Why Advanced Placement?

Concordia International School Hanoi provides a broad listing of Advanced Placement (AP) courses available to qualifying students in grades 10 through 12. AP is a United States program created by the College Board which offers university-level curricula and examinations to high school students. The program is widely recognized by U.S. universities as well as leading universities throughout the world. Most U.S. universities grant placement and college course credit to students who score a three to five on the examinations.

One of the advantages of AP is it allows flexibility for both the student and the teacher. Teachers are able to challenge students who want to move faster, and for schools to offer a more broad range of applied learning classes, which support university and life-long learning. 

Hear what some of Concordia’s experienced instructors say about the Advanced Placement curriculum:

Dr. Santos 

In AP Computer Science A, a teacher can submit his or her own syllabus. The teacher ensures that the syllabus covers the main topics but this flexibility allows the teacher to go as deep as wanted on each topic. For example, at the beginning of the semester, I introduce topics about computers and the internet that are not required. We also discuss current events about technology, robots, AI, ethics, etc. If there are students with experience in programming, I usually create different and more challenging assignments for them. If a Computer Science student is also enrolled in STEAM Lab, I also provide her or him opportunities to apply, practice, and expand their programming skills during this hands-on class.

Ms. Clifford

The AP model gives schools the opportunity to run unique programs, whereas IB offers far less flexibility. In the AP program, students have a chance to earn a lot more college credits, they can really load up in areas of interest.....e.g. take both AP Statistics and AP Calculus. The courses can be taken in Grades 10, 11, and 12 so students can take a wider variety of AP courses and can also take courses "beyond" or outside the AP model, such as Multivariable Calculus, Big Data or Robotics. The same student in IB would only be able to take one two-year math course.  

Ms. Kahre

Over 30 years in the classroom, I have taught AP World, AP US , AP Macro, AP Micro, AP Comparative Gov, and AP Government. I also have had two children go through the AP exam experience in Science, Math, English, and Foreign Language. The power behind the AP courses is the ability for a student to push themselves beyond their comfort zone for learning, and grow tremendously in the process of how to learn. These courses challenge students beyond where a normal high school class takes students, and gives them an opportunity to push the boundaries of their learning. The courses teach some amazing content, and they carry skills and expectations for independent student learning at the college level so that even the brightest high school student is challenged. 

I have seen very bright students who do not have to study much to get an "A" in a regular or honors course in high school; but, when they go to college, they struggle or fail because they have not learned the necessary skills of how to learn. They haven’t learned to study independently. They have not mastered organizational skills, learned workload time management, how to take notes, how to prepare for cumulative exams by being able to retain knowledge, or how to ask questions to gain a deeper understanding. The AP program intrinsically teaches students how to learn effectively, which carries over to university and even life-long learning.

Mr. Richmond

While IB is a comprehensive program, a student is locked in for two years and its timing and assessments are preset.  IB is an option for schools who need a plug and play curriculum, but if a school has highly motivated and high achieving teachers, the flexibility within the AP curriculum gives the capacity and flexibility to offer many amazing applied learning classes and electives.  For example, Concordia offers applied learning electives like Big Data Analytics, and creative writing classes like Poetry, and a Social Justice with an English crossover class; the constraints of IB would not allow for these additional offerings.  

Concordia International School Hanoi and Concordia Shanghai have sent students to present papers at Big Data conferences, some of which have been published. These opportunities open in the AP curriculum, because of the flexibility.  

While in IB, classes must move together as a whole, AP allows teachers to add extra rigor for exceptional students who need additional challenge.

The AP program allows students to choose a program that best suits their goals and interests, whether a focus on math or the humanities, a blend of the two, or even just trying one AP course. 

Concordia also offers upper level university mathematics courses, Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra, for students who advance beyond the AP offerings.

And by taking an AP course load that includes at least five AP mathematics courses, Concordia students can earn a Mathematics Minor through Concordia University Nebraska. 

“I would recommend getting a Math Minor for those who really want to learn something and challenge themselves,” said recent Concordia graduate Rachel.

“I want to apply those mathematical skills and knowledge into some research or other STEM fields like health, informatics or forensic sciences. Then I want to use these meaningful data analytics skills to figure out some trends or some social problems, and find solutions to those problems in society.”

Advanced Placement (AP) is a United States program created by the College Board which offers university-level curricula and examinations to high school students. The program is widely recognized by US universities as well as universities throughout the world. Most US universities grant placement and course credit to students who score a three to five on the examinations. 

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