What You Need to Know About AP Classes
The short- and long-term benefits of AP classes.
AP (Advanced Placement) is a program offered by the College Board where high school students can take rigorous college-level classes. There are nearly 40 AP courses offered in subjects including the Arts, English, Science, History and Social Science, Math and Computer Science, and World Languages and Cultures.
At the end of the AP course, a student can elect to take an AP exam. AP exams are scored on a scale from 1 – 5, with 5 being "extremely well qualified" to 1 being "no recommendation."
Why take AP classes and exams
There are several reasons why you might want your student to take AP classes and exams:
- Builds skills and understanding related to the level and intensity of coursework your student will encounter in college, so he or she will have the confidence and competence to succeed.
- Shows college admissions that your student is motivated to take on academic challenges and is already successful at meeting the demands of college coursework. Good grades and academic rigor are two important factors admissions counselors look at when evaluating applicants.
- Increases your student's GPA. High schools often give extra weight to AP course grades.
- Opportunity to study more in-depth, and at a higher level, a subject that your student is already interested in, for example, AP Calculus BC. Or the course could expose him or her to a new subject, such as AP Psychology.
- Get college credit. Depending on your student's AP Exam score and the college he or she is attending, your student could get college course credit without paying tuition for those credits. Or, having gotten some college introductory requirements out of the way with qualifying scores from the AP Exams, your student could have more room in his or her schedule to take additional electives, pursue a second major, or have the flexibility to study abroad.
Some words of caution
While some students can do very well taking many AP classes simultaneously, not every student can, or should, take even one AP class. While you certainly want your student to be academically challenged in high school, you do not want him or her to be overwhelmed. If the increased demands of an AP class are going to cause sleepless nights or other coursework to suffer, and leave little to no time left for clubs, volunteering, sports, or friends, it might not be wise to overload your child.
At American Heritage Schools, students are encouraged to take the initiative in their high school and college planning and to act on their emerging or established interests, and our guidance counselors work closely with your student to choose the best classes for him or her from our extensive selection of Advanced Placement classes.
American Heritage Schools is a leader in private education, academic excellence, and innovation. With two 40 acre campuses, one in Broward County and the other in Palm Beach County, Florida, we serve 4,600 students grades Pre-K 3 through 12. American Heritage Schools was recently named the #1 Private School for academic success with the highest number of National Merit Scholars of all private schools in the nation. For over 55 years, our mission of knowledge, integrity, and compassion through developing the full potential of each child to be an active, intelligent, creative, and contributing member of society. Contact an admissions director for more information or sign up for a campus tour.