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How do AP classes compare to college-level courses?

From what I've heard, AP classes are at best like easier first-year courses. Can I compare the workload/difficulty of an AP class to that of my future college courses, or should I expect a lot tougher? Is there any AP class that accurately reflects the rigor of college courses (such as AP Chem or Bio)? It would help knowing what to expect, especially since I will likely be trying to get my degree in less than four years. Thank you in advance! #college-classes #apclasses #college-advice #class-difficulty #classes #college


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Austin’s Answer

Great question. While I was in high school I took a few AP courses and had the same question. Upon entering college I found that my AP courses in high school and my college courses had some similarities, yet also had a few differences. In terms of course load, the classes are relatively similar with my college courses having a bit more coursework, but the main difference in high school AP courses and college courses is the fact that the professor won't be constantly checking in on you unlike high school. Of course professors in college want you to do well and are more than willing to help, but at the end of the day they won't hold your hand and they won't force you to do the work.


College professors as a whole won't hold your hand, this isn't to say that they are mean or impersonal, but college is different than high school; you are older and more mature now, you should be able to complete your coursework without your professor breathing down your neck. AP courses are harder than normal courses for sure, but there is such a different atmosphere between college and high school that it is fairly difficult to compare them. I would say that you are well prepared for college by taking AP courses, but be sure to be ready to take on more personal responsibility and be ready to intrinsically motivate yourself to complete your coursework.


Best,

Austin


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Estelle’s Answer

All four of my children participated in AP classes, and these provided excellent preparation for college courses. Some of them were even more difficult than the same courses at our local community college.

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Yasemin’s Answer

HI Evgeni! I think AP classes are pretty representative of college introduction courses. For example I took AP Biology my senior year in high school and as a sophomore I took Biology I and II (I didn't take the AP exam so I couldn't get the credits) but Biology I, was very similar to AP Biology. Biology II also touched on points but it was more based on animal life than human biology which was what was focused on in AP Biology. Honestly even the chemistry I took as a junior which was not AP was pretty representative of General Chemistry I my first semester of chemistry. Of course I also studied hard in these classes so that could be a plus benefit, it's nicer however to have more extra time in high school with teachers guiding more. In college you have more independence class-wise but also responsibility to do well and see your professors during office hours or go to tutoring falls on your shoulders more too. That being said I would definitely take some AP classes in high school because it is great exposure and if you could get credits for it then it will save time and money in college as well! Be sure to study hard, stay focused and find a couple of friends to motivate each other and the rest is not too bad!

Best of luck!

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