The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) are a set of English language-based, standardized entrance exams used by colleges and universities in the US and worldwide, including Palestine. The purpose of these exams is to measure a student's ability and readiness to attend colleges and universities, and provides a means to compare student results locally and internationally. The SAT (formerly SAT I), examines a student's general knowledge in math and reading, is scored on a range from 400 to 1600 and lasts three hours. The CLEP and AP exams assess higher level knowledge in a wide range of subject areas. CLEP tests take between 90 and 120 minutes to complete and are scored on a scale from 20 to 80, while AP exams last between two to three hours, with a 1 to 5 results range. For students intending to continue their education in North America, the CLEP and AP provide a means for earning college and university credits without taking courses, provided a minimum score is obtained. About 2,900 colleges and universities grant credit for CLEP scores starting at 50 and nearly all for the AP results starting at 3. A key feature of all three programs is that students are permitted to retake the exams in order to obtain the desired results.
Students at the American School of Palestine are required to take the SAT and four CLEP and/or AP subject tests in order to receive their high school diploma. This qualifies them to obtain equivalency with the Tawjihi, the Palestinian General Secondary Education Certificate Examination, which is mandatory for enrollment in Palestinian and select Arab universities. Students have the choice between taking CLEP or AP subject tests that lead to a scientific Tawjihi equivalency. Test taking begins for students at the start of the eleventh grade. The School's University and College Guidance Counselor assists students in selecting subject and test date options, and guides them through the application process. An annual seminar is held by school staff for parents /guardians to explain the examination requirements and test-taking process. The School provides focused class sessions for test taking strategies and preparation in all the School available subject exams by its highly qualified teaching staff.
Local and international college and university admissions officers review SAT, CLEP and/or AP test scores alongside a student's high school grade point average, the level of course work, letters of recommendations from teachers, extracurricular activities and the personal essay. While the significance given to a student's exam scores varies from institution to institution, high SAT, CLEP and/or AP tests scores are an indicator of acceptance at more colleges and universities.
All three testing programs are administered by the American College Board and proctored through the Ramallah branch of the Amideast. The American School of Palestine is the test center for SAT exams given in the West Bank. Exams are given throughout the year on dates that are set by the Amideast.