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Are AP classes actually helpful?

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Anyone who is considering taking or is currently taking an Advanced Placement, AP, class questions if these difficult classes are as helpful as teachers and peers say they are. Without a doubt, AP’s are an excellent introduction to the fast pace world of college; however, these classes are not always what they promise to be.

The biggest advantage AP classes have to offer students is the opportunity to earn college credit.

“If you pass the AP test at the end of the school year (meaning you get a score of three or higher), you will be eligible to receive college credit for that test,” stated Halle Edwards from A passing score can accelerate your completion of the general education requirement courses in college. With enough credits and dedication, you can graduate sooner than the average four to five years. However, time is not the only thing you can save with earning college credit with AP tests.

“It only costs $89 to take an AP exam,” declared Suzanne Shaffer on “In its most recent survey of college pricing, The College Board reports that a “moderate” college budget for an in-state public college for the 2013–2014 academic year averaged $22,826.” Morse students get a larger savings with our tests only costing five dollars, which saves hundreds of dollars in the short-term and thousands in the long-term of college expenses.

However, the potential of earning college credit solely rests on the fact that you have to get a passing score on the exams. According to Edwards, “If you didn’t pass, the AP class loses a lot of its admissions benefit.” This essentially means that the worth of the class is based on the score you receive on the exam. This can place enormous amounts of pressure on the student taking an AP class or it could discourage many to not take up the challenge.

These classes offer exposure to a difficult course load and pace. The material of AP classes are more demanding, ensuring students will have to develop successful studying habits and time management. The academic rigor of these types of classes impress college administrators, giving you an edge on your application. “ AP classes are considered to be a different scale than that of general classes–where the four GPA is standard, many AP classes are graded on a five scale, and some colleges will take that into consideration while reviewing a student’s application,” mentioned Allison Wignall on The grade point average, GPA, advantage gives colleges a visual representation of the effort you put into school and your future in college.

Although many are able to balance the the workload of AP classes, not everyone can take multiple or even just one. “With a more intense workload, some students become overwhelmed and their grades start to suffer–both in the AP class or in the other general courses,” pointed out Wignall. You need to know your limits when considering taking an AP class. Sometimes you’ll excel in in one subject, but struggle in another. Take the AP courses you know you will be able to pass and enjoy the subject.

AP classes are helpful only if you are willing to put forth the effort and time needed to be able to not only get a good grade in the class but get a passing score on the exam in May. So before you decide on taking a class or are deciding to stay in an AP class, know yourself and what you can achieve, but do not be afraid of taking a challenge. It could pay off in the end with spending less in college classes.


About the Writer
Itzel Gallardo, Entertainment Editor

Grade: 12

Most passionate about: Movies. Environment. Animals

Teletubby that relates to you most:  Tinky Winky

Favorite book:  Deception Point...

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