Colleges are bombarded by hundreds of thousands of applications every year. There is simply not enough space for all the students who apply to gain entry to each college. As a result, colleges have panels and boards of members who painstakingly sift through all of the applications. They are narrowed down to a list of possible candidates where their applications are looked at in even further detail. They are looking for students who will add value to the college and who are serious about their academic future. It’s up to a student to ensure that their entire schooling career is in good rapport to stand out from the rest and gain acceptance to a good college. This is why many students opt to take AP classes. Knowing which AP classes to take is an important decision and we are here to help.
What are they?
Advanced Placement classes and exams are used to gain college credit. Designed and introduced by The College Board in 1955 (yes, the same College Board that designs the SATs), the classes have gained considerable popularity over the years. Classes are now taken by over 2.7 million high school students each year and are a measure of a student’s capacity to understand and cope with work at college level. The exams are scored from 1 to 5 with a 3 or higher being a pass. Taking the AP classes and passing the exams is a great way to strengthen a college application.
In essence, an AP course is like an entry-level college course that will be studied throughout the year. The college credit gained from them is so good that in some cases it enables a student to skip the prerequisites and intro courses for some classes and move straight on to more advanced ones.
How to choose the right AP classes
These are the five core classes:
Each core contains several subcategories with different classes and exams. A college will be expecting a student to have taken and passed an exam from each core category throughout their high school career. If a student already knows what they want to study, they should speak to a student advisor about which AP classes will merge best with their chosen college majors. If a student is not yet sure of which majors they will take, it is best to choose classes from the five core subjects that they are strong in to obtain the best scores possible.
Taking a foreign language AP is very important. Many colleges have language requirements, but some colleges will allow a student to use this credit and they won’t have to take a language when they attend. This frees up more time to study something else.
There isn’t a limit to how many AP classes and exams a student can take, but it’s not advisable to overdo it. There is a limit to how much AP credit a college will allow to take into consideration. Filling up a high school schedule with too many classes can result in disaster. Burnout and not being able to study enough on each subject can result in poor school grades and ultimately failing the AP exams. A student still needs time to relax and have fun.