AP, HP & Advanced Courses

Oakland Tech students have the opportunity to take an array of Advanced Placement (AP), Honors (HP) and Advanced courses, which are more difficult and comprehensive than regular college preparatory (CP) classes, and proceed at a faster pace.

AP & HP, Explained

AP courses often follow a set curriculum that is updated and refined each year to reflect what’s being taught in college-level courses. Each May, students take an external evaluation — the AP exam — which is scored by college faculty from around the world who determine the degree to which the student has mastered college-level studies.

At Oakland Tech and most public schools around the country, AP courses receive a bonus grade-point — which means a student who gets an A in an AP course is given 5 grade-points, as compared to 4 grade-points for an A in a regular CP course. This is how students are able to achieve better than a 4.0 grade-point average. Bonus grade-points are not given if a student receives a D or F in the class. Additionally, some colleges give students college credit for having completed an AP class and scored a 3, 4, or 5 on the accompanying exam.

HP classes, by comparison do not follow a set curriculum and, though challenging, do not qualify for college credit. Many of Tech’s HP classes receive a similar bonus grade-point.

AP & HP Classes

HONORS ADVANCED PLACEMENT
Advanced Biology (Health Academy) AP Biology AP Environmental Science
Advanced Chemistry AP Calculus AB AP French Language
Comparative
Government HP (Paideia)
AP Calculus BC AP Government
*English 3 HP AP Chemistry AP Physics C: Mechanics
*English 4 HP AP Chinese Language AP Spanish Language
Government-Economics HP AP Computer Science A AP Statistics
*US History HP AP Computer Science Principles AP US History
  AP English Literature AP 2D Art & Design

*Courses meet the criteria for UC Honors designation and qualify students to earn bonus grade-points in their UC GPA computation. Check the UC site for more information.

OT Science Course Offerings, 2019-20

We are undertaking a review of our science course offerings in light of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that have been adopted by California. See NGSS for California Public Schools, K-12 (https://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/sc/ngssstandards.asp) and Next Generation Science Standards (https://www.nextgenscience.org/get-to-know).

As a part of our continuing effort to provide the best science education for our students, we are exploring ways that we can modify our courses in order to be in line with the new standards. A core principle of the NGSS is that students will be able to understand and explain connections across a range of core ideas in the discipline of science (e.g., structure and properties of matter, earth materials and systems, etc.). In combination with this, the Science Dept. is working with the school’s pathways to help students develop STEM and career-related skills to support their pathway work.

Advanced Chemistry

The Science Dept. is developing a new course — Advanced Chemistry — that we expect will challenge students to make interdisciplinary connections at a deeper level than is possible in the CP Chemistry class. Advanced Chemistry class will be a pilot in 2019-2020. Since this course is under development, the school will not offer it as an HP course. Therefore, it will not provide the grade-point boost that goes with an HP designation. The Dept. will continue to offer AP Chemistry, which does include a grade-point boost.

Advanced Bio for Health Academy Seniors

The Science Dept. will offer Advanced Biology beginning in 2019-2020 in conjunction with the Health Academy. This course will be limited to Health Academy seniors. It will include advanced topics in health and biology/physiology as well as specific applications for health careers. It will not provide the grade-point boost of an HP course. AP Biology — which does include a grade-point boost — will still be offered to any student in grades 10-12.

Physics Changes

In accordance with the principles and rigor of the NGSS for physics, the Science Dept. is modifying the CP Physics course to include the interdisciplinary connections and lab skills for all students. The department will not offer Honors Physics, but will continue to offer AP Physics C: Mechanics, which provides a grade-point boost.

Weekday Homework Estimates

Success in CP, HP & AP Classes: Estimations of Weekday Homework

CP & HP Classes

Minutes/ Night

AP Classes

Minutes/ Night

Biology

20-30

AP Biology

30-60

Adv. Biology

30-60

AP Calculus AB

60-90

Chemistry

20-30

AP Calculus BC

60-90

Adv. Chemistry

30-60

AP Chemistry

30-60

English 2/World History

30-60

AP Chinese Language

30-60

English 2/World History (Paideia)

60-90

AP Computer Science A

30-60

English 3 HP

30-60

AP Computer Science Principles

30-60

English 3/US History

45-75

AP English Literature

30-60

English 3 HP/US History HP (Paideia)

60-90

AP Environmental Science

30-60

US History HP

30-45

AP French Language

30-60

English 4

30-45

AP Government

30-60

English 4 HP

60-90

AP Gov’t/Comparative Gov’t HP (Paideia)

60-90

Am. Government

30-45

AP Physics C: Mechanics

60-90

Am. Government HP

60-90

AP Spanish Language

30-60

   

AP Statistics

30-60

   

AP US History

30-60

   

AP US History/English 3 HP (Paideia)

60-90

Reasons to Take an AP, HP or Advanced Class

  • You are thoroughly prepared because of the classes you’ve taken previously
  • You are willing to work hard and put in a lot of extra time (in AP classes, particularly)
  • You are interested in the subject
  • You are motivated to succeed

Important Considerations

We encourage students to carefully weigh how many Honors/AP classes they can take at one time given the time and energy required to do well. Doing poorly in an AP/Honors class can have serious consequences. OUSD Summer School only offers College Prep level courses (recognized by UC/CSU) — not AP/Honors courses. Low AP/Honors course grades remain on student transcripts and are reflected in GPAs.

What’s more, dropping AP/Honors classes in the fall or spring semester affect the Master Schedule. Students often mistakenly believe that it is easy to move to a lower level or different class if they feel the accelerated coursework is too challenging. However, that’s frequently not the case. College Prep classes may be full and some classes cannot be dropped after a certain time period. 

2019 AP Test Schedule

Below is the 2019 exam schedule issued by the College Board, which conducts the AP program. AP tests are given across the country on the same day at the same time. Please note that Tech does not offer a few of the courses referenced in the schedule. Check the College Board website for more information. 

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