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Does taking AP classes in highschool really pay off in college?

I'm trying to decide if I want to take more AP classes in my next few years of highschool and I'm not sure if it is really worth all the extra work just for a bumped GPA. #highschool #ap

Thank you comment icon Hi Tara! This is a good question. Don't forget that a GPA bump is just one of the benefits of taking AP's! AP classes also help you gain credits for college (and that saves you money in the future!), acquire study habits and time management skills, show colleges you "challenged" yourself in high school, and prepare you for the overall rigor of college. Plus, AP classes help you learn what fields/majors/jobs you're interested in exploring further in college. So I definitely believe AP's are worth it! Mireia
Thank you comment icon Trust me, I can relate 100% to feeling discouraged and demotivated when it comes to AP's. In your first years of high school it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But believe me when I say that your future self will be extremely grateful that you took AP's and got a head start for college. Remember that you don't have to take hundreds of AP's. Start taking them in subjects that spark your interest or take them in classes you're interested in getting out of the way now. You can do it, I believe in you! Mireia

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi, Tara!

I would say that it depends on your motivation for completing the courses and what you have to accomplish upon their successful completion. If you're going solely for a bump in GPA ... meh.

AP courses can provide a challenge in subjects that you're interested in, that you need a strong foundation in, or that are in subjects you want to explore in a more rigorous way. In addition to learning, AP courses offer a potential gateway to earning college credit. The AP exams are offered each year in the first two weeks of May and, depending on the score earned, can correlate to freshman/sophomore level courses. Grades and chosen curriculum are the top two things that colleges and universities consider in the application process; selecting a rigorous course load and being successful in its completion can also enhance your college admissions applications.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity to grow and/or would like to earn college credit and/or applying for competitive universities, taking AP courses is well worth the extra effort. Lacking motivation or a strong desire to bolster your educational goals, I wouldn't recommend taking the courses as you run the risk of doing more harm than good.

I wish you the best in your educational endeavors!
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Simeon’s Answer

Start with the colleges you want to apply to and work backwards from there. You don't want to accidentally do all the work of studying for and doing well on an AP exam only to end up not actually needing it for college credit. Every credit you can substitute is worth the time invested, though. I was able to graduate a semester early with the AP credit I had saved up. It's more about the college credit than about the GPA.
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Jamie’s Answer

This is a great question! I took several AP courses while I was in high school. While I did receive college credit and the GPA bump, what I found most helpful was the rigor. Because the classes were very challenging, I found the transition to college to be fairly easy. In AP classes, your grade is typically based off of very few exams/assignments, participation and the AP test. This was a very similar grading structure I experienced in college. The reading was also very challenging and lengthy. Again,this was very similar to my college courses.

If you are hesitant to sign up for several AP Classes, maybe choose your favorite subjects or ones that are important for the career you want to pursue in the future.

TLDR - AP classes are worth the time so that you can be prepared for college level courses!

Jamie recommends the following next steps:

Look into what AP courses your school offers
Research what classes are taken for the major you are interested in.
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Rachel’s Answer

Yes it absolutely will! But it is going to take a lot of time, hard work, and stress. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



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Estelle’s Answer

Absolutely AP classes are worth your time. All four of my children took AP classes and saved time, money, and energy once they were actually in college.
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