Are AP Classes Right for You?

AP Courses

Taking Advanced Placement classes is another way to reduce the cost of a college education.

In addition to bolstering your GPA, based on your test score you can obtain college credits, reduce your college bill and possibly complete your education in less than 4 years.

Advanced Placement implies that you are ready for advanced material, meaning that your basic skills in the subject are solid.  If you are considering an AP English class then it is implied that you have a good grasp of grammar, vocabulary and strong reading and writing skills. It is a college course so your reading load will increase.   If you feel you are ready for the challenge and your counselor, teacher and parents are in agreement, then by all means you should sign up for AP classes.  Colleges like seeing you challenge yourself by taking rigorous courses.

David took two AP classes in his senior year one of which was English and Composition.  I was comfortable with this decision because I knew he had strong writing skills and he was interested in pursuing a writing career.  He also knew that USC was a competitive college and he wanted to show that he could excel in challenging courses.

Mark, on the other hand was recommended by his English teacher at the end of his junior year to also take AP English.  I was not comfortable with this recommendation because he and I both knew he was weak in his writing skills.  We both felt he would do better in the English Honors class which would be taught by an excellent English teacher who would prepare him for college level writing.

It is important that students don’t take on too much and become overwhelmed.  I have counseled students who were pushed into taking AP classes and they ended up having a nervous breakdown or getting depressed because it is too much for them and felt boxed in.  It is my understanding that some schools will not allow students to drop these classes once registered because they are trying to establish a certain reputation or get money for having so many students enrolled in these classes.   What a shame. Do not allow your child to suffer in silence.  Pushing can backfire. Parents need to pay close attention to how their students are doing in these classes and remember you as the parents can have a say in the final decision.

Reasons You Should Not Sign Up for an AP class.iAP Classes

  • Peer pressure.
  • Status symbol
  • You are an average student
  • Experiencing difficulty in an honors class
  • Not willing to put in the time and effort

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