The Social Studies Department of B-CC believes that the purpose of social studies is to develop the students' appreciation for their past, to give them the tools to analyze the present, and to prepare them for their role as a citizen in the future. Students will learn to think critically, to consider all points of view, and to appreciate the diversity of their society as they pursue a variety of topics.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are AP/IB classes the same as honors classes?
No. AP/IB curricula are designed by boards outside of Montgomery County. The standards to succeed in these classes and to pass the AP/IB exams are also set by these boards. While honors classes are challenging, the AP/IB courses are designed to give you a college experience in a high school classroom. Therefore, the AP/IB courses will be more rigorous.
2. I make As and Bs in honors classes. Will I make the same grades in AP/IB classes?
It's possible to make outstanding grades in AP/IB classes, but you must realize that these are the most rigorous courses that a high school offers. In order to make these top grades in advanced social studies classes, you will have to make adjustments in study and work habits. It may also be necessary for you to consult with your teachers to make these adjustments.
3. How am I graded in AP and IB classes? Do AP and IB teachers offer bonus work if I get a grade I don't like?
Grading standards for AP and IB courses are established by the AP and IB boards, and your work will be assessed using AP and IB rubrics. Therefore, AP and IB teachers will establish grading policies that comply with AP/IB grading standards. In order to receive the benefits of taking AP/IB courses, you must pass the AP/IB exams. Therefore, it is very important that your grade in the AP/IB classes truly reflects your performance. In addition, IB teachers must submit predicted test scores based on your performance in class. There should be some correlation between your class grade and your score on the AP/IB exams.
4. Are AP/IB tests timed?
Yes. The AP/IB exams are timed, and you must finish in the time allotted for the exam. Both AP and IB boards do allow for extra time if you receive accommodations here at B-CC, but those accommodations must be pre-approved by the AP/IB boards. In addition, IB will allow 15 minutes of extra time per hour for students who receive extra time on tests; however, the extra time must be approved by the IB Office before you take the IB exams.
5. What is the difference between AP and IB courses?
AP presents a one year survey course and then gives a comprehensive exam in May. IB courses are usually two years long; the IB exams are comprehensive and given in the senior year.
6. Are social studies electives academic in nature?
Yes. Although they are electives, these courses do require that you study, read, and take exams. You are expected to meet the academic standards established by the teacher in order to earn a good grade.