Why take an AP course?

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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 LearnersDownload the PDF and answer the 15 questions with your student.