Going through your first days of high school, you might have heard about many unknown terms, and they make you wonder. What are Advanced Placement classes? How do they impact your high school and college experience? Are they really worth taking? And, what are the things that you should do when picking the right Advanced Placement class for you? There are so many questions dancing around your head, but maybe you are afraid or too shy around strangers and other people to ask them about AP classes!
Being a freshman at your new high school can be quite confusing, especially if the new place and new curriculum are still being processed inside your brain! Knowing about AP courses later rather than now may be more detrimental to you rather than beneficial. There is a lot of time and opportunity that you might miss out on! Well, you are in luck. We prepared and readied this article just for you and your future with education. Here is a guide that contains the answers to your questions about AP classes and all you need to know about them!
What is an Advanced Placement Course?
While you are still in high school, there are more than 30 sets of college-level courses which you can take for AP classes. These are commonly administered by teachers who underwent and finished AP teacher training and professional development programs. The College Board is also responsible for determining the curriculum for the AP classes.
Advanced Placement class is also a way for students to get to experience and learn about college and the skills they would need in the future. Not only that, but they also help AP students acquire extra credit for college! However, taking AP classes also has its catches. Read more to know about the things that you need to know about AP classes!
Taking AP classes? Here are the Pros and Cons
If you are considering adding AP classes to your priorities and to your schedule, weighing the odds of your decision is also a wise thing to do first! There are many advantages that you can acquire if you will take AP classes. On the other hand, there is equivalent stress that might take a toll on you!
Pros if you’re taking AP classes
Of course, taking AP classes has its merits! Accomplishments and advantages encourage students to delve more into the world of Advanced Placement classes. Below is a list of pros that you might find beneficial and push you to take on those AP classes!
You may receive college credit
Pursuing your AP classes might be your chance to get college credit. Many colleges offer corresponding credits depending on your AP exam score.
You may be exercised for college life
AP classes are like preparations for your college lessons and classes. This can become an opportunity for you to grow more than the norm.
You may get boosted GPA
Some schools have systems that enable AP students to achieve higher grades than those who only take regular classes. Although, the curriculum may vary from school to school.
You may have a higher chance of being offered scholarships and grants
Finishing your AP exam, and even nailing a high mark? You’ve got it going for you! Most schools offer scholarships and grants to high-scoring AP class graduates.
You may add more depth to your college applications
Applying to your prospective college? You might want to have that extra touch of edge and depth to your college application. Listing that you took AP classes adds more potential to get into your desired college!
You may start to develop more abilities and skills
Getting crammed with AP class material might help you learn abilities at an earlier age than expected. They claim that exposing oneself to new obstacles is the greatest way to grow!
Cons if you’re taking AP classes
The pros and merits of applying to AP classes all sound beautiful and appealing. Meanwhile, there are also disadvantages that you should expect! Not only are AP classes an additional blank tick box waiting to be finished on your to do list, they can also add pressure to your young high school body and mind! This is a word from us to you, below are the following things you should watch out if you’re planning to apply to AP classes:
You may need more time to face school and other learning materials
AP classes add more activity to your calendar, which means more time spent studying. This might be one of the reasons you’ll have less time for leisure and other activities
You may find AP classes challenging
Stress, weariness, and pressure are exacerbated if you want to apply for AP classes.
You may encounter schools with different outlooks to your achievements
Indeed, finishing your AP course is a marvelous achievement and can earn you grants and other more advantages. However, there are also schools with different curriculums that may pay less attention than you expect them to give.
You may take damages to your GPA due to AP classes
Accomplishing and finishing AP classes gives you many advantages, but what would you go through if the opposite were to happen? Failing to cope up with your classes is also a massive blow to your GPA!
You may take the AP exams but at a cost
Of course, taking your AP tests will cost you anywhere from a few dollars to over a hundred dollars!
How Are AP Exams Scored?
AP exams that contain different questions and directions have various ways of scoring. These are then transformed, with the use of a systematic equation, to appear as what you see in the form of the five-point scale result. This is to have consistency with each student! If you’re wondering how well you will did with the AP exam, see these numbers and don’t really know how to identify your result, here are the corresponding description based on your scores:
5 = extremely well qualified
4 = well qualified
3 = qualified
2 = possibly qualified
1 = no recommendation
Because your AP examinations will differ based on the topic, certain portions, such as multiple-choice, will require the use of computers to assess. On the other hand, some elements, such as essays and problem-solving sections, will need instructor evaluation for more precise verification.
After you have checked everything on your exam, the results from the various portions of the exam are aggregated and weighted. These are then converted into five-point scale scores!
How to Pick the Right AP Classes for You
Being an AP student isn’t everything. You must also choose the proper AP class where you can fit in while also helping yourself grow to your full potential! When deciding AP class to take, there are numerous factors to consider. Here’s a list of things to look out for if you want to level up faster and with more spirit!
Research more about the colleges you want to attend
Your prospective colleges may have policies regarding AP students which you can take advantage of and maximize the credits you can obtain!
Investigate classes where you possess skills and passion
Your selection is also influenced by your passion and talents. Choosing a course in which you do not have the same attachment as you have to your passion may have a different influence on you. Encouragement is also offered, especially if what you’re doing is enjoyable. Furthermore, you will improve your skills.
