The advantages of taking AP classes and exams

Benefits of Advanced Placement tests

Is your student planning to take any AP classes or exams in high school? It may prove beneficial — consider these top four reasons students should add a couple AP classes to their schedules.  

1. To prepare for college

AP courses are usually comparable to first-year college courses, so your student will be prepared for the workload and develop college-level academic skills. And having AP classes on their transcript will show universities that your student has experience with the academic rigor of college classes, which looks good on their college applications.

2. To boost their GPA

Because AP classes are more rigorous, they’re often weighted more in a student’s GPA. Many high schools give more weight to AP classes, so earning an “A” or “B” in an AP class will bring your student’s GPA up more than an “A” or “B” in a regular class would. 

3. To save time and money in college

If your student chooses to take the AP exams for their AP classes, they could earn college credit. AP exams are held every May, and they are graded on a scale of 1 through 5. Get all the details about the AP Exam schedule online. Depending on the course and the college, if a student earns a 4 or 5 on their test, it can count toward their college credits. That means your student would be able to get ahead on first-year requirements and potentially graduate early, or have room in their schedule to add a second major or minor. 

Please note that students can take AP exams even if they haven’t taken an AP class at their school. If your student wants to take the AP exam and their school doesn’t offer the corresponding class, they can study for the exam and prep on their own.

4. To receive merit-based financial aid

As mentioned above, AP classes can help students raise their GPA. Many colleges offer merit-based scholarships and grants for students based on their GPA, so taking an AP class could get your student closer to qualifying for these financial aid awards. 

In addition, many scholarships award funds based on a student’s GPA or specific classes taken. For example, RaiseMe is a program that several colleges partner with that enables students to earn micro-scholarships in high school for doing things like taking challenging classes. Look into whether or not any of the schools on your student’s list partner with RaiseMe. 

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