3 Reasons to Take AP Courses in High School

Once upon a time, high school junior Michelle, in preparation to apply to competitive colleges, enrolled in AP Biology. In her AP Bio course, Michelle studied concepts involving evolution, cellular processes, genetics and how biological systems interact – all at a college level. She also developed better reasoning skills in order to analyze data and think more like a scientist. The following Spring, Michelle took the 3-hour AP Bio Exam and scored a 5, the highest score possible. She mastered the content, received college credit and was able to skip Introductory Bio once she was admitted into her top-choice college.

During her sophomore year in college, Michelle was still reaping the benefits of AP Bio in her Physiology class. The first part of the semester was all material Michelle had learned in AP Bio so she aced the midterm, quit studying, and started tailgating and enjoying the social scene.

The point of this story is to emphasize how AP Courses can not only help you get into college but also succeed once you’re there! If you’re still deciding whether or not you should take AP Courses, here are a few factors to consider:

You have to.

Obviously, take AP Courses – this really isn’t a “decision” anymore. Do it because you have to, seriously. To stay competitive in the college admissions process you need to have AP Courses under your belt. Have you heard of “grade inflation?” Well, don’t get left out! Unlike regular high school classes that are weighed on a 4.0 GPA scale, AP Courses are graded on a 5.0 scale. Therefore, if you get an A in a regular high school English class, this counts as a 4 towards your GPA whereas receiving an A in an AP English course counts as a 5, thus improving your GPA and class ranking. Taking AP courses shows admissions officers that you are serious about school.

They count in college.

AP Courses count as college credits! Most of the colleges you plan on applying to will accept AP Courses as college credits. This allows you to bypass introductory college courses and jump right into the meatier courses where you can make friends with older, more experienced classmates. Additionally, not having to take introductory courses frees up time to explore other classes outside of your major that interest you. For example, Communication classes tend to be full of hot coeds, so, take a break from engineering and learn to communicate.

It shows potential.

Lastly, take a lot of AP Courses and challenge yourself. If your high school offers 15 different AP Courses and you only take one or two or you only take AP Courses in subjects that come natural to you, then you aren’t showing admissions officers that you are someone who can make the most out of the college academic experience. Admissions officers like well-rounded students. Show colleges that you will be a superstar on campus by not only taking AP Calculus and AP Chemistry but also AP English Language and Composition and AP Art History.

Life in college can be overwhelming and there will be tons to learn. Enroll in AP courses now and prepare for the academic rigors of college.

Learn more about AP Courses and the AP Exams at College Board.

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