Usually around a student’s junior and senior years in high school, if their grades have been above average, they will receive the opportunity to take advanced placement (AP) courses. Hopefully, at this time, school officials will instruct the student why it would be in their best interest to do so at this time.
However, during my senior year in high school, I was offered AP courses and no one clued me into how they exactly worked at that time. Neither the guidance counselor or any of the teachers came to me to explain how taking an AP course was something I should heavily consider. All I knew as a high school senior was that AP courses are usually academically tougher than the normal high school class, so why should I be in such a hurry to run out and sign up for one? Looking back, I cost myself time and money by not taking as many AP courses as I could. Don’t make the same mistake I did.
The Brief History of High School AP Courses
It all began in 1952 as a pilot program for selected high schools where there were advanced courses offered in 11 different subject areas in an effort to prepare high school students for college. After just a few years, the College Board took over the program and renamed in the College Board Advanced Placement Program. With the evolution of the program, it was offered through many more high schools and to many more students.
What Are the Benefits to Taking AP Courses?
There are other benefits to being offered an AP course in high school other than just being recognized for your solid grades. For instance, there is a good chance that the AP course you are taking will earn you college credit. Plus, you may not have to pay one dime to earn this college credit.
As an example, at a high school I taught at for a time, AP courses were entirely free to take to the qualified students. Some of the courses would reward the students with college credit for the class as long as they earned a passing grade. Other times, an exam was needed afterward so the student could demonstrate the knowledge they learned before college credit was handed to them. Sometimes there was a fee for the exam, other times there was not. This is something that the student will need to look at as each participating high school and college seems to be different.
When it comes down to it, wouldn’t it be nice to take enough AP courses that you get many of the “basics” out of the way before you begin college? You may just earn enough credits through AP courses that you will be able to graduate college in three and a half years instead of four. This will save you approximately half a year and thousands of dollars in the process.
Very Little Risk
There are those high school students that have a 4.0-grade point average going currently in high school and do not want to risk lowering it with a more difficult AP course. This is understandable, but an unfounded worry. To put it simply, AP classes are weighted differently. Instead of being on a four-point scale, they are scored on a five-point scale. This means that an A in the class would give you a five on a four-point scale. Just like a B in the class would give you four points. In essence, there is very little risk of hurting your grade point average when deciding to take an AP course.
Let Us Assist You!
Here at iAchieve, we can help you out significantly with college planning, including reviewing your academics and AP courses up to this point. Let our knowledge assist you in making the correct choices both in high school and in college
Related Blog Articles