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Why Students Should Take AP Classes

There are many benefits to taking advanced placement classes, also known as AP classes. AP classes allow students to prepare for college, stand out in the application process, boost one’s grade point average (GPA), save time and money in college, and receive merit-based financial aid.

Graphic of advantages of taking AP classes
Graphic of advantages of taking AP classes

AP classes prepare students for college because they have a comparable workload to first-year college courses. Furthermore, students will be able to develop college-level academic skills.

Having AP classes on one’s transcript shows universities that one has the academic skills needed for the rigor that comes along with college courses. These courses set students apart from the rest and help them gain admission to competitive colleges. Taking AP classes in several different subjects can help to create a more well-rounded application. However, concentrating on one specific area can also help if one knows their future major. 85% of selective colleges and universities say that students who take AP level courses favorably impacts admission decisions.

GPA is also affected by AP classes. These classes are often weighed more than honors and regular courses, just like how honors courses are weighed more than regular classes.

College tuition is costly, and AP classes can help take away some of the stress to pay for college tuition. Other than the exam fee of 95 dollars, there are no costs for taking an AP course. If a student scores a three or higher, out of five, on their exam, they gain college credit. The student could potentially graduate early or have room for a second major/minor because taking these classes allows students to skip introductory classes.

Because taking AP classes sets a student apart from others, they may receive merit-based financial aid. Also, many colleges offer merit-based financial aid and scholarships based on GPA and because AP classes help raise one’s GPA, it may bring them closer to qualifying for these scholarships.

Colleges look for a number of AP classes on transcripts when evaluating applications. The more competitive the school, the more AP classes the college expects when looking at applicants. Different sources recommend different amounts of AP courses that students should take. The average recommendation of two to five and five to seven for highly selective colleges.


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