The demands and rigors of Advanced Placement (AP) classes are not ideal for every student. Although these classes are taken during the high school years, students can earn college credit and qualify for more advanced classes once they reach college. Here are three factors to consider when deciding if AP classes are a good choice for your students:
How AP Classes Affect GPAs
Depending on the school district, many high schools will employ a system of weighted GPAs designed to reward students for taking the challenging AP classes. This makes it possible for students to earn over a 4.0 GPA. An overall higher GPA will look more favorably on college applications. Even if your high school does not weight GPAs, most college admission offices have systems put in place allowing them to weight the GPAs of the applicants so that they can get a clear picture of the past accomplishments and potential for future success of every student.
Additional Resource: https://gpacalculator.io/high-school-gpa-calculator/
Requirements and Preparations for AP Classes
Students taking AP classes need to understand that these specially-designed classes will be more challenging than regular courses. Leading up to the class, many AP teachers will require that the students do work over the summer in an effort to get a head start on the demanding curriculum. Students need to be prepared for this extra work and plan accordingly. During the class, the course syllabus will be much more intense than its regular class counterparts. AP students should anticipate additional homework and more rigorous testing procedures. This is not for every student, and the decision to enroll in AP classes should not be taken lightly.
Additional Resource: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/ap-exams
College Perception of AP Classes
It goes without saying that most colleges are incredibly supportive of high school students taking AP classes. Not only do these classes give students a leg up on many college courses, but it also proves that the student is capable of handling the rigors of the higher education curriculum. A student who has taken the initiative to enroll in AP classes sends the message that they are willing to be challenged in an academic setting.
Additional Resource: https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/exploreap/the-rewards
By considering these three factors, parents can equip themselves with the knowledge and tools needed to ascertain whether these AP classes are right for their students. Not only does the effect on GPAs need to be considered, but parents need to know how to best prepare their students for their individual career paths.
Studying can be hard under normal circumstances, but AP classes definitely take it to the next level. But that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually pay off. Especially if your child can keep up with the workload (which is easier than you think, if you know how to approach it). So next time your student is registering for classes, bring up the possibility of an AP class or two.