By | Ramran
In the 1950s, Advance Placement (AP) classes, also referred to as advanced classes, started as a way for every student to stand out on their college applications. Today, such courses still exist, and they’re still growing strong as more students prepare for a competitive market.
Generally, AP classes are open to all high school students. There are about 30 courses in different subject areas, including psychology, statistics, biology, studio art drawing, and art history, among others. After the class ends, students will need to take the national standardized test to measure how they have mastered the course material.
College students could attest that the benefits of AP classes as rewarding, even though they’re a bit rigorous. If you’re still on the fence about taking these classes before college, here are some of those benefits they allude to:
- Help You Impress College Admissions Officers
More often than not, college admissions officers are searching for students who can handle higher education-level coursework. They view applications in light of what students have done academically during high school. Basically, they check the student’s ability to handle a course load. They also like to see the students’ educational capacity and commitment. If you’ve challenged yourself by taking advanced classes, you’ll surely stand out.
- Get More Flexibility In College
With basic classes out of the way, you might want to add a second minor or major, study abroad, or take more electives and graduate in four years. If you’re the type of student with different interests, your AP class credits make it more flexible for you to explore and expand your undergraduate academic plan. Your credits from AP classes may also free you from taking elective courses, which is another way to help you do advanced work on your majors.
- Learn Self-Study And Time Management Skills
One of the best benefits of taking advanced classes before college is that these can help boost your studying skills. Since AP classes culminate in cumulative tests at the end of your school year, you won’t be able to go from one unit to another as you may in some high school classes. Instead, you have to ensure that you’re retaining information the entire year and have a study plan for your AP test.
While good AP teachers would include review sessions in their curriculum, there’s limited classroom time, and students need to do some studying by themselves. In this manner, you’ll learn how to manage your time effectively while improving your studying skills, which may come in handy once you enter college.
- Save Money On Your Tuition
At many colleges, you get some kind of class credit for AP course scores of 3 or higher. Oftentimes, this credit goes toward introductory college courses related to your AP course subjects.
Another benefit of taking AP classes is that if you do well in the test, you might be able to save some cash. Once you get more college credits for AP classes, you can enjoy more savings during your college as there’s a possibility for you to graduate early.
- Get Scholarships And Grants
Your class rankings, test scores, and grades may result in more scholarship opportunities for students searching for financial aid. Many grants and scholarships have qualifications, which require a specific GPA or SAT score, and others even look for any proof of academic rigor and excellence.
Unfortunately, no matter how good your academic records, it might not be easy to get a grant or a scholarship because of the competition. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s no other way to get one for you. If you want to secure extra financial aid for college, taking AP classes is always a good idea.
- Academic Rigor
Academic rigor is a way for students to prove they’re up to the challenge of a college education by adding extra challenges to their schedules as a high school student. A common way to add rigor is through taking advanced classes before college.
In some ways, rigor is just as essential as your overall GPA. However, it’s important to remember that you keep a balance between these two to impress the college admissions offices.
Students taking AP classes should go above and beyond their efforts to perform and study well. The materials will be more demanding as there will be more reading requirements, and grading is much harder. But AP classes have different scales compared to general classes.
While 4.0 GPA is the standard, AP classes grade on a 1 to 5 scale, with the latter being the highest. Colleges and universities could also consider AP scores while reviewing student applications. So, taking AP classes is never a waste of money, and they would be worth your time and effort as you prepare for college.
- Explore New Interests
Even if several AP classes build off a usual high school schedule, especially science, history, English, and math classes, others are more specialized. Taking such AP classes can let you explore specific fields of study while you’re still in high school.
Some specialized AP classes often include statistics, human geography, art history, psychology, and computer science, to name a few. While you can take such courses in college, the AP course versions provide something that may be helpful once you enter college. These subjects can give you early exposure and may help you discover unique academic interests. Moreover, specialized AP classes may add fun and an interesting twist to your usual routine of studying social studies, math, science, and English.
- Help You Show Your Passion
Taking AP classes can be a good way to show your real academic interests in a particular subject. For instance, if you want to be an engineer, taking AP classes on physics and calculus and passing their exams will prove to the college admissions committees that you have the necessary skills to pursue engineering and that you’re serious about being an aspiring engineer.
With the incredible benefits of taking advanced classes before college, it just makes sense to consider it while still in high school. Enjoy college tuition savings or graduate on time or less than four years, thanks to AP class score credits. Impress college admissions officers, get merit aid, and experience flexibility in college as well.