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How do AP tests help you with your college degree?

I know that by takin AP exams you can get college credit. Will this help you complete your degree sooner? How many AP exams do you recommend students to take? #college #ap #advance-placement

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Eliza’s Answer

Hi Maeve, thanks for asking this question. As far as AP exams go - yes, they will give you college credit. Many colleges and universities will "waive" some academic requirements for you if you receive a certain score on your AP tests. For example, if you take the AP Biology exam in high school and score a 4 or a 5, a college will "count" that as the equivalent of a science class. The benefit of this is that it can a) help you meet your college requirements sooner and b) free you up to take another course in college that might be more interesting or relevant to you and your career goals.


There's no real recommended number of AP tests that you should take - but in theory, the more you take and the more you score well on, the more credits you will bring with you to college. In general, it can't hurt to take whatever your high school offers; but remember, in order to get the college credit, you need to do well on the exams.


I hope this helps!

Thank you comment icon Thank you very much for your help Maeve
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the information. I know for my college it counts towards distribution credit. Andrea
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Britney’s Answer

One more thing to keep in mind is that you only want to take as many AP classes as you think you can while maintaining a good GPA. Take as many as you think you can handle because the credits can help you fulfill basic requirements or even graduate early if you enter college with enough credits.


I would also recommend looking at the website of the schools you are considering to better understand the credits they will accept. Some schools only accept certain exams or certain scores for credit.

Thank you comment icon Thank you for the helpful information. It is definitely best to push yourself but to understand your limits as well. Andrea
Thank you comment icon Thank you for this advice Maeve
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Chris’s Answer

Hi Maeve,


Going off of what Eliza and Britney have already said, taking AP tests and passing them helps a lot in college in terms of graduating early and being able to sign up for classes at an earlier date than some of your college classmates. Some colleges determine who gets to sign up first by how many credits that student has, and the more you have the earlier you can sign up. I would recommend taking AP classes on topics that actually interest you and topics that you know you can succeed in. Beyond that, AP classes boost your high school GPA and look good to colleges that you apply to.


I hope this helped and good luck on your future endeavors.


Regards,
Chris

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Marcy’s Answer

I agree with the other responders - AP credits can absolutely allow you to finish college sooner. However, each college has their own rules about how many credits they will accept, since typically they want you to take the majority of their courses at their school, not via AP credit. There are students who have taken so many AP courses in high school that they could theoretically graduate from college in 2 years! But most colleges won't accept that many AP credits and will limit the total number you can accept. And obviously you need to have scored well (at least a 4, and sometimes only a 5) to get college credit. Some highly selective colleges are going away from accepting AP credit at all (i.e. Brown) so check your list!

AP credits can help you get into upper-level courses, even if they can't help you graduate early. Definitely worth that!
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Malorie’s Answer

Maeve,


Great question! AP tests can count towards college credits which can in turn help you complete your degree quicker! I would not say there is a certain amount of AP tests you should take, rather it should depend on where your skills and interests lie. If you are wanting to get a degree in engineering, then AP Physics may be a good class to take. If you want to be a professor, take AP Literature! I would recommend to try an AP class if its a topic that you think you are interested in. It will help you know if you want to continue taking more classes like that in college!

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Estelle’s Answer

Absolutely AP classes help with your degree. One of my son's started college with over 40 hours because of his AP classes. He would have easily been able to graduate in 3 years if that was his aim.
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Diana’s Answer

Hello!

To expand/add on the other answers here: AP credits can have a plethora of positive effects on your college experience:

1. As most others stated, AP exams can offer college credits, often for certain scores. While this varies by college and program, a score of 4 or 5 (and sometimes lower) can help you get credit for an intro level class or give you general elective credits. Students with a lot of AP credits can sometimes graduate early or simply just place into higher classes faster. Again, this is very dependent on the college so I recommend looking at their AP credit policy for more information.

2. AP exams can help prepare you for college. In high school, AP students get used to a more in-depth curriculum, a faster pace of classes, heavier coursework, etc. Learning how to manage and succeed in these classes can get you ready for college ones.

3. AP exams can also help you get into college. Scoring well on AP exams, having a GPA boost (sometimes AP classes are weighted higher), and performing well in AP classes can show to colleges that you are ready for their coursework. With that, showing a specialization (ex. taking math, comp sci, and science AP courses when applying for a STEM program) can ensure your interests stand out on an application.

Now, as for recommendations on how many AP courses to take, this can be a very subjective/personal experience. Different AP courses at different schools can be harder. Different students can handle a different course-load. Because of this variability, I recommend talking with teachers/counselors/other students at your school. Evaluate your performance in other classes to see if you are ready for AP. Align your future college/career goals with the AP classes you want to take.

Good luck! I hope this information helps.
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