Why take an Advanced Placement class? After all, high school is a pressure cooker. You already have to take the SAT, apply to college, and keep up with your extracurriculars. The last thing you may want to do is take a very demanding course, especially one that’s not mandatory. But we recommend you consider it. Here are five ways AP classes can be a smart choice.
1. Prep for college
AP classes can be as challenging as introductory college courses. They are fast-paced, cover more material than regular classes, and require independent work like research and analysis. Getting a dose of a college-level curriculum early on could ease your transition from high school senior to the first-year college student.
2. Rise to the top of the pile
Advanced Placement classes show admissions officers that you’re ready for college-level work. Admissions counselors consistently tell us that good grades and academic rigor are the most important factors when schools evaluate applications. Even over standardized test scores!
3. Strengthen your transcript
Many high schools give extra weight to AP grades when calculating your GPA. Taking an AP class and getting a B is often a better choice than getting an A in a regular course.
4. Study what you love
There are 38 AP subjects from computer science to Japanese language and culture, although your high school may only offer some of these. If you’re a science whiz, AP Biology or AP Chemistry may give you the extra challenge you crave. If you’re the next Ernest Hemingway, head to AP English. Choosing a subject you’re interested in, or have had previous success in, will help you commit to the workload.
5. Get a head start on college (and save some tuition dollars)
Taking an AP class is great prep for the acing the corresponding AP test. Held every May, AP tests are scored on a scale from 1–5. If your college offers AP credit, a score of a 4 or higher could allow you to earn college credits without paying college tuition. Some students are able to skip the entire first year of college this way, thus cutting the entire cost of their college education by one quarter.
Join AP Classes: The Bottom Line
AP classes can boost your GPA and strengthen your college application. But the number of advanced courses you choose to take should depend on your academic interests and your schedule. Concerned you won’t be able to handle the tough concepts of an advanced course? We can help. Our AP tutors can give you a hand with your class work and get you ready for the test.