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The WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) of AP Classes

05/21/2015 Published by: Amy Soupene

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Categories: Your Child's Ages & Stages, Your Child's Ages & Stages

Advanced Placement classes are challenging, no argument there.  They also might just be the key to unlocking interests and future careers of which you are not yet aware.  AP classes were the brainchild of the College Board, which was established with the mission of making college and career success attainable for all students.

First Things First:  Let’s discuss the nuts and bolts of what AP classes are and who can take them. 

How are AP courses created?  A panel of subject experts and educators from their respective areas of study are called upon to aid in the creation of AP curriculum.  To earn the AP designation, the College Board must first verify the course meets the high standards of Advanced Placement.  Once approved by the College Board the course will then be listed on the AP Ledger.  Currently, there are over 30 courses available in the areas of:  Arts, English, History, Math & Computer Sciences, World Languages & Cultures, and Science.  Interested in what courses are offered? 

Check out the list here.

AP classes and exams are available to high schools students in order to study college level courses.  Interestingly, you don’t have to take the AP course to be eligible to take that exam.  Most high schools offer AP courses, but not all do - and let’s not forget about homeschool students. College Board is committed to providing access to ALL high school students.  So, if you don’t have access to the course but you think that you can ace the exam, you are welcome to give it a shot.  However, some preliminary work must be done before a student sits for the exam.  Many colleges and universities offer college credit and placement to students that earn high scores on AP exams.

Read more about exam requirements. 

But why should I take an AP course?  Now that you understand the background, let’s discuss why challenging yourself in an AP class is something to consider.

Over 2,600 colleges and universities, world-wide, grant students credit for high AP exam scores.  Any college credit you can gain while still in high school will reduce the amount of tuition you will pay in college.  That’s money in your pocket!  AP classes allow you to explore possible career choices while still in high school.  This may help you define your area of study in college.  Let’s not forget the college admission process!  AP courses make you stand out to admission counselors, they can also broaden your college and career choices.  They exemplify that you are a student that is serious about your education and have achieved the experience necessary to get recognized.  The rigorous standards of an AP class help you prepare for the demands of college. 

Interested?  Ready to take the challenge?  If I have managed to pique your interest, let’s talk about your next steps.

Before enrolling in an AP course, you’ll need to talk with your school counselor or teacher.  Even if you have not been recommended for an AP course, you can still pursue the possibility.  Before talking with your teacher or counselor it is a good idea to get your thoughts in order. 

  • Why are you interested in AP?
  • Which classes interest you? 
  • How do I get this conversation started? 

College Board has created a Conversation Starter pdf that is free for the download.  It’s full of terrific tips on meeting with your teacher as well as preparing you as you consider an AP class.

Download the Conversation Starter

Advanced Placement classes are challenging and vastly rewarding.  You will never know just how far you can go unless you push yourself.  My advice to you?  Shoot for the stars!



***Help us get the word out about SchoolQuest™ by liking us on Facebook!   Please visit our Homeroom on-line community and join the discussion. We’d love to hear what your thoughts are about this important topic!  SchoolQuest™ is an initiative of the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®).   Follow us on the MCEC® Twitter feed . . . for the sake of the child!  

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