As students enter high school, they are required to make several choices that will greatly affect their high school careers such as which clubs to join, who to be friends with, and most importantly, which classes to take. An individual’s high school years are significant because this is a time where students begin to build their launch point for the rest of their lives.
A great way to set yourself up for success, in college specifically, is to take AP courses. Many students and parents aren’t fully aware of what AP classes are nor do they realize what exactly they are getting themselves into. So hopefully after reading this, you can feel more comfortable with how AP classes work and possibly encourage your child to take an AP course.
Advanced Placement classes are available at most high schools and offer ambitious students a chance to take college-level courses while still in a high school setting. There are nearly 40 different AP classes to choose from, ranging from AP Music Theory to AP Calculus AB – needless to say, there is something for everyone. Not only do these classes help to prepare students for the rigors of a college course, but students can receive college credit (we will touch more on this later) and in some states, GPA enhancement for enrolling in AP classes.
Most AP classes are a full-year commitment, and you can sign up for them through your Guidance Counselor or the person who is in charge of scheduling at your school. Typically, AP Courses can replace your core classes as long as you have completed the minimum graduation requirements for a given subject. For example, U.S. Government is a common graduation requirement across the country and can be replaced with the AP U.S. Government course. This means that you can satisfy your graduation requirement while simultaneously getting college credit.
No! There is no cost associated with taking an AP class. However, in most U.S. territories and Canada, College Board’s standard AP exam fee is $93. The good news is that depending on which state and county you live in, this cost might be covered and you can take AP classes free of charge. On the other hand, if your region doesn’t cover this cost and you cannot afford to take the exam, College Board has various fee reduction programs that assist students with financial needs so that everyone is given a chance to take the exam (despite socio-economic status).
AP classes differ in many ways from your usual class setting. Firstly, you are surrounded by other students who might be as ambitious or more ambitious than you are which can be an adjustment. This is a good thing because it will prepare you for the college setting. Next, most AP classes are fast-paced and cover difficult topics and ideas depending on the subject. Lastly, the most notable difference is that when you take an AP class, you will work the entire year to prepare for the AP examinations which take place in May of each year. Most teachers use content that has shown up on prior exams to expose their students to things they should expect on test day. Once you get the hang of how AP classes function, it will start to feel like a normal class.
If you are struggling in an AP course, take a second to remember that you are a high schooler taking a college-level subject. Many people struggle in these classes due to the pace and difficulty of the content, so you are not alone. If you are having trouble with an AP course, Miles Smart Tutoring offers an affordable and flexible one-on-one tutoring opportunity that is unique to every student’s needs.
College credit is awarded to students based on mastery of content on the final exams in May. The scoring is pass/ fail based on a numeric score. If a student gets a 1 or 2, they fail, and if they receive a 3, 4, or 5, they pass. Each college accepts different scores on each exam, so be sure to research what score you need for it to transfer to your college of choice.
Truthfully, that is a question you must answer for yourself. The benefits of taking AP classes are numerous. Students gain access to college-level material, get a taste of what will be expected of them in a college setting, will earn college credit, possibly get to skip courses in college, and even raise their GPAs.
Miles Smart Tutoring has helped students gain over $24 million in scholarships and receives consistent 5-star ratings. If you or your child needs top-quality assistance in AP courses, reach out to us directly at (813) 328-3036. To learn more about our services, visit our website: www.milessmarttutoring.com.