AP Course Changes
The Advanced Placement program is revising several of its 30-plus courses and corresponding exams. Courses whose revisions take effect for Fall 2011 are AP World History, AP French Language and Culture, and AP German Language and Culture. Next year (Fall 2012), revisions of AP Biology, AP Latin, and AP Spanish Literature and Culture will take effect.

A New York Times article from January 7, 2011 reviews some of the reasons behind these changes. In short, the goal is to have students focus on the more important concepts rather than getting lost in the details. Reducing the “rote” aspect of some of these courses and replacing it with stronger comprehension and analytical skills is important, especially in courses like biology that present hundreds of pages of details. AP U.S. History is also intended for revision by 2013-14. Additional subjects for future change will be European history, art history, chemistry and physics.

College Board News
The College Board, source for SAT, AP, and CLEP exams, as well as being a wealth of information for college bound students, has changed its website from to to better reflect its mission of being a not-for-profit educational organization.

SAT Exam Dates for the 2011-12 School Year
SAT Reasoning Test:
October 1, November 5, December 3, January 28, March 10, May 5, June 2

SAT Subject Tests:
Same dates as SAT Reasoning, but Subject Tests are not offered on March 10
Regular registration deadlines are about a month before the test dates. Sign up at

ACT Test Dates for the 2011-12 School Year
September 10, October 22, December 10, February 11, April 14, June 9. Sign up at and note that for some test dates, the regular registration closes five weeks before the test.

California Community Colleges to Award Credit for CLEP Exams
(Announced 6/22/11 by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges)

California community colleges have made the decision to allow credit toward general education courses based on students’ performance on CLEP Exams (College Level Examination Program). Traditionally, CLEP exams have been used by students to clear courses at 4-year colleges and universities. The move toward community colleges accepting these scores in lieu of requiring a full course gives students more options as well as potential savings in time and finances. For homeschoolers, CLEP exams may be useful as another tool in completing coursework and paving the way to a college degree.


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