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AP CAPSTONE APPLICATION
Page 1 of 4

Dear 9th Grade Student,

In this AP Seminar course, students will investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives, and analyze information from various sources in order to develop credible and valid evidence-based arguments. This program aims to empower students by providing opportunities for them to practice disciplined and scholarly research skills while exploring relevant topics that appeal to their interests and curiosity.

This program requires independent work that may extend beyond regular classroom time, and relies heavily on self-discipline. Students are accepted into this program for their abilities in both their intellectual potential and their inherent self-motivation. To succeed in this program, it is understood that you will have to invest time outside the school day to effectively meet the criteria of the AP Capstone program.

If you feel that you can meet the requirements of this class and are willing to spend the additional time required, please fill out the attached questionnaire as application into the program.

Student’s acceptance into this program will be contingent upon their completed questionnaire, a well-written essay of 300-500 words, and committee input. The questionnaire and essay should be completed using the online application form below.

Deadline is Jan. 20th!


AP CAPSTONE APPLICATION
STUDENT INFORMATION
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* = Required Fields

FIRST NAME*

LAST NAME*

SCHOOL*

ENGLISH TEACHER*


AP CAPSTONE APPLICATION
STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE
Page 3 of 4

To be considered for the AP Capstone Seminar program, you must meet at least 9 of the following 11 criteria. Please check all that apply to you.

1) English average above 90 for the past 2 quarters and as of 2/29/16.
2) Excellent organizational skills.
3) Homework is consistent and well-done.
4) Works well in groups.
5) Possesses ambition to enhance and hone writing skills.
6) Self-motivated.
7) High maturity level.
8) Always prepared.
9) Exhibits intellectual curiosity.
10) Reads independently.
11) Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously.
12) Is enthusiastic and has a willingness to learn new things.
13) Has a desire to learn how to speak publicly.


AP Capstone Application
Student Essay
Page 4 of 4

Please read the following excerpt taken from the literary work Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.


“For almost a generation, psychologists around the world have been engaged in a spirited debate over a question that most of us would consider to have been settled years ago. The question is this: is there such a thing as innate talent? The obvious answer is yes. Not every hockey player born in January ends up playing at the professional level. Only some do- the innately talented ones. Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.”

“Exhibit A in the talent argument is a study done in the early 1990’s by the psychologist K. Anders Ericsson and two colleagues at Berlin’s elite Academy of Music. With the help of the Academy’s professors, they divided the school’s violinists into three groups. In the first group were the stars, the students with the potential to become world-class soloists. In the second were those judged to be merely “good.” In the third were students who were unlikely to ever play professionally and who intended to be music teachers in the public school system. All of the violinists were then asked the same question: over the course of your entire career, ever since you first picked up the violin, how many hours have you practiced?”

“Everyone from all three groups started playing at roughly the same age, around five years old. In those first few years, everyone practiced roughly the same amount, about two to three hours a week. But when the students were around the age of eight, real differences started to emerge. The students who would end up the best in their class began to practice more than everyone else; six hours a week by age nine, eight hours a week by age twelve, sixteen hours a week by age fourteen, and up and up, until by the age of twenty they were practicing-that is, purposefully and single-mindedly playing their instruments with the intent to get better-well over thirty hours a week. In fact, by the age of twenty, the elite performers had each totaled ten thousand hours of practice. By contrast, the merely good students had totaled eight thousand hours, and the future music teachers had totaled just over four thousand hours.”

“Ericsson and his colleagues then compared amateur pianists with professional pianists. The same pattern emerged. The amateurs never practiced more than about three hours a week over the course of their childhood, and by the age twenty, they had totaled two thousand hours of practice. The professionals, on the other hand, steadily increased their practice time every year, until by the age of twenty they, like the violinists, had reached ten thousand hours.”

“The striking thing about Ericsson’s study is that he and his colleagues couldn’t find any “naturals”, musicians who floated effortlessly to the top while practicing a fraction of the time their peers did. Nor could they find any “grinds”, people who worked harder than everyone else, yet just didn’t have what it takes to break the top ranks. Their research suggests that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” (Gladwell, pgs. 37-39)


*In a well-written essay of 300 to 500 words, please answer the following question based on the excerpt from the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell:

HOW HAS THE PREMISE OF HARD WORK AS A DETERMINING FACTOR BEEN EVIDENT IN YOUR LIFE?*



Title *