Why should you take AP classes in high school?

After all, you're probably already doing extra-curricular activities and studying for the SATs. Why add more?

Well, AP classes for most people aren't mandatory, but they're one of the best ways to help prepare for college and have other benefits to taking them!

A young woman sitting and studying in the library.

What are AP classes?

Stack of books with graduation cap on top

AP classes stand for Advanced Placement classes that are offered by College Board. Students can choose from 38 different AP classes ranging from math, physics, and even different languages.

These courses go more in-depth into subjects at a faster pace than typical high school classes, which makes them more challenging. They're supposed to mimic the rigor of college courses, helping prepare students for their future.

Benefits of AP Classes

Man saying the Highschoolers take AP classes for many reasons. Consider the benefits below when deciding on taking AP classes:

  1. Earn college credit.

    At the end of the year, students who take AP exams can actually get college credit if they get a certain score! This means you won't have to take that class in college, saving you time and money.

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  1. Save money.

    Speaking of money, college credit equals a lot of it. AP exams usually cost $95 per exam, which is a lot less than college tuition but still a lot of money. If qualified, you can even get an exam waiver, which can reduce the price or even make them free!

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  1. Learn more about a subject that interests you.

    AP classes approach the subject in depth, which can give you new insights and even inspire a future career decision.

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  1. Boost your college application.

    AP classes can give a boost to your GPA, which some colleges will consider for admissions, but especially really competitive ones.

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What AP classes should I take?

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Choosing a subject that you are interested in, or have been successful in previously, will help with the workload of AP courses.

Also, consider what AP classes your college of interest is looking for, or even what major you are considering for college. The College Board website has a list of all the different courses and exams that are available.


Jasmine is a senior in high school. She is hoping to major in engineering at a very competitive school. She had done well in her math courses previously. What AP courses should she take?

Exams and Scoring

In order to get college credit from an AP class, you have to take the AP exam in May. College Board scores the exams on a scale from 1-5, 5 being the highest.

Depending on the exam or college, a score of 3 might be enough for college credit but most require at least a 4.

A hand dropping a pencil after finishing exam.

Take Action

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So what should you do next now that you know more about AP courses?


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