“AP classes are valued by colleges, but that doesn’t mean a student has to take as many as they possibly can…”
By Allison Slater Tate
It’s the most common question college admissions counselors get: Is it better to take a standard or honors class and get an A, or take an AP class and get a B?
The answer, of course, is to take an AP class and get an A, but it’s not that simple. Before families choose which classes are the right fit for their high school student, they should understand what AP classes are, how they differ from standard and honors-level classes, and whether they’re worth taking.
What is an AP class?
AP stands for Advanced Placement, a curriculum and exam program created and run by The College Board, the same company that provides the SAT. AP classes are taught by teachers trained in a standardized, higher rigor curriculum that The College Board asserts will give students “time management, critical thinking, and scholarly writing” skills.
At the end of an AP course, students are invited to take an exam that will be graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with scores of 3, 4, and 5 considered “passing.” Students may be able to convert those AP exam scores to full or partial college credit with participating colleges and universities.
How are AP classes different from honors classes?
Why would colleges value AP classes on a student’s transcript? Former University of Pennsylvania Dean of Admissions Eric J. Furda told TODAY Parents the standardized curriculum and exam scores can provide insight about where a student is academically…
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