To know if you’re in the right place, make sure you:
- Have no extreme difficulty finishing the lessons and activities.
- Are not exhausted and fatigued until you’re near your breaking point.
- Have knowledge and a connection to the subject.
Easiest and Hardest AP Classes
It’s not uncommon to be inquisitive about the chances of passing a certain course and which ones are the most difficult or simplest. You no longer have anything to be concerned about! The College Board offers the following AP examinations, along with the proportion of students that earned 3 or better on the exam:
|AP Subject (exam)||Students who scored a 3 and above|
|Studio Art: Drawing||91.1%|
|Chinese Language and Culture||89.9%|
|Spanish Language and Culture||88.7%|
|Studio Art: 2-D Design||86.4%|
|Spanish Language and Culture (Standard)||82.4%|
|Physics C: Mechanics||81.8%|
|Japanese Language and Culture||79.3%|
|French Language and Culture||77.1%|
|French Language and Culture (Standard)||73.9%|
|Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism||73.0%|
|German Language and Culture||72.3%|
|Computer Science Principles||71.9%|
|Studio Art: 3-D Design||70.0%|
|Computer Science A||69.6%|
|Chinese Language and Culture (Standard)||66.8%|
|Italian Language and Culture||66.1%|
|Government and Politics – Comparative||66.0%|
|German Language and Culture (Standard)||65.1%|
|Japanese Language and Culture (Standard)||62.4%|
|Italian Language and Culture (Standard)||62.0%|
|Government and Politics – United States||55.1%|
|English Language and Composition||54.3%|
|United States History||53.7%|
|English Literature and Composition||49.7%|
Top 10 easiest AP classes based on the percentage of students who scored a 5:
|AP Exam||Students Who Scored a 5|
|Chinese Language and Culture||60.1%|
|Japanese Language and Culture||45.3%|
|Physics C: Mechanics||37.7%|
|Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism||37.6%|
|Computer Science A||26.7%|
|Spanish Language and Culture||25.2%|
|Government and Politics – Comparative||22.4%|
Top 10 hardest AP classes based on the percentage of students who scored a 5:
|AP Exam||Students Who Scored a 5|
|Italian Language and Culture||5.8%|
|English Language and Composition||6.2%|
|German Language and Culture (Standard)||8.7%|
|English Language and Composition||9.9%|
How Many AP Classes Should You Take?
The amount of AP courses you should and might take varies per student. Of course, more equals more credit scores, but bear in mind that more also means more chores to do! Before deciding on the amount of AP classes you should take, consider the following questions:
- Can I still fit more AP classes into my schedule?
Face the real question, are you able to take more classes? Remember that AP classes require you to dedicate more time to studies. You also have regular classes to attend to!
- How many AP classes do your prospective colleges require?
Getting the requisite number of AP classes for your college is also a consideration in determining how many AP classes you should take. If you want to be able to apply to your desired school, you should start planning how many classes you should take right now using our advice!
- Can I handle an additional class?
You surely are busy with your regular class. What more if you considered applying for an AP class? Ask yourself if you can handle yet another extra work and how do you expect the outcome would be. Your GPA is also on the line!
- In what grade will you take a certain number of AP classes?
Your years in high school are not always equally challenging and busy. You may come across a period of vacancy and urgency! There are also courses which you can only take on a certain year level. Here is the best solution we devised for young ones such as yourself!
- Which classes are most important for you, for your future?
You also have to consider the relevance of the classes you are going to take. Which ones should you get and which ones are not needed?
How Do AP Classes Impact Your College Chances?
AP classes impact your college chances more than you are thinking! If you’re planning to apply to an elite or prestigious college, listing down your achievements with Advanced Placement classes may give your application the extra sprinkle of spice and attractiveness. Although there are different ways to evaluate the application of each student, there are also many ways your AP classes can help you by the time you go to college.
Another way your AP classes might help you succeed in college is by providing you with new skills, expertise, and information. This will not only allow you to explore deeper into your passions and skillsets, but it will also expose you to an unfamiliar path and various obstacles, refining you to become more fit and capable for college.
What If Your School Doesn’t Offer APs
If your high school does not offer Advanced Placement classes, you are not at fault or held accountable, so it’s nothing against you. The same also goes if your high school merely offers a few AP classes! You will still receive the average weighted grade that you have accomplished all in all. After all, not a school has the same system, and yours might be different from the rest!
On the other hand, if you want to pursue applications to AP classes because of skills and expertise, you can consider these options:
1. Consider applying to honor classes
2. Try in-person college courses instead
3. Online college courses might do the job
4. AP self-study is also a choice for you
5. Outside mentors can be an alternative
Applying for Advanced Placement classes allows you to hone your abilities and earn credits to help you prepare for college, but the option is still yours! There are still many questions to be answered, such as: What do you wish to get? Why do you need it? How will you get it? But the answers are all inside yourself, your work, and your commitment to growing as a person.
While AP programs are efficient and successful, keep in mind that they come at a cost, and you should reconsider the subjects you want to take before applying to them. When everything is finished, give yourself a round of applause for your accomplishment! But, before then, you still have a long way to go to reach your goals. Having stated that, we are solely here for you. By providing this advice, we demonstrate how much we care about you! If you have friends who are struggling with AP classes, share this post with them for help!