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By the time your sophomore or junior year of high school rolls around, you’ve probably heard the buzz about AP (Advanced Placement) classes and wondered if they’re right for you. What is all that extra work really worth anyways? Read more to discover the benefits of AP courses and factors to consider before signing up.


Benefits of AP Courses

Challenge yourself

Only when we challenge ourselves do we discover our true potential. By taking an AP class, you will be challenged everyday. When you finally finish the course, the success and accomplishment will taste so much sweeter.

Improve your chances for college admissions

Taking an AP course will enhance your college application! If a student succeeds in an AP class, it shows that he or she is prepared to handle a college course load.

Develop the skills needed for college-level coursework

AP courses will give you a taste of college courses ware like. You will likely improve your reading, writing, and note-taking skills, and most importantly, your work ethic.

Earn college credit

At the end of an AP course, you have the option to take an exam to prove your mastery of the content to earn college credit. The score range for this exam is 1-5. Most colleges accept scores of 3 or higher. This means that you can go into college with credits towards graduation! Your college self will thank you for these earned credits because it will save you time, money, and the mental anguish that comes along with taking a class you already took in high school.

Gain more flexibility in college

When you enter college, you’ll already have credits that can go towards your general education requirements. This allows more room to take electives that can count towards a minor or even a double major.


Factors to Consider

Your favorite subjects

Which subjects do you perform the best in? If you have an affinity for math and science, taking AP Biology or AP Calculus may be a better choice for you. AP workloads can be intense so you def want to choose something that is already interesting to you.

Your GPA

It’s better to have strong grades than to have a bunch of AP courses on your transcript. If you feel that AP classes may lower your GPA, stick to the honors courses or non-advanced classes. If you don’t feel super confident diving into AP courses but want to give it a try, you can always start by taking one. As you get to know the pace and workload, you can add more AP classes the next time you sign up for classes!

Your schedule

Make sure you will have the extra time for the extra workload. This may be difficult if you already have a lot on your plate. (AKA working part-time, holding a leadership position in a club, or playing sports year round). Pay attention to your stress levels; if you are spreading yourself too thin, you will know it. If there’s too much going on, taking an AP course may not be the best choice.