Academic excellence for all: Enrich a Czech education with online AP exam prep

At the Center for Talented Minds, students can prepare for international AP exams, which are recognized for university admission at home and abroad.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco Published on 11.10.2021 16:00:00 (updated on 07.12.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Choosing the right learning path for your child can be challenging – especially when you're living in a foreign country whose system of education may be different from that of your own. Foreign parents of students in both international and Czech state schools will be faced with a number of difficult choices that can have a big impact on their child's academic future.

Perhaps the biggest questions mark will be how to ensure that your Czech education will translate internationally, especially if you can't afford an international school. You might also worry about language: if your child studies in Czech won't his or her English suffer when it comes time to go to university abroad?

CTM (Center for Talented Minds) is a one-of-a-kind educational service based in the Czech Republic that's designed to address these issues.

The courses cover a broad spectrum of subjects from math to creative writing and can be started at 11 years old. Students can study until high school graduation, no matter what local school they're already attending.

CTM is a roster of online courses that not only allow students to explore subjects they enjoy and might not have access to at their local school but also helps them gain or keep up with their English proficiency and eventually get into a university abroad, says Jeanne Bočková, CTM director.

For students hoping to attend a foreign university, AP courses cover areas typical for the first two years of college, a proven way to prepare for international AP exams.

Started by the American Fund for Czech and Slovak Leadership Studies in 2010, the original goal of CTM was to offer affordable international education to Czech and Slovak children. But it can also prove a great option for families that can’t afford an international school but want their children to get more exposure to studying in English.

"With the CTM Online program, your child can get international education while going to Czech school and doing our courses and AP exams. Our AP courses are College Board USA approved, meaning your child gets the same education as she would studying these courses/classes at an international school or abroad," says Bočková.

CTM can help families select the right courses for their children, and create an academic path to help them achieve internationally recognized AP Capstone Diploma or AP/International Diploma.

The only major difference, says Bočková, is that CTM courses are not connected with your local school, so students must build extra time into their schedule. She adds that a number of schools allow students to take CTM as one of their school electives.

Another added benefit for non-native speakers of English is that all classes are conducted in English so study through CTM can help dramatically improve or maintain spoken and written English skills, especially for students who plan to continue their education in another country.

The school's Discovery Program can also help younger children who are studying at Czech schools and want to strengthen their language and subject knowledge prepare for entrance exams to eight-year gymnazium as well as submitting certificates and reports from the program to six- and four-year gymnasia.

CTM Online is also available to homeschooled students, as well Bočková says. "And while homeschooled children must still complete their education through a local school (they cannot be enrolled only with CTM), we are a great option to add exciting topics to their curriculum which may be otherwise unavailable locally."

Above all, CTM prides itself on in its flexibility. “Children and their parents can include CTM virtual school and self-development programs in their extra-curricular activities anytime, anywhere,” Bočková says. 

“We offer over 100 online courses in a broad spectrum of subjects in English, from math and information technology to social sciences, creative writing, and personal development.”

Students can dip their toes into the program with shorter introductory courses (3-6 months long) and then advance to demanding Advanced Placement (AP) courses (7-12 months long) to prepare for international AP exams, which are recognized for university admission at home and abroad.

"Students can prepare with us for the AP Capstone Diploma or the AP International Diploma, recognized by top universities around the world, and also by several Czech universities,” she says.

“This means students can study at any school they choose and get this diploma with us in addition to their local school diploma or maturita.”

Because all CTM courses are taught online, students can study what they enjoy and advance at their own pace under the guidance of experienced instructors. The ultimate goal at CTM is to help children study for understanding rather than for tests so they can strive for excellence while having fun in the process. 

"I think the beauty of CTM is that it closes the gap so every student gets a chance to build the skills they need for the world ahead," says Bočková.

This article was written in cooperation with CTM - Center for Talented Minds. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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