Why Take AP Classes?
Take AP Classes to Boost Your College Applications:
Taking an AP class is a great way to challenge yourself academically and show colleges that you are serious about your education. An AP class on your transcript signals stronger academic training, especially with high passing scores of 4 and 5 on the test.
Since AP courses are challenging and require you to study for a comprehensive exam, they teach you skills that will help you in college classes. According to College Board, students who take AP exams get higher grades in college than those with similar grades who don’t take AP exams.
You basically get a head start in college:
Many colleges say they look to see if you took the hardest courses available to you at your school. Taking AP classes is often the best way to show that you are challenging yourself academically at your high school.
For example, on very selective college says on their admissions website, "We only expect you to take advantage of [AP] courses if your high school provides them.” In other words, if your school has AP courses and you don’t take them, it might look like you aren't challenging yourself.
To take a west coast example, USC is more straightforward: “Students should pursue Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes whenever possible and if offered by high school.”
Getting a high passing score of 4 or 5 further demonstrates your academic potential to colleges.
Take AP Classes to Show Your Passion:
Taking AP exams is also a way to demonstrate real academic interest in a certain subject. For example, if you’re an aspiring engineer, taking AP Calculus and AP Physics and doing well on the the exam proves to a college admissions committee that you are serious about engineering and have the skills to pursue it.
If you are interested in political science or Pre-Law tracks, taking AP US History, AP Euro, AP Statistics, or AP Economics would show strong preparation for those subjects. Or if you’re hoping to go into medicine, taking AP Chemistry, AP Biology, and AP Calculus would show you have the skills to handle tough pre-med classes as a college student.
Take AP Classes to Get College Credit:
Some universities give credit for AP classes. For schools that accept the exams as class credit, it makes it possible to graduate college in a shorter amount of time, saving you money.
However, some schools use scores to help place you in higher-level classes, but they won’t let them fulfill graduation requirements so you can graduate early. Or they can be limiting about which exams they accept.
As an example, Stanford University accepts AP credit from many science, language, and math AP courses, but not for history or English courses.
Washington University in St. Louis will grant some credit, but won’t allow you to use the credits towards graduation requirements: “A maximum of 15 units of prematriculation credit may be counted toward any undergraduate degree. These units will count toward graduation, but will not meet general education requirements.”
Still, getting the boost into more advanced classes can help you work through a major more quickly or take more advanced, interesting courses as a freshman. Even if you don't earn credit, AP classes can still get you ahead.
The most important thing to remember is that you should only take the AP courses that are recommended to you by your teachers and/or ones that you are likely to do well (B+ or higher).
How and when do you register for the AP Exams?
At ASIJ, AP exam registration takes place after the first semester. It's important to know that students in AP classes MUST take the corresponding exam. The only exception to this is the AP English Literature exam.
For more information about the AP Courses, click HERE.
For 2018 AP Test information, click HERE.