Reasons to Take AP Classes

By on October 3, 2011

This post is by Ashley Chi, a member of Acceptional’s High School Journalism Program. In this post, she discusses some reasons for taking on the challenge of AP courses.

AP. Two innocuous letters, when put together, instantly conjure feelings of anxiety in most high school students. For those whose only experiences with these two letters consist of witnessing older friends tear their hair out while trying to conquer their AP homework, AP (Advanced Placement) classes are college-level classes that mimic a college-style pace and teaching method.  Though the trials, tears, and tribulations of AP classes are inevitable, the awe-inspiring experiences and the benefits that you’ll reap for your college applications will be priceless.

• Challenges students – You might be thinking, “Challenges? Why would I need more challenges when I’m already having trouble keeping up a 4.0 GPA?” If you think that a particular class is moving too slowly for your taste, this is probably a sign that you need more challenges and should transfer to a higher-level class, like an AP class. AP classes allow students to explore and discuss the core material in-depth, as opposed to the more moderate syllabus reserved for regular-level classes. As for that 4.0, colleges are more impressed by a student with good grades and a rigorous work ethic who isn’t afraid to intellectually challenge him or herself with a rigorous work ethic than by a student with perfect grades who accepts mediocrity.

• Save money and time – College tuition, in one word, is expensive. If you score well on an AP test, that score can (figuratively) turn into cash! If you’re eligible to skip courses in college because of qualifying AP scores, that means that you won’t have to pay or take the time to earn credits for the course, effectively killing two birds with one stone. Some students who take a plethora of AP classes have been able to skip an entire year of college, saving them time and a year’s worth of tuition.

• Explore your interests – In addition to challenging your mind, the stimulating discussions and in-depth exercises typical of AP classes may open your eyes to a world that you’ve never noticed before. While pondering the brain-wracking problem you just solved in AP Physics, you’ll start noticing real-life applications that you’ve worked out in the classroom, which will give you a new sense of achievement. By choosing to take various types of AP classes and not restricting yourself to one category, your academic exploration will certainly make your application stand out to admissions officers.

Though AP classes require perseverance, hours of studying, and a never-ending spring of curiosity, the AP experience is one that is invaluable to your high school career and college admissions. Every admissions officer who looks at your college application will be sure to take note that you’ve challenged yourself by taking AP classes, and that consideration will take you one step closer to earning a spot at your dream school.

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One Comment

  1. Andre Tarquinio

    November 6, 2011 at 8:45 am

    This is a very good and informative article. My school always encourages students to reach out of their comfort zone and take at least a couple of AP courses during their high school career. You made a very good point when saying that many colleges like to say the tough course load than a great GPA with few challenges.

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