To take A.P., or to not take A.P. (that is the question…)

Hi again, everyone. I apologize for the long delay between Blog posts. I hope that all is well with you!

We are officially off and running here in the 3rd academic quarter. Students, I hope that the new quarter is going well for you so far. We are just on the cusp of getting into scheduling for the 18-19 school year. Every year, we have students ask us whether or not they should take an Advanced Placement class. A.P. courses offer high school students the chance to take on the highest level of rigorous college-level work and the opportunity to earn college credit. As a former A.P. United States history teacher, I am always excited to talk about the benefits of the program. Here are some things to think about when considering taking an A.P. course…

If you are a really passionate about a subject area, a corresponding A.P. course is worth considering. The courses give students a chance to really go in-depth on topics and ideas. The classes also give students the opportunity to be active participants in their learning. Whether it is working on a complex lab assignment, leading a class discussion, or playing a Progressive Era reformer in a class activity, A.P. courses give you the chance to really go to the next level.

A.P. courses also give high school students the opportunity to develop and sharpen their critical thinking skills before heading off to college. This can make the transition to the challenges of freshman year at college much easier for students. These skills will provide a lifetime of benefits.

If you are considering applying to a very selective college or university, A.P. coursework may provide you with an extra edge in the application process. All A.P. courses must be authorized by the College Board to ensure that they are challenging enough to earn the A.P. designation. In other words, when a college sees the A.P. courses on a student’s transcript, they know exactly how challenging that class is. It is the highest standard of academic rigor and excellence at the high school level.

A qualifying grade on an A.P. exam can earn you college credit, and save you thousands of dollars in tuition and textbook fees. Additionally, the college credits that you may earn via A.P. exams can get you out of introductory level college courses, and into something more interesting. For example, A.P. credit could get you out of English 101 and give you the opportunity to take a Shakespeare course or a critical writing class as a college freshman.

A.P. classes are challenging, but they are NOT impossible. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is hard to fail, but it is worse to have never tried to succeed.” You get only one chance at high school, so consider challenging yourself with the most rigorous courses that you can take.  We hope that you will consider joining the LEGION of former I.H.S. students who have found success in the A.P. program!

For more information and resources, please visit http://www.exploreap.org.

If you have any questions or comments regarding A.P. classes, please see your guidance counselor or myself. Happy Scheduling Season!