AP Program

What is AP?

AP stands for Advanced Placement. AP is a curriculum endorsed by the College Board that culminates in sitting for an Advanced Placement exam in May. High scores on an AP exam can lead to earning college credit or placing out of certain pre-requisites in college, depending on the credit policy of the college.

How do I know if I should request an AP course for next year?

AP course enrollment should be an indication that you are truly passionate about the subject. If you are so interested that you would be excited to have several hours per night of independent, challenging work in that subject, you may be a good fit for an AP course. You will also be asked to think critically and not just read or solve problems, but to analyze content and practice skills at a higher-level independently without explicit instructions from your teacher. Keep in mind, it is possible to take an AP course and earn a low grade. Colleges want to see students taking the most challenging courses they can handle AND earning strong grades in those courses. 

How can I take an AP course?

Each spring students are presented with the course offerings at ElRo. They are then given the opportunity to indicate their preference of courses. The faculty and staff then evaluate candidates for AP courses on the basis of: attendance, overall GPA, subject specific GPA, and potential to succeed in an AP level curriculum. If a student is not approved for an AP course, there is an appeals process, but final AP course enrollment is at the discretion of the school. AP courses have a limited number of seats and not every request will be able to be accommodated.

What are the benefits of AP?

AP classes move at a faster pace than a traditional high school class. They have more homework and demand more time commitment. AP classes require a higher level of critical thinking and are equivalent to introductory college level classes. Because of this, a strong foundational background in the subject is necessary. You are not just asked to work harder, but to think harder and work more independently. AP course grades are weighted by a factor of 1.05 on academic records. Some colleges also grant credit for high scores on the AP exam.

What are the drawbacks of AP?

An AP course is a tremendous commitment. Students should be prepared for the course to move very quickly through the curriculum topics with minimal review time built into class. Students who succeed tend to be self-directed learners. If your stress level is high, you are earning low grades, or you need a lot of additional support, you should be thoughtful about whether AP is right for you. 

How many APs can I take?

ERHS policy traditionally limits AP enrollment to two AP courses per year. Occasionally, programming allows for a very small number of students to be approved for a third AP course, but as a small school offering a large catalogue of courses this is very uncommon. Colleges have a copy of our school profile that explains this very clearly so they understand that we do not believe in students taking too many AP courses at a time. Philosophically, we do not believe that it is healthy or beneficial for a student to be overloaded with AP courses, particularly since all ERHS courses are taught at a very high level. 

If I take the AP course at ERHS, do I have to take the AP exam?

Yes. You commit to taking the exam when you enroll in the course.

If I didn't take the AP course at ERHS, can I still sit for the AP exam at ERHS?


How much does the test cost?

The AP exams are $93 per exam in 2017 (covered by DOE due to ERHS' participation in MOSL teacher evaluation option, except for AP Music Theory). For a full explanation of costs please visit  Fee waivers may be available. 

What if I change my mind and decide I'm interested in AP mid-year?

ERHS is an annualized school, this means that almost all of our courses meet for the entire year and one grade is awarded on the transcript. Entry into an AP class once it has started is not an option. For Juniors, it is recommended to consider requesting an AP for senior year in the subject area that interests you.

Will the colleges/universities I am interested in grant me AP credit for my performance on the AP exam?

Every college is different, some grant credit, others waive prerequisites, and others still do not award any advanced status. Even if a school does not grant credit, there are still benefits in having taken the courses. AP classes are a universally recognized curriculum that the admissions committee will see. The higher level thinking required will be an indication that you have maximized the level of rigor in that subject area at our school. For a links to the AP policy for each college, visit

What is College English and how does it work?

At ERHS, at this time we offer AP English Literature during the 11th grade year. Though we do not offer a second year of AP English, we do offer College English in partnership with St. John's University. Students take College English here on ERHS's campus with an ERHS teacher, but are awarded a college credit by St. John's. This will result in the generation of a St. John's transcript and students may be able to use that credit towards their college degree, even if they do not attend St. John's. Because the course is a college course equivalent, there is a $500 fee for enrollment in this course (price set by St. John's, not ERHS). Paying for the credit is optional. If a student wants to take College English and not earn St. John's credit, they can. Just like every college varies on their policy with awarding credit for APs, every college varies in their policy on transfer credit; there is a chance that the credit will not be transferable. If you are concerned, check the websites of the colleges you are thinking about to find out their policy on transfer credits from high school. College English is weighted in the GPA the same way that an AP course is weighted and it does count toward the total number of AP courses that a student takes.

If I am not approved for or am not interested in AP, what other things can I do to enhance my academic experience?

AP classes are not the only way to broaden your educational horizons. ERHS partners with CUNY Hunter College in their College NOW program where students can enroll in certain college level classes, at Hunter (for free), after school and on weekends. There are some minimum requirements and an application, but it is a great opportunity. Being in New York City, there are also many other programs for high school students (internships, workshops, afterschool programs) that can relate to different academic topics, especially over the summer. Visit the Summer Opportunities page to get started and learn more.  If you are in 11th grade, remember also that you can still request placement in an AP class as a senior.