The Benefits of Taking AP Courses

High school students in an AP class

Flickr user USACE

Advanced Placement courses aren’t for the academically weak. But just because the average student may have to work harder to be successful with an AP course doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try taking one. Advanced Placement is a positive determining factor not only for high school success, but college success as well. Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of taking these rigorous and worthwhile courses and why AP just might help you get into the school of your dreams.

Starting Point for Academic Rigor

Colleges and universities prefer students who have taken AP courses because they provide a starting point for the academic rigor that the average college course demands. These courses help prepare students for advanced concepts in mathematics and science as well as essay-writing and literature analysis skills. AP improves students’ organizational skills and helps them be better prepared for introductory college coursework.

Front of the Acceptance Line

Colleges and universities consistently look for and prefer to accept students who not only make good grades, but who make good grades and have a high GPA because of their AP enrollment. You may pass the course, but passing the course as well as the final AP exam at the end of the year or the semester proves that you’ve got the academic mettle to not only get into the school of your choice, but graduate and succeed as well.

Stronger GPA

AP courses are worth more than the average high school class. Maintaining a high GPA filled with academic rigor is just one of the many factors colleges and universities look at when students apply. A strong, solid GPA that highlights successful AP coursework shows that you’re willing to put in the effort for scholarship and fellowship opportunities. It also proves you’re willing to maintain your college GPA for potential grad school work.

Interesting Courses

For many students, AP coursework gives them the opportunity to take rigorous coursework in something they are actually interested in and want to do as a potential career. Are you a science whiz? Why not take AP Biology or Chemistry? Love to write and read? AP English may be exactly what you need to whet your literary appetite while giving you a mental challenge. AP coursework also helps students interested in STEM fields such as engineering, computer science, and even web development and video game design. Not all AP courses may be available in all schools, but for highly organized students who are self-motivated, a computer-based AP course may be what keeps you motivated, organized, and ready to tackle college like a pro.

Boosts Study Skills

AP is academically rigorous, just like college. Students who completed AP coursework tend to have better study habits than those who tend to wait until the last minute and try to pull all-nighters. This is especially true when mid-term and final exams come up at the end of a college semester. Just as athletes need to work their bodies to stay strong, AP students tend to work out their brains just as much through AP coursework.

Speak with your school counselor or AP instructors if you’re on the fence about taking an AP course. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

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