According to the College Board, AP Capstone™ is built on the foundation of AP Seminar and AP Research, taken in sequence over a two-year period, which offers students the chance to build critical thinking, collaboration, and independent research skills that are valued by colleges and employers. AP Capstone is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study, and rigor of AP courses.
Students being taking AP Seminar where they undertake a team project and presentation and then complete an individual research-based essay and presentation. The exam for AP Seminar is based on these components.
When students take AP Research, they undertake year-long research into a topic of their choosing. They submit an academic paper (5,000 words) and presentation and later participate in an oral defense of their findings. Through this investigation, students demonstrate the ability to apply scholarly understanding to real-world problems and issues. All of those three components are used as assessments.
According to the College Board, the two prerequisite AP Capstone courses complement the rigor of AP courses. They challenge students to:
- Think critically and creatively to construct meaning or gain understanding
- Plan and conduct a study or investigation
- Propose solutions to real-world problems
- Plan and produce communication in various forms
- Collaborate to solve a problem
- Integrate, synthesize, and make cross-curricular connections
- Master the argument-based writing skills