What is AP Human Geography?
The purpose of AP Human Geography is to “introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.” (from the College Board AP Human Geography course description)
AP courses are designed to give students the experience and challenge of a college course while on their high school campus. AP classes are rigorous and demanding, and only highly qualified and prepared students should enroll.
Who Should Take AP Courses?
“The content of AP courses is more sophisticated than that in typical high school honors courses. Students should have had practice in analyzing content, drawing comparisons, and reasoning through problems. They must be able to read perceptively and independently. Additionally, students will need to be proficient in writing clear, concise essays. Students who are not skilled in these areas must be even more highly motivated to make up deficiencies at the same time they are taking more rigorous courses. The earlier students prepare for AP or college courses by taking the most rigorous classes available, the more likely will be their success. The keys to success are motivation, self-discipline, and academic preparation.” (from Advanced Placement Q&A, http://professorlamp.com/ed/TEA/AP.html, emphasis added)
AP Human Geography does not simulate or emulate a college-level course; it is identical in content and difficulty to a college course. Students who do not have a Lexile score in the range of college freshmen (1300- 1450) may find AP Human Geography difficult. Additionally, students who are not able to commit enough time outside of class to complete readings, essays, and other assignments may not be fully prepared for the AP test.
What About The AP Test?
The goal of the course is to cover the material required by the College Board in order to prepare students to take and pass the AP test in May (the current cost of the test is approximately $98, which students and their families are responsible for paying). Students who pass the test (scoring a 3, 4, or 5) may receive credit at the college or university of their choice for an introductory Geography course (approximately three credit hours).
AP courses and AP tests are difficult, and ninth graders taking AP Human Geography will take the same test that juniors and seniors in high school will take.
What Does This Mean?
AP classes are intended to be rigorous, challenging classes. They are designed to give accelerated students the opportunity to be challenged at a college level and to earn college credit. As with any AP course, there is always a chance that, despite the best efforts at preparation of the student and teacher, you may not receive a passing grade on the AP test. You also may not receive an A grade each quarter and you will not be given “busywork” assignments or extra credit to earn additional points if your grade falls below an A at the end of the quarter. If you want to earn an A you must be doing “A” work (reading, studying, turning in assignments on time, doing well on tests, etc.)
Students who choose to enroll in AP Human Geography are asked to commit to the entire school year; you may not be able to transfer to a lower-level course at the quarter or semester. Please only choose to enroll in AP Human Geography if you are highly motivated, eager to learn, and can read and write at the upper high school or college level.