "B" at 4 points. Thus, a student taking mainly Honors and AP levels of course work over four years of high school and earning a majority of "A"s and "B"s can graduate with more than a 4.0 GPA. This is the preferred level of academics for four-year college / university entrance directly out of high school.
AP courses are the highest level of academics on a high school campus. These are college level courses taught in high school. Part of the national program overseen and administered by The College Board (www.collegeboard.com), AP courses are rigorous, demanding, intensely academic and exciting, preparing students to take national exams in May. Any student may enroll in any AP course (prerequisites recommended in both World Languages and Math) as long as they are willing and interested in working at the most difficult levels. Once enrolled, students may drop through the 9th week of the fall semester only, with no reflection on their transcript. After this point, students may drop at the semester, but the grade they earn will be reflected on their transcript. All students are expected to take and pay for the AP exams which are administered the first two weeks in May here at West Hills. Fee waivers do exist for hardship via a short application handled here at West Hills.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Class Levels:
1) Is it better to take Honors and AP courses, and get average grades (C's and below), or take College Prep courses and get great grades (all A's and some B's)?
It is always better to take courses that appropriately challenge you. If you feel that College Prep classes are challenging and that you can achieve A's in these courses, you should take College Prep classes. However, if you are willing to work extra hard in Honors and AP courses and can still achieve high grades, you should challenge yourself and take them.
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