Pros and Cons of AP Courses

Back to Article
Back to Article

Pros and Cons of AP Courses

Kirsten Fuu, Staff Writer

While a good grade in an AP class looks impressive on a transcript, a bad grade can be equally as poor. Students often find themselves in a dilemma of whether or not to pile their schedule up with advanced classes amidst confusion of how these classes can affect their chances of admission. Hopefully, the following pros and cons of AP classes will help you decide what classes are best for your course schedule.

Pros

AP classes give you the opportunity to earn college credit.

Many colleges accept AP courses for college credit. If you do well on the AP exams around May, you could earn college credit, freeing up your time in college to take courses that you are interested in. 

They prep you for college.

AP curriculum offer challenging work, tests, etc. The workload can help prepare you for college, as well as managing your time wisely. AP classes usually require a lot of effort, just like classes at college, so taking one can give you a sense of what college may be like. Balancing AP classes along with multiple extracurriculars and social life is no joke, but through experiencing this struggle, you will undoubtedly improve your time management and study skills – which will become all the more important in the future.

They give you a feel of college-level workload.

By taking an AP class, you will essentially be immersing yourself with college-level work while in high school. Challenging yourself in this manner will give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to college-level workload.

They can help with picking majors and minors. 

Because of the depth that AP classes cover, students can get an idea of what it’s like to either major or minor in the subject in college. Also, depending on the course and whether they enjoy it or not, it can further give you an idea of what to look in a major you enjoy or what major to avoid.

Cons 

If you’re not willing to do the work, they will hurt your GPA.

AP classes are more challenging and time-consuming than regular and honors classes. So you need to be able to rise to the demand of the increasing workload. Otherwise, you may end up with a worse grade than you would of if you took that same class at an honors level. If you do not think you are prepared for an AP class, it is wise to take another class. 

They can divert your energy away from other things in your schedule.

Going back to the whole idea of AP classes taking too much of your time, they might lessen your ability to focus on other things such as extra-curriculars and having a social life. And having a social life is important to keep you sane during your high school career; don’t forget to spend time with friends and family once in a while!

The exams cost money.

While the courses themselves are free, the exams are not. Regular payment for AP exams is $110, and if they are late, an additional fee of $25, making the total $135. Students can apply for fee waivers if they qualify. 

However, you decide to approach AP classes, remember to ask yourself, “What is the most challenging schedule I can handle while still being a successful student?” Sophomore Cadence Chen shares her opinion on AP courses. “I think most students feel pressured to take as many AP courses for their transcript to look better,” she says. “But I believe that getting better grades in easier classes is better than getting a bad grade in an advanced one.”

Graphic Courtesy of KUDOSWALL.COM