Honors & Advanced Courses
Cary Academy offers opportunities for students with exceptional talent and motivation to advance beyond the scope of the typical college-preparatory curriculum. Honors courses are offered in mathematics and physics and Advanced courses are offered in all departments except Physical Education and Wellness.
Honors courses in mathematics and physics go into greater depth and detail than the corresponding non-honors courses. Students enroll in an Honors (H) course with the understanding that the work requirements are more rigorous than typical Cary Academy courses.
Cary Academy offers Advanced courses in lieu of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Students enroll in an Advanced (ADV) course with the understanding that the course will be taught with the rigor and expectations of a college course, especially in terms of time needed for study out of class. Advanced courses differ from AP courses in that teachers have the ability to modify the AP course syllabus and emphasize depth of research and study or specific areas of study not prescribed in the AP syllabus. Most Cary Academy students enrolled in Advanced courses choose to sit for the corresponding Advanced Placement (AP) examination offered by The College Board.
Students who are interested in a particular Advanced course should discuss their interest with their current teacher in the academic area, faculty advisor, college counselor, and their parents. The decision to admit a student into an Advanced course is made at the department level after consideration of the student's grades, teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, motivation, total course load, and extracurricular involvement outside and within the school. Individual departments create their own criteria for entrance into Advanced courses. Advanced courses in the sciences meet for additional class periods to accommodate the demands of a rigorous laboratory program.
Normally, students are allowed to take up to two Advanced courses in the junior year and three Advanced courses in the senior year. Exceptions may be made for students who demonstrate appropriate levels of achievement.
Please note that a few course titles contain the word "advanced", but no (ADV) designation, simply to distinguish them from "introductory" level courses.