Advantages of Advanced Placement Classes

When you’re planning your last year or two of high school, it can be very easy to take the classes that are required and little else of academic value. Why, when you’re about to graduate, would you take a very difficult class? Why not just take an extra study hall and a bowling class?

While this temptation can be strong, it will be of great benefit to resist it and think about your academic future. One of the best ways to do this is through AP classes.


Advanced Placement (AP) classes are college-level courses that can be taken through your high school with other students from your school. It differs in this way from programs like Post-Secondary Enrollment Option, in which high school students travel to local colleges to take classes with college students.

This is one of the advantages of Advanced Placement classes: because the class is taught by a high school teacher for high school students, it will be better-adapted to the way in which high school students learn, which can be very different from how college students learn. You’ll be learning the same college-level information, but it will be presented by a teacher that specializes in teaching at the high school level.

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College-Level Classes

One of the most important benefits of taking an AP class is familiarizing yourself with the level of that college classes require. It’s highly likely that this class will be much harder than the rest of the classes that you have taken.

  • You’ll be presented with a great deal of information at a faster pace than you’re used to.
  • You’ll be asked to re-present this content on tests and through papers fairly often, and they will be graded more harshly than you’re used to.
  • You’ll probably find yourself taking significantly more notes than you have in the past.

All of these things serve to prepare you to succeed in the college academic environment. It will be difficult, but it will give you a head start on learning to function in college classes.

Free College Credits

The most important advantage of Advanced Placement classes is that they can provide you with free college credits. Because the average price of a single credit in the United States is so high, earning free credits can be of significant financial benefit.

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One class could be worth three or four credits, which will save you both time and money once you get to college. Getting these credits, however, is not easy.

To receive college credit, you’ll have to pass the AP exam for the class that you took. This is a very large, college-level test that will cover all of the material covered in the class. If you manage to score well on the test, you’ll receive college credit that you can transfer to any university that you enroll in. It’s a very difficult test, but if you take and pass it, you’ll be at an academic and financial advantage before you even get to college.

For more information on Advanced Placement classes, visit the AP Web site.