Having the opportunity to take advanced placement classes in high school is academic achievement. But is it worth the effort to take an AP exam? One of the biggest perks of passing an AP exam is that it allows students to earn college credit while still in high school. That’s a definite plus for many high-achieving students with big plans for the future.
But there are other advantages too. Here’s a look at the many positive benefits of taking and passing an AP exam.
Earn College Credit
Passing an AP exam allows you to earn college credit before you step foot into college. The rules may differ depending on the college, but passing the test puts you at an advantage as you head into college. Your college of choice may give you course credit for your accomplishment. This can help you skip some basic college classes and graduate faster.
Some colleges will look at your accomplishment and put you in harder or honors classes as a freshman. Either way, earning those AP credits is to your advantage and is a helpful boost as you head into your college years.
Strengthen Your College Applications
AP classes impress college admissions officers. Taking these classes and exams shows you’re a hard-working student capable of handling rigorous classes. It sends a message that you’re serious about your education and willing to take hard classes and challenge yourself. For the majority of colleges, AP experience matters and favorably affect admissions.
Doing well in these classes and passing AP tests demonstrates you are ready for college-level work. Admissions officers view this as a sign you’re likely to succeed in your future academic endeavors.
Save Tuition Money
College is expensive. So, any way you can cut those costs is a plus. Students who take AP classes in high school are likely to complete their college degrees on time or even early. It’s an opportunity to get credit for some introductory college classes or avoid a fifth year of college. This can save thousands in intuition. For many students, the ability to graduate early or avoid some basic college classes is a big plus. Any college course you don’t have to take saves you or your parents time and money.
You may think that most students finish college in four years, but that’s not always true. Sometimes life and its responsibilities get in the way, and it takes an extra year or more to graduate. Receiving college credit for passing AP exams can take one or more classes off your list of required courses. This helps you move through your courses faster and graduate sooner. This offers huge cost savings for students. And it allows you to move on to work or graduate school sooner than you would have without the benefit of AP credit.
Develop College-Level Skills
AP classes are more rigorous than standard classes. Some classes are as challenging as college-level courses. Difficult coursework gives you a taste of what’s to come and prepares you for the hard work ahead. You’ll develop college-level academic skills and strong study habits. And this will help you adapt to college life with confidence. Many students start college without a realization of the amount of work it takes to succeed. This is a common problem and one of the main reasons students drop out in their first year of college. Taking AP classes and exams helps you become accustomed to rigorous standards and the effort it takes to succeed in college.
Increase Merit-Based Opportunities
AP classes may increase your opportunities for various scholarships and merit-based financial aid. Many colleges consider students’ AP classes as a factor for scholarships. The hard work it takes to complete these classes and pass the exams shows you can achieve academic excellence. Many colleges lean towards awarding scholarships to students with a strong potential for success.
Experience a High Level of Rigor
The rigor of AP classes is designed to be similar to college-level courses. These classes offer more than just the benefit of college credit. They offer students exposure to new ideas and higher-level thinking. Students have the opportunity to dive deep into topics they’re interested in. They have the opportunity to learn things they wouldn’t experience in a standard high school class.
This can help students discover new interests and passions.
Another huge plus of AP classes is being around other students who are serious about their academics and future success. Interacting with students who have a high level of self-discipline and similar goals can motivate many students.
Improve Time-Management Skills
Many new college students struggle with time management in the first year of college. The sudden freedom of college life, along with more responsibilities, is more than many students can handle. Students who participate in an AP program in high school are familiar with hard work and challenging subjects. They understand it takes lots of hard work to succeed. They know that simply cramming for a test isn’t enough. To succeed on an AP test, students have to work hard in the classroom an on their own. Even better, taking the time for an AP exam review can give you an advantage on exam day.
Boost Your GPA
Even if college isn’t on your radar right now, you can still benefit from taking AP classes and preparing for AP tests. Most schools understand the extra rigor these classes entail. That’s why they offer a weighted GPA for students who take these higher-level courses. This can help your overall GPA. In most schools, a B in an AP class is equal to an A. This allows you to take harder courses than many of your peers without sacrificing your GPA in the process.
Still, AP classes aren’t right for some students. Be sure to talk with your school counselor to see if you’re a candidate.
Enjoy Flexibility in College
Skipping one or more college classes offers you more flexibility in scheduling your courses. This can help you add a second major or minor to your schedule. You may have time in your schedule to add an elective or two or take a class that revolves around a particular area of interest. One important part of college is figuring out your interests and discovering what you want to pursue for your future. Taking AP exams helps you have a little more wiggle room in your schedule to explore those interests.
Think About the Big Picture
One of the main goals of high school education is to prepare you for college. Studying for an AP test may not be the most exciting thing on your to-do list. But taking the time to prepare for the test increases your chances for success. Without a passing score, you won’t receive any college credit. Be sure to consider the benefits of taking these higher-level classes while you’re in high school. As a college student, you’ll be happy that your efforts paid off and you earned credit for one or more introductory courses. This will save you time and money. It looks great on any college application and is an accomplishment you can be proud of.
Make Sure It’s Right for You
Although there are many benefits of taking AP classes and exams, it’s not for all students. If you struggle in standard academic classes, AP classes aren’t a good option right now. It’s a better idea to strengthen your current skills before taking on harder courses and more work. If you’re interested in AP courses, it’s a good idea to start with one class. If you handle the workload well, you can add more, depending on what classes your high school offers.
While AP courses are the right choice for many high-achieving students, they aren’t the best choice for all students.
Extra Prep for the AP Exam
Whatever AP class you’re taking, it’s a good idea to study on your own and get a little extra help. You want to choose a prep program or course that has experts in the subject leading the way. They can offer insight into the test, AP exam scores, and the best strategies for achieving a great score. Without a passing score, you don’t get the perks of college credits. So, it’s well worth the effort to do some extra preparation.
Ace Your AP Exams
Anyone who’s taking an AP class now or planning to take one soon can benefit from a quality prep program. There’s nothing better than one-on-one tutoring to prepare you for testing day. We offer highly individualized tutoring to help you achieve your academic goals. We understand how AP exams are scored and how to help you prepare for and pass your exam. Taking an AP class is a great experience. Passing the test is the ultimate goal.
We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more.