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What Students Need to Know About AP Courses

Chalk Talk #56

Do you have students debating whether they should enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) courses next year? If so, this is the Chalk Talk for them!

AP courses are meant to give high school students a taste of college-level work, but not every student is prepared for that kind of academic rigor just yet. Some AP courses might be beyond their ability level, no matter how hard they are willing to work, and that is okay. 

If you have students who have the ability to take AP courses but are on the fence, below are some reasons as to why they should enroll in AP courses.

  • Better classes:
    AP teachers are often some of the best teachers. Having a great teacher can help you step up to the increased rigor.
  • Class rank:
    Colleges will evaluate your unweighted GPA (4.0 scale), so the GPA boost you get from AP courses doesn’t matter all that much. However, a higher overall GPA could increase your class rank, which colleges do care about. 
  • Course rigor:
    Colleges want to see that you’ve taken the hardest courses you can handle, and AP courses are at the top of that list. 
  • College prep:
    You don’t just want to get into college; you want to do well while you’re there. AP courses mirror the pace, workload, and rigor of introductory college courses; thus, they prepare you for the next level. 
  • College credit:
    Some, but not all, colleges award credit for qualifying AP exam scores (usually a 4 or 5). In this case, doing well on AP exams allows you to skip repetitive introductory courses and fulfill certain general education requirements in the process. In short, you would get to take more classes you want to take rather than those you have to take.   
  • Advanced course placement:
    Instead of awarding credit for qualifying AP exam scores, some colleges will award advanced course placement, which lets you skip repetitive introductory courses. This allows you to save money and get ahead in your college studies.

This Chalk Talk has been adapted from The College Playbook, a comprehensive guide to college admissions that students will actually read! 

Written by college admissions expert Lucas Spielfogel, The College Playbook gives students the perfect play-by-play on how to win at the college admissions process. Your students will benefit from the same down-to-earth advice that has helped students across the nation find the best college for their passion and skills. 

Click here to download a free sample!

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