Everything You Need To Know About The AP Capstone

March 17, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Everything You Need To Know About The AP Capstone

AP Capstone is a program from the College Board that teaches students how to do independent research, work as a team, and communicate well—skills that colleges value more and more. It makes students more interested, independent, and willing to work together. It also helps them learn how to make decisions based on logic and facts.

The program is made up of two AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. It is meant to complement and build on what students learn in other AP courses in their own fields.

Participating schools can use the program to give current AP students unique research opportunities or to get more students interested in AP by encouraging them to master the argument-based writing skills that the program teaches.

AP Seminar, the first course in the program, focuses on developing students’ critical thinking, research, and communication skills. In this course, students learn how to analyze and evaluate complex texts, arguments, and data.

They also learn how to conduct research using a variety of sources, including primary and secondary sources. Throughout the course, students work collaboratively on various projects, including individual and group presentations and research papers.

two male students reading with a teacher

The second course, AP Research, is a year-long independent research project that allows students to investigate a topic of their choice in depth. Students must submit a research paper and give a presentation on their findings. The course culminates in a final presentation where students defend their research and present their findings to an audience.

Is AP Capstone hard?

Is AP Capstone hard? It is a challenging program, but it is also highly rewarding. The program requires a significant amount of work and dedication from students, and it is designed to prepare them for the rigors of college-level coursework.

In the AP Seminar, students are required to analyze and evaluate complex texts, arguments, and data. They must also learn how to conduct research using a variety of sources, including primary and secondary sources. Students work collaboratively on various projects, including individual and group presentations and research papers.

In AP Research, students conduct an independent research project on a topic of their choice. This requires a significant amount of time and effort, including conducting research, analyzing data, and writing a research paper.

To be successful in the AP Capstone, students must be highly motivated, organized, and willing to put in the work. The program requires critical thinking, problem-solving, and time management skills.

However, it is important to note that while the program is challenging, it is designed to help students develop essential skills that will prepare them for success in college and beyond. With the right mindset and work ethic, students can thrive in the program and reap the benefits of the skills and knowledge they acquire.

Is AP Capstone worth it?

Is AP Capstone worth it? Yes, that’s the only answer! One of the best things about AP Research is getting the AP Seminar and Research Certificate or AP Capstone Diploma if you pass both classes (both classes and 4 other AP exams). You can show it to colleges, which will help your application.

This course can be a good way to learn how to do research on your own early on! Even though you probably won’t get any money from your high school or help from high-level professors, the fact that you can write a research paper in high school is very impressive.

Young female student focused on her desk in the bedroom, studying at home with a laptop.

Also, AP Research covers a lot of different fields, which means it won’t get you credit for any college classes right away. But you can show your research paper to your advisor, and they can tell you if you could do more research with a professor while you are in college.

If you want to take the program, here are some other things you need to know:

College preparation: The program helps students prepare for the rigors of college-level coursework. Through the program, students develop skills in research, analysis, and communication that are essential for success in college.

Competitive advantage: Completing the program demonstrates to colleges and universities that a student is motivated, dedicated, and able to handle challenging coursework. This can give students a competitive edge in the college admissions process.

College credit: Many colleges and universities offer college credit to students who score well on the AP Capstone exams. This can save students both time and money on their college education.

Interdisciplinary learning: The program incorporates subjects from different academic disciplines, which allows students to explore topics from multiple perspectives and develop a broader understanding of complex issues.

Personal growth: The program challenges students to think critically, work collaboratively, and take ownership of their learning. This can lead to personal growth and increased confidence in their abilities.

What are the disadvantages of AP Capstone?

What are the disadvantages of AP Capstone? While there are definitely benefits to taking the program, there are also drawbacks.

Completion is difficult

Before you can finish your AP course, you have to deal with a heavier workload. Many students are affected in some way by the amount of work they have to do. Teens need some help to find a good balance so they can plan their schedules well.

The best way to deal with stress is to take between two and three AP classes in a year.

It costs money

The cost comes into play when the teen wants to take the test to show that they understand.

The prices vary depending on where you live. For example, if you take it outside the US, you’ll pay $124, but if you take it in the US, you’ll only pay $94.

When you want to take more than one AP class in a year, the costs tend to add up quickly. If a teen doesn’t pass and get a good grade, they might have to pay for it.

AP results may be looked at differently by universities and colleges

a male computer science intern working on a computer

Not every college or university is the same. Because of this, their thoughts about AP test scores might not be the same. Some people may think that your results are more important than others.

Some people may not care about the 5.0 scale, while others may think it’s good. It’s important to find out what your favorite colleges look for so you know what to do and what to avoid.

Your GPA may take a hit

There is a good chance that taking AP classes will hurt your GPA.

If a student has a GPA of 4.5 or higher, it is likely that they did well in AP classes. That means a teen needs to work harder to get the grade they need, or they will get a lower grade than they could have.

Cuts down on your social life

The time it takes to finish all of the AP classes may make it hard to hang out with friends.

Since you’ll spend more time on materials, you’ll have less time to spend with people. That makes it hard to pay attention to other things, like sports or other things outside of school.

Misplaced priorities

Students may worry more about tests than they do about learning. When teens have this kind of attitude, they study just to get good grades instead of trying to learn as much as they can. This brings a lot of uncertainty to the process of getting ready.

How to prepare for AP Capstone?

How to prepare for AP Capstone? Preparing for the program requires a combination of academic skills and personal qualities. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the program:

Develop strong research skills: It requires students to conduct research using a variety of sources. Developing strong research skills before entering the program can be extremely helpful. This includes learning how to find and evaluate sources, take notes, and organize information.

Practice critical thinking: The program emphasizes critical thinking skills. You can practice these skills by reading articles and analyzing arguments, practicing problem-solving, and evaluating evidence.

Work on time management: The program requires a significant amount of independent work, including research projects and papers. Learning how to manage your time effectively will be essential for success in the program. Start practicing time management techniques before entering the program, such as breaking down tasks into manageable chunks and using a planner to stay organized.

Develop strong writing skills: The program includes a significant amount of writing, including research papers and presentations. Practice writing well-organized and well-supported essays, and seek feedback from your teachers or peers to improve your writing skills.

Cultivate a growth mindset: It is designed to challenge students, and it is important to approach the program with a growth mindset. This means embracing challenges as opportunities for growth, being willing to learn from mistakes, and persevering through difficult tasks.

By developing these skills and personal qualities, you can better prepare yourself for the rigor of the AP Capstone program. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the program requirements and expectations by reading the AP Capstone Course Overview and discussing the program with your teachers and school counselors.

With the right preparation, you can thrive in the AP Capstone program and develop the essential skills necessary for success in college and beyond.

Learn more about college by consulting with college admissions specialists like the ones found here in AdmissionSight. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.