Why take an AP course?
There are many factors to consider when deciding on advanced classes, but you should start with the recommendation of teachers. They may not be able to give you a definitive answer, but they can help you weigh your options.
- AP classes are challenging and help prepare students for more academically rigorous college classes.
- AP classes sharpen students’ writing skills, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities, which helps them in all classes.
- Strong performance in an AP class signals to admissions counselors that a student is ready for college.
- Students can potentially earn college credit, get a jump start on first-year requirements, graduate early, or have room in their schedule to add a second major or minor. (AP policies vary widely from school to school.)
- AP classes can improve a student’s GPA. AP classes are scored on a 4.5 scale rather than the standard 4.0 scale, which can enhance a students’ cumulative GPA. Students who take the AP exam in May will receive an additional .5 bonus, meaning they'll be graded on a 5.0 scale. This is called a weighted GPA.
Another important tool that can help with this decision is Characteristics of Effective Learners. Download the PDF and answer the 15 questions with your student.