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Categorized | Paying For College

Savings, Skills and Stats: The Benefits of AP Classes

Senior year of high school is a time for fun and friends, so who wants spend their time buried in books that explore college-level concepts? Apparently, plenty do. More and more students are treating their final year of high school as a head start on college by taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which offer potential college credit. The number of students taking AP exams has increased by at least 7 percent in each of the past 10 years, according to Collegeboard.com.

These classes offer college prospects the chance to save money and experience college-level concepts before packing up for the dorms. Get a head start on your upper education and start cultivating money-saving skills before you get to campus.

Savings

Earning college credit in high school starts with taking an AP class. These courses delve into college-level material along with the normal workload, culminating with an end-of-the-year AP test. Scored on a scale of one to five, these exams contain multiple-choice and free-response sections. A score of three is the general baseline for earning college credit, although College Board describes those who score twos as “possibly qualified.” Beginning this summer, students will be able to check their AP score online through Collegeboard.com.

Each exam costs $89, which explains the one of the main lures of the AP program. Students have the potential to earn credit for a fraction of what you would pay at a community college or university. Take multiple courses and you could be on your way out of college a semester early that’s good for your wallet and your career.

College Skills

Taking the jump from high school to college is daunting. Students must balance their newfound freedom with elevated academic expectations. AP classes ease the transition between high school and college by giving students a head start on college concepts, learning techniques and study habits. With fewer opportunities to earn merit through homework and projects, college courses place a premium on tests. AP tests resemble many of the mid-term and final exams you’ll take in college, combining multiple choice to test how deeply you mastered the content and essay to measure how fully you comprehend the subject.

Bridge the gap between college and high school by taking an AP class. Even if you don’t get credit, you’ll be better prepared for your next adventure.

Find Your Passion

AP classes don’t just offer new skills, they also provide an in-depth look at a subject. It’s tough to get excited about a high school stats class that involves little-more than basic addition, but AP stats dives into complex fundamental concepts, including probability, statistical inference and data mining. Advanced concepts present this and other seemingly mundane topics in a new light. Perhaps you’ll have more interest in American history once you dig beyond the glossy text book pages. Maybe biology will come to life when you learn how systems interact. AP courses reveal your academic passion and give you an idea of how to spend the next four years.

It’s tempting to sit back and let the perks of senior year wash over you, but there are better things to come. Start the next chapter with an AP course and prepare to grow.

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