Take Advanced Placement (AP) Classes To Reduce The Number Of Credits You Need To Graduate
College classes are expensive and, no matter where you’re going, high school classes are cheaper. So, want to save money on tuition? Enter college as a sophomore. There are several ways to accomplish this, but in this section we’ll focus on advanced placement or AP classes.
AP classes are becoming increasingly common in high school classrooms. The idea is that you take a difficult high school class for both high school and college credit. That’s one less class you have to take in college, but if you want that college credit, you’ll have to do well on the test at the end of the year. The next paragraphs are some hints about AP classes.
If you think you know what college you want to go to, check their policies on AP credits. Most schools will give college credit for any AP test score of 3 or better, but some require higher scores. Some will also require supporting material like a lab notebook. Some will limit the number and kind of AP credits they’ll accept. Most schools have very few limits on AP credits, but it’s good to check ahead of time.
Also, consider taking AP classes in subjects you don’t want to major in. This is contrary to what most people will tell you, but consider this case: Say you take AP calculus in high school and then decide you want to major in English literature. Most likely your AP calculus credits will fulfill all of your math requirements and you won’t have to take any math in college. That’s not a bad deal, considering that you want to focus on your literature classes.
What if you decide to major in physics? In that case, your AP calculus credits are a free ride to calculus 2, where you’ll be a first-year student in a class full of second-year students. In that case, you might have been better off taking AP American literature to get that out of the way.
If your school doesn’t offer AP classes, talk to your high school counselor. Sometimes, with the right preparation and some help from your teacher, you can take the AP test after taking a “regular” class. Don’t let the lack of official AP classes stop you.