• AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to demonstrate critical thinking, collaboration, and academic research skills on topics of the student’s choosing. To accommodate the wide range of student topics, typical college course equivalents include interdisciplinary or general elective courses.

  • AP students with N.C. poet Tyree Daye

  • Skills You'll Learn

    • Reading and analyzing articles, studies, and other texts

    • Gathering and combining information from sources

    • Viewing an issue from multiple perspectives

    • Crafting arguments based on evidence

  • About the Course

    Develop and practice the skills in research, collaboration, and communication that you’ll need in any academic discipline. You’ll investigate topics in a variety of subject areas, write research-based essays, and design and give presentations both individually and as part of a team.

  • What is AP Seminar

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    AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary studies course;

    AP Seminar is a yearlong course in which students investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn to synthesize information from different sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. During the course, students complete a team project and an individual paper and presentation, as well as take a written end-of-course exam. These components contribute to the overall AP Seminar score.

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  • What is my responsibility as a student in AP Seminar?

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    So, we - CollegeBoard and the community of instructors teaching AP Seminar - expect certain, higher, levels of personal discipline from students enrolled in AP Seminar meaning students should be prepared to develop quality academic habits that transfer to the next level of education. First among those habits is the willingness to ask questions and the willingness to hear and consider other perspectives. So, going all the way back to 4th century B.C.E., Aristotle says to the teachers of Athens, "one person's ideas are a single thread in a tapestry..." Understand that no one demands you agree with another or adopt someone else's ideas, but we must respect others' perspectives and opinions. We must also understand that we do teach others how to treat us by how we act and react when we come into conflict. It is the principal responsibility of AP Seminar students to engage each other respectfully. 

    Now, academic habits also: deadlines are firm. Teamwork is expected. 

    You should be prepared to write and to accept feedback on that writing. You should be prepared to present in front of your peers. 

    You should also come to class prepared by having read and annotated the assigned reading; and, having completed whatever out-of-class work that has been assigned. Understand that there is no busy work in AP Seminar. Every assignment has a clear and defined purpose so missing the assignment means missing out on developing or practicing skills that you are going to need in order to be successful later; especially when it comes time to prepare your exam components. 

    AP Seminar rewards honest effort. 

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  • What is a seminar?

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    Seminar is a style of class instruction. In seminar classes, students take an active role in discussion and inquiry. Seminars provide students the opportunity for students to discuss and analyze new material, concepts and ideas together with their instructor's guidance. Seminar-style classes host intentionally fewer students to best foster the development of critical inquiry skills and to allow students more attention from instructors. By their nature in academic contexts, seminars are less formally structured so the focus is primarily on discussion ideas and sharing perspectives. 

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  • What do we study in AP Seminar?

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    AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary course. That means that we study broad topics from different perspectives. Broad topics we have studied before include developing water crises; the neuroscience of gaming; medical ethics; G.M.O. foods; curriculum design; fast fashion; American domestic poverty; A.I. development; cryptography; literary influences on early American society; and military history, among many others. Students take varied perspectives - or occupy different roles - in their studies. For example, students researching the impact of G.M.O. crops on the American food system will adopt different guiding perspectives. One student may approach the G.M.O. question from the perspective of a biologist, another from the perspective of an economist, and another from the perspective of a social worker in a low-income community. The division of labor in such a way gives students the opportunity to develop accurate and directed research skills and critical reasoning practices that afford them a much stronger position as they transition into their colleges or careers after high school. 

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  • How is Seminar scored?

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    Ultimately, AP Seminar students earn three distinct exam component scores. One for individual research presentations, a second score for a team project and presentation, and the third for a traditional AP exam. Those scores are aggregated into the 1 to 5 AP exam scores familiar to AP students. Here is the caveat. Your college or university accepts Seminar scores (2-5) for required freshman elective credits. While the exact course credit is up to the registrar at your college, successful AP Seminar students earn between 3 and 15 credit hours in first-year general studies elective credits, ultimately saving tuition cost and affording you an advantage most college freshmen do not have. 

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  • How do I earn a 4 or 5 on the AP Seminar exam?

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    Firstly, your overall class grade is separate from your exam component scores. In fact, the CollegeBoard does not allow students to receive a grade in the class grade book for exam components. Your Individual Research Report, Team Multimedia Project, and Final Exam do not get calculated into your class grade. 

    Students who earn top scores on the Seminar Exam do have several habits in common. First, those students take direction and apply the feedback they get on written drafts and multimedia draft presentations. So, when you receive a draft back of your research report that is covered with comments and suggestions written into the margins - read, consider and apply that feedback. Practice delivering presentations, also. Public delivery of presentations is a major component of the course exam. You want to deliver your presentation with confidence both in your work and in yourself. 

    Of course, these exam components cannot be put off. Procrastination will hinder you and there is no grace from your instructor or from the College Board. AP Seminar is structured in such a way that you have plenty of time in class to complete all of the components that make up the exam for AP Seminar. 


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Last Modified on August 20, 2021