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College Board

Homepage Home > K–12 Services > Preparation for College-Level Studies > Pre-AP®


Preparing every student for college

Pre-AP is based on the following two important premises. The first is the expectation that all students can perform well at rigorous academic levels. This expectation should be reflected in curriculum and instruction throughout the school such that all students are consistently being challenged to expand their knowledge and skills to the next level.

The second important premise of Pre-AP is the belief that we can prepare every student for higher intellectual engagement by starting the development of skills and acquisition of knowledge as early as possible. Addressed effectively, the middle and high school years can provide a powerful opportunity to help all students acquire the knowledge, concepts, and skills needed to engage in a higher level of learning.

The College Board supports Pre-AP programs in schools and districts in the following ways:


SpringBoard® is the College Board’s comprehensive instructional program in English Language Arts and Mathematics for all students in grades 6–12. The program’s design and content deliver improved student performance and more effective teaching. SpringBoard is research based and written by leading educational professionals to make rigor accessible to all learners. Combining the highest-quality instructional materials, formative and summative assessments, and exemplary professional learning, SpringBoard prepares students for Advanced Placement® and to succeed in college and beyond.

Visit the SpringBoard website for details.

Pre-AP Professional Development

The College Board offers a suite of Pre-AP professional development resources and services designed to equip all middle and high school teachers with the strategies and tools they need to engage their students in active, high-level learning, thereby ensuring that every middle and high school student develops the skills, habits of mind, and concepts they need to succeed in college. Pre-AP Initiatives is a key component of the College Board's® K-12 Professional Development unit.

Since Pre-AP teacher professional development supports explicitly the goal of college as an option for every student, it is important to have a recognized standard for college-level academic work. The Advanced Placement Program provides these standards for Pre-AP. Pre-AP teacher professional development resources reflect topics, concepts, and skills found in AP courses.

Labeling Courses Pre-AP

The College Board does not officially endorse locally designed courses labeled "Pre-AP." Courses labeled "Pre-AP" that inappropriately restrict access to AP and other college-level work are inconsistent with the fundamental purpose of the Pre-AP initiatives of the College Board.

The College Board strongly believes that all students should have access to preparation for AP and other challenging courses, and that Pre-AP teaching strategies should be reflected in all courses taken by students prior to their enrollment in AP. The College Board discourages using "Pre-AP" in the title of locally designed courses and listing these courses on a student's transcript, because there is no one fixed or mandated Pre-AP curriculum that students must take to prepare for AP and other challenging coursework. Rather than using Pre-AP in course titles, the College Board recommends the adoption of more comprehensive Pre-AP programs that work across grade levels and subject areas to prepare the full diversity of a school's student population for AP and college.

The College Board's official Pre-AP program for all middle school and high school students is SpringBoard , which consists of a rigorous core curriculum in English language arts and mathematics. SpringBoard is integrated with professional development and formative assessments, and is based on the College Board's college readiness standards: the College Board Standards for College Success.

The College Board also provides an array of Pre-AP professional development workshops designed to help teachers instill more rigor in the courses they are teaching students in the years prior to AP.

As in all its programs, the College Board is deeply committed to equitable access to rigorous academic experiences. We applaud the efforts of our many colleagues making that happen in so many different ways in classrooms around the world.

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