Dhahran — Saudi Aramco’s College Preparatory Program (CPP) students, who sat for Advanced Placement (AP) International Exams during a two-week period earlier this year, not only achieved the highest AP exam grades of any previous class of CPP students but also surpassed global averages in all of the subjects tested.

Recognized by universities around the world as a standard of academic excellence, the College Board’s AP Program allows students the opportunity to take college-level courses in a secondary school or pre-college setting. Students who participate in the AP program not only gain college-level skills but are also able to earn college credits and course exemptions before attending university. Student performance is graded from 1 to 5, with a score of 5 representing the highest level of achievement.

This year, 309 students took a total of 636 exams in eight subjects, underscoring the fact that the CPP is the single largest AP test center in the Middle East. Of the 636 exams administered, this year’s CPP students scored a 5 on 47% of the tests and a 4 or 5 on 71% of the tests. Furthermore, over 91% of the tests resulted in scores of 3 and above. The American Council of Education (ACE) recommends, as a general rule, “that colleges and universities award credit for AP grades of 3 or better on any AP Examination.” More than 90% of colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries grant credit, advanced placement — or both — on the basis of AP exam grades.

College Preparatory Program Students Excel on International Advanced Placement Exams

By the Numbers

In addition to outperforming their CPP predecessors, this year’s CPP students also surpassed the global averages in all the eight subjects tested, including physics, calculus, macroeconomics, microeconomics, computer science, and chemistry. (See chart above).

CPP physics chairman Ihab Ashkar noted that “these scores reflect all the hard work, effort, and dedication exerted by both students and staff.”

Dennis Luy, CPP math chairman, added that “each and every CPP student is required to take at least two international AP exams over the course of the academic year, regardless of their predicted score and level of English on joining the program. The fact that CPP students are taking these courses and exams in a second language makes their achievements all the more remarkable.”

CPP Mission

CPP’s mission is to prepare selected high school graduates for admission to, and success at, the top 200 global universities. The program is designed to meet the individual needs of students based on their academic profile and targeted major. As such, students take AP courses in subjects directly related to their majors. As well as enabling students to compete against top students in the U.S. and internationally, the AP program provides an external benchmark through which to measure the academic performance and competitiveness of both students and the courses offered in CPP.