Recently, BIS proudly announced the launch of new AP courses from next academic year. As a lot of inquiries followed by the announcement, we invited our Academic Principal Mr. Brian Rotunno to answer some of the most asked questions.
Tell us a little bit about the difference between AP and DP.
- AP courses tend to be pretty content heavy.
- AP courses are taken individually – so you could take an AP Science course, a Chemistry class or aPhysics test, but you don’t have to take the English AP courses necessarily.
- You can challenge an AP test without taking the course.
- Generally students do them all together, meaning that you would take the English, the Science, the Math and the Humanities along with some other courses altogether.
- You would sit and challenge all of the exams at the same time.
- DP courses are really trying to broaden the soft skills in addition to also pushing the contents andideas. students are needing to have good self-management skills, students areneeding to be able to write the extended essay which takes a lot of time. It’s done over the course of two years and it’s four thousand words long, in order to be able to manage their time effectively.
- DP courses are really more student-centered courses and they’re really courses that promote the idea of inquiry, which is a very big idea in IB.
For our school we’ve had a lot of questions of wondering why we’ve decided to do AP in Grades 9 and 10, not in Grades 11 and 12. So we really feel that the DP is the gold standard of programs. It’s used by over 5000 K12 schools and it provides what we feel is the best opportunity for students when they are exploring post-secondary options for colleges and universities.
At the same time, we do realize that some students do want an advanced track which is where we decided to be able to offer the AP courses. What we’ve done is we’ve offered these in Grades 9 and 10 for students who are ready for them as a way to be able to not only allow them the opportunity for enrichment in Grades 9 and 10, but the opportunity to get a little bit of a head start as they move forward to Grades 11 and 12.
We try to provide a holistic approach for students. From an academic standpoint that means starting in Grade 9 and 10, they can take the AP classes. In Grade 11 and 12 they are able to take the DP classes and both sets have exams that come along with that.
Additionally there’s a service component through MYP and there’s a service component through DP. So they’re learning to serve their community, they’re learning to try new things and they’re learning to be creative.
For many of our students they want to go to top colleges and universities and so we want to be able to provide those opportunities for them to be able to take advantage of being able to do that.