The Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The AP program offers college-level courses and exams, so that the student can work toward earning college credit or advanced placement while attending high school. An AP class is typically smaller than a regular class. AP courses at NOVA bear a resemblance to university level courses - they expect students to be motivated and self-directed learners, to participate in intense discussions, to apply the material to everyday life, to participate in collaborative problem solving, and to develop clear and persuasive writing skills. NOVA offers a choice of about twenty AP courses each year, sufficient for all students to either pursue their own interests or discover new passions. More than 90 percent of four-year colleges in the United States and in 60 other countries award college credit to AP students, allow advanced placement, or both, on the basis of how well they do on the AP exams. The AP exams are administered every May at NOVA to those students who enroll in the corresponding AP course.

AP Presentation (Overview of the AP Program at NOVA)

The Advanced Placement Program® (AP) is a collaborative effort among motivated students; dedicated teachers; and committed high schools, colleges, and universities. Since its inception in 1955, the Program has enabled millions of students to take college-level courses and exams, and to earn college credit or placement, while still in high school. Most colleges and universities in the United States, as well as colleges and universities in more than 40 other countries, have an AP policy granting incoming students credit, placement, or both on the basis of their AP Exam grades. Many of these institutions grant up to a full year of college credit (sophomore standing) to students who earn a sufficient number of qualifying AP grades.

AP Exams

Each AP course has a corresponding exam that schools such as NOVA administer in May worldwide. AP Exams contain multiple-choice questions and a free-response section (essay, problem solving, or oral response). AP Exams are a culminating assessment in all AP courses and are thus an integral part of the Program. As a result, many schools (including NOVA) foster the expectation that students who enroll in an AP course will take the corresponding AP Exam.

AP Course Audit

All AP Courses at NOVA have been Audited and Approved by the Collegeboard under clear guidelines on the curricular and resource requirements that must be in place. The audit ledger of AP courses at NOVA is available from:

AP Courses

22 AP courses in a wide variety of subject areas are available at NOVA. Experienced AP teachers have designed the coverage of information, skills, and assignments in a way that it represents a comparable experience to a corresponding college course.

Advanced Placement courses offered at NOVA:


AP Biology

AP Physics I

AP Physics II                                                    

AP Physics C: Mechanics

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

AP Chemistry

AP Environmental Science


AP English Language and Composition     

AP English Literature and Composition

AP Spanish Language and Culture

History & Social Sciences

AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP World History                                  

AP Human Geography

AP Macroeconomics

AP Microeconomics

AP Psychology

Mathematics & Computer Science

AP Statistics

AP Computer Science A

AP Calculus AB

AP Calculus BC


AP Studio Art 2-D Design