As high school students begin to sign up for fall classes, it’s time to consider whether you should register for an Advanced Placement course next year or not. There are lots of questions and choices. Here’s the What, Why, When and How of AP Courses. Everything you ever wanted to know about AP courses in a single page. We call it is the AP FAQ.
What is an AP Course?
The AP curriculum is administered by The College Board and it consists of standardized high school courses that are roughly equivalent to undergraduate college courses. After completing an AP class, students typically take the AP exam in that subject, which can earn them credits and accelerated placement in college.
Why take an AP course?
There are several reasons why one should take AP classes. These include:
- Be challenged – AP is not easy, but also not impossible. If you are looking for challenge, AP is for you
- Stand Out in College Admissions – With AP in your transcript, the admissions officer know that you are experienced and willing to take on challenges
- Arrive at college better prepared – With AP, you get a heads up on the subject, so avoid those surprises and arrive prepared
- Build College Skills – AP courses will help you build the skills need for college like hard work, time management and handling tough problems
- Earn College Credits – Earning the right GPA score in your AP subject gets you college credits. Check out specific colleges’ guidelines on accepting AP scores for credit
- Skip Introductory Classes – If you already know the subject and have a qualifying score, you can skip the classes in college
- Win scholarships – Over 30% of Colleges look at AP experience when considering to offer scholarship
- Save money – with credits from AP, you can skip some of those expensive college classes
- Secure a second Major – With credit from AP subjects it is easier to secure a second major
Who should take AP?
AP classes are not for everyone. Look at the following checklist to see if AP is for you or not?
- Past performance in the subject – the thumb rule is go for it if you are good at it
- Interest in the subject – if you don’t like it, don’t take it
- Overall Academic performance – Don’t take AP if it likely to reduce your overall GPA
- Time availability – AP is demanding, so be prepared to invest ample time in it
When to take AP?
As high school students begin to sign up for fall classes, it’s time to consider whether your child should register for an Advanced Placement course next year. Most students have their first chance to take an AP class in their junior year.
What AP courses are available?
What AP course should I take?
This depends on what AP courses your High school offers.
Also, ask yourself, what interests you? What area you would like to pursue in college?
Remember to ask for guidance from your high school guidance counselor on what AP courses you could take.
How many AP courses should I take?
There is really no fixed number. Go for as many as you can take without getting too overwhelmed or negatively impacting your academic performance.
How much does an AP course cost?
The AP classes themselves are part of the High School program, so you would not be paying anything extra for these classes. However, there is a fee for AP exam.
How to sign up for an AP course?
Contact your High School guidance counselor. They will help you sign up for the class, order the exams, collect fees, and let you know when and where to show up.
If you school does not have any AP class, ask your guidance counselor if they have the option to enroll in an AP course at a neighboring high school. It’s also possible to take an AP exam (and receive college credit) without taking the AP course in that subject.