What are Advanced Placement Courses?

Monday, November 9, 2020

If you already in high school or are starting soon, you may have heard about these infamous “AP Classes” and how many high schoolers take them at some point during their four years. Learn what Advanced Placement Courses are and why you should take them!

You may have heard that AP classes are “super advanced” and that they give you the opportunity to earn college or university credit by passing AP exams. Students who are working to earn their high school diploma can decide whether or not AP courses would be right for them.

What, exactly, are AP Courses?

AP courses are part of College Board’s Advanced Placement program. The program allows high school students to take specially designed high school courses that allow them to earn college credit and/or help them qualify for more advanced college classes when you begin university.

AP Courses are classes that are designed to give high school students the experience of an introductory-level college class. 

Students enrolled in AP courses, who then pass their AP exams, can earn college credit for the AP class.

AP Courses were established in the mid 1950s. The program has expanded rapidly over the decades and today, more than 2.8 million high school students take AP exams annually in 38 subject fields. It has also become more common for students to take multiple AP classes during the course of their high school careers.

Why might you consider taking Advanced Placement Courses and enrolling in the Advanced Placement Exam?

College Board’s AP Students website provides the following 4 reasons.

1. Earn College Credit

AP Scores can help high schoolers earn college credits before they even set foot on a college campus.

2. Earn Advanced Placement

AP scores help students skip introductory courses in colleges and universities that accept AP test credit.

3. Save Money and Time

Earning credit or placement can open up time on your schedule or even allow you to graduate early both from your high school and your future college institution.

4. Stand Out to Colleges

College admissions counselors who see an “AP on your high school transcript will know that you took on the challenge of tackling college-level work while in high school.

College Board also believes that AP courses help students get a head start in high school.
Through AP courses, students can…
  • Get a taste of what college level education is like and boost their confidence by tackling it early on
  • Discover their passions by studying a subject in depth and being introduced to insights that may influence their career path choices
  • Develop college skills such as time management, critical thinking and scholarly writing

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