Are AP Exams & Classes Worth it?

  Aliso Niguel High School offers a multitude of AP or Advanced Placement classes. Ranging from AP Calculus, to AP Government, AP European History, AP Art History, etc, almost every class has an AP version of it. However, many students have the question of what benefits AP classes offer. 

  The first benefit of AP classes is the grade boost. As long as you do not have a F in the class, the grade you receive will be boosted by a whole letter grade. Basically, even though your report card may say a B or a C on the transcript, it has an extra point added to your GPA.

  With these extra points, it is possible to obtain higher than a 4.0 GPA. An “A” of 4 points in a normal class is now 5 in an AP; a “B” of 3 is now a 4; a “C” of 2 is now a 3. These points add up eventually letting students obtain great GPA’s. This is a huge benefit as it increases your total GPA which improves your application for colleges. 

  Taking the class itself is an advantage as well. Even if you obtain all Bs in AP classes and have the same 4.0 GPA of a kid in normal classes, you will be selected due to how you’re taking a much harder class and challenging yourself more, which is a thing colleges look out for when selecting candidates.

  Every AP class has an AP exam at the end of the year. The exam is held by the College Board and must be paid for by each student for each class. Since Nov. 1, each test is $143. Although $143 may seem much, it is not that expensive once you look at the benefits of acing the exam. The test is on a 5 point scale. If you obtain higher than a 3, it means you passed the exam. If you pass, your college (depending on the college) might let you skip that class in college. You will not have to take the class; this saves you book fees, fees for the class, and most importantly time saved from attending and studying the class. You also can graduate faster as you take less classes.

  For example, I passed the AP Language exam, so if my college allows me to skip this class, I could skip English 1 or AP Language, and take the second year of English. This advantage is truly what benefits students in the long run. As you take more AP classes, and pass the AP tests, it’s more classes you might have the chance to skip at your college in the future.