Advance Placement courses are high school classes that follow a college level curriculum designed by the College Board. Students are assessed by a standardized final exam in addition to their high school’s grading system. There are many reasons for high school students to take advance placement courses. Here are five worth considering above all others:
1. Get a sneak peak at the rigor of a college level course
Taking an advance placement (AP) course allows you to experience college level academics while remaining grounded in a familiar high school environment. After taking an AP course, you won’t be caught off guard by the higher level of difficulty and increased workload that you will find in college. This means an easier adjustment to university life and a greater likelihood of success.
2. Increase your chances of admission
Your transcript reveals more than your grades. It shows the courses that you took. In general, AP classes are the most difficult classes on offer in high school. Taking an AP course thus demonstrates initiative and it shows that you are ready to take on the challenges of college.
3. Narrow down your interests and begin planning for a major
AP courses explore their subject matter in greater depth than other high school courses. This will help you decide if the subject is something you want to pursue further at the university level. If you find the subject matter uninteresting, you already have an idea of what to avoid when you get to college.
4. Earn college credit before you even get to college
If your score is sufficient on the AP exam, most colleges will accept your AP class as college equivalent credit hours. In some cases, this can help you cover general education credit requirements and it may even go towards your major or minor depending on the subject. A high school AP course could ultimately end up saving you money as you may be able to graduate with fewer required credit hours.
5. Explore more subjects while in college
AP credits give you a head start on your college graduation requirements and thus give you more freedom to explore additional subjects. Perhaps you want to take elective classes unrelated to your major or maybe you want to add a second major or a minor to your degree. AP courses will help give you the freedom to explore these options.
An AP course may not be a carbon copy of a college class, but it is comparable in overall rigor and in the depth of subject matter covered. Whether you take an AP course because you want to improve your chances of getting in to your top school or because you want a jump start on your college credits, you will find that this type of high level learning opportunity has numerous benefits.