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College Board AP: Get Extra Credit for College

The College Board AP is just one of many ways you can get college credit for taking high school classes. College Board AP exams are based on the information found in Advanced Placement – or AP – classes. There are currently thirty-one AP exams available, and many larger schools will offer a large portion of these classes to their students. AP exams are available in almost any subject, from Art History to World History to Human Geography.

What are AP Classes Like?

AP classes are based on the information in AP tests, and the College Board AP program is pretty highly regulated. These courses often use college textbooks and are taught in a seminar or lecture style, similar to many college courses. Basically, you’re doing college level work while you’re still in high school, so you’ll be eligible for college credit later on. AP classes are some of the most challenging available at most high schools!

Do I Need AP Classes?

The College Board AP exams are actually available to anyone who wants to take them. You don’t have to take an AP class to try the AP test, and many students who don’t have classes that are technically designated as Advanced Placement at their schools still take and pass AP exams very well. Homeschool students and students from smaller schools that don’t offer AP classes can take the AP exam by studying alone or in conjunction with a teacher on the test material. They’ll be able to use AP scores in the same way as other students who take the exam after having taken the AP class.

What Can AP Classes Do?

College Board AP classes and tests can show colleges that, if nothing else, you’re really ready for college work. Even if you don’t pass the test with a high enough score to get actual college credit, you’ll still be showing schools that you’ve undertaken harder high school classes because you’re serious about succeeding at the college level. This can help boost your chances of admission, even though you’ll often take AP tests and get your scores back after you’ve already applied to schools.

Some schools will accept certain AP scores as a passing grade in their college courses. For instance, you might be able to take the AP Chemistry exam and test out of first year chemistry at your college of choice. Some exams, like the Latin: Vergil exam, are more likely to earn you extra credits that you can apply to the electives portion of just about any liberal arts degree.

By taking AP classes, you can save yourself quite a bit of money, too. By testing out of classes that are lower level, you can shave a semester off of your college career or just save money on classes you’re already proficient in so that you can boost your career or graduate school odds with extra advanced college courses later on.

Navigating the AP Exam

If you’re curious about the College Board AP exam, the first place to go is your high school guidance counselor’s office. See if your high school offers any AP courses and, if not, how you might still be able to prepare yourself for college-level work by studying for AP exams. Perhaps you could set up a time to meet with a teacher one-on-one to go through AP exam material to prepare you for the test.
You can also get information at the College Board AP Central website, which has tons of information on the different tests, class descriptions, and testing center information. Checking out the College Board AP Central website can answer your questions about the AP exams, help you figure out which exams you might like to take, and maybe even give you ways to help your school offer AP classes to give students a boost on their college application process.

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