First of all what exactly is an AP class? For those who don’t know or who would like to enlighten themselves look no further. AP stands for advanced placement courses or classes. These classes are usually pursued by those who wish to boost their overall GPA. an AP class or classes would look great on your college resume but it could potentially lower the grades of your other classes and subjects. These classes are intellectually stimulating and as a result, can take up a lot of your time. So while choosing an AP course you should consider every possible variable. Take into consideration your interests, your parent’s interests, the AP classes your school offers and the AP classes that your potential college prefers. Most of these variables tend to contradict each other in the sense that sometimes your parent’s interests and yours may not actually align. Or even the classes being offered at your school aren’t the ones being prioritized at the college of your choice. I understand that choosing an AP class is slightly confusing and overwhelming, but in this blog post we at the college monk will be breaking it down as best as we can.
Factors to consider before choosing an AP class
Strengths and Skills: The first thing to consider before choosing an AP class would be to thoroughly evaluate whether your strengths and skills match. It is integral for your skills and interests to match the AP classes you are taking. This is mainly because an AP class is kind of hard and as a result would require constant motivation and interest in order to truly excel and maintain your grades. For instance if you are ace at literature or English, you would be most suited to choosing AP English or even AP language. Or you would be better suited to calculus if you were gifted at mathematics or geometry. You should also take into consideration your weaknesses. This would mean avoiding AP classes that do not align with your talents. For example, a person gifted at English would not be smart by taking calculus.
Know your school: The second thing to consider when choosing an AP class is to be aware of your options. Sometimes your high school might not actually subscribe to the classes you wish to pursue. The first thing to do after evaluating your strengths and weaknesses is to consult your guidance counselor. Your guidance counselor would be helpful in helping you shortlist and eventually pick an AP class that would suit your strengths and align with your college requirements. After consulting your guidance counselor, begin asking around. This means collecting the general opinions of people about certain classes. Some AP classes might get really great reviews whereas others might be poorly received. But the important thing to remember is that picking a class that suits your interests is an objective decision. Which means it depends solely on you.
College and career goals: Another thing to take into consideration is whether your class matches the college you want to go to. This means that every college has a list of requirements that include certain AP classes. And you should be sure to choose those classes that align with that list. If you wish to be admitted into a college that is renowned for its literature or English you would be at an advantage if you pick AP Literature or AP language. An AP class would also be beneficial if you have no prior experience with the subject.
How many AP classes should you take?
Once again the answer to this question is highly subjective. Because it depends on a variety of factors including your schedule and what kind of college you’re applying to. The number of AP classes you should take is dependent on the competitiveness of the college you are applying to.
For less selective colleges: as with every college, the number of AP classes does matter but not as much as your overall GPA. and if you find your GPA slipping due to the number of AP classes you have taken it will not work in your favor. Usually, it is more advisable to pick one or two AP classes and excel at them instead of picking multiple classes and failing in them. The purpose of this is to not spread yourself too thin. For less selective and competitive colleges it would be more effective to take one or two AP classes.
For more selective colleges: for more selective colleges it would be preferable to select AP classes that are not just challenging but also numerous in nature. In order to be accepted into such kinds of colleges, it would be prudent to check their admissions website and look over their conditions and prerequisites. By being aware of their conditions it would be easier to fulfill it.
In conclusion, choosing an AP class is an objective decision as it depends wholly on yourself and your interests and situation. But this article should provide some much-needed clarity regarding how to choose an AP class despite your situation. An important thing to remember is that an AP class is not the only way to get the approval of the admissions board, but it is the most efficient way to do so.