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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

AP Capstone Hones Academic Skills

US News: "The College Board launched the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma Program in 2014, giving high school students the chance to develop research and argumentative skills needed to succeed in college and beyond ... The program is comprised of two yearlong required courses: AP Seminar, which is taken during sophomore or junior year and allows students to thoroughly investigate different areas they are interested in, and AP Research, where the following year students focus their research on a chosen topic and prepare to write a scholarly paper. Upon the conclusion of AP Seminar coursework, students sit for an end-of-year exam."

"The first AP Seminar performance task involves a project to be completed by a group of three to five students. The project and a related presentation account for a combined 20 percent of a student’s final grade ... For the task, students work together to select and research an issue either in academia or the real world. Each student creates an individual research report of 1,200 words and later, as a group, students create a multimedia presentation lasting eight to 10 minutes ... Following the presentation is the oral defense, the duration of which may vary. The teacher generally asks each student one question about the research topic and collaboration experience, but it is also common for the instructor to pose multiple follow-up questions."

In addition: "Each year in early January, the College Board releases several reading texts in which various perspectives across different disciplines such as math, natural science, linguistics and art are given about a common theme. Some texts contain multimedia and quantitative data, as well. From the release of these materials, students have at least 30 days to conduct research, write a 2,000-word essay and prepare a presentation. They should use the sources to help them formulate an original inquiry for research. In the research paper, they must cite at least one source from those provided."

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