How to Take AP Courses

Advancing in Advanced Courses

For high school students looking for a way to enter college with a head start, taking AP (advanced placement) classes is a great opportunity. They allow for particularly skilled and hard-working students to make the most of their high school education. But learning how to take AP courses can be a problem. It can seem like a long, drawn-out process full of twists and turns. But, with these tips, you'll be able to enroll and get started quickly and easily.

Know if AP Courses Are Right for You

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While AP courses are great, they certainly aren't for everyone. They are best suited for students who plan to go directly to college, and know which degree they're going to be pursuing (though that might not always be the case). You also have to be very driven, and willing to work extra at a college level. Your grades and GPA will have to be kept up (we'll discuss that later), and you have to score well in exams.

Decide on the Right Classes

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There are a lot of AP classes that you can choose if you want to take one. This is great, because it allows you to choose classes best suited to your chosen degree path, as well as those best suited to your skills. Before you begin the process of trying to get enrolled, you should have a good idea of what class or classes that you wish to take. It will make things simpler down the road.

Talk to a Counselor or Teacher

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While it is possible to get into an AP class without help from your school, it's always a good idea to use the resources that you have available. In this case, a counselor (or, less often, teacher) can really help you. He or she will be able to find the right AP class for you, make sure that your grades are up to par, and help you learn what tests you need to take and what your score should be.

Take the Required Tests

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AP classes normally require you to have a set score in certain standardized tests. The most common ones are the PSAT and the NMSOT. You'll need to find out when these tests can be taken. As mentioned above, a counselor or a teacher is a wonderful resource here. If you're not sure that you'll be able to pass with a good score, then you should consider taking a prep class.

Keep Up Your Grades and GPA

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This is absolutely vital. A lot of AP classes are very grades and GPA focused, and you can lose your spot by letting either of them drop… even if it's another class. You'll need to keep careful track of your grades and GPA, so that neither drop below the acceptable limit. You can help keep your grades and GPA up by studying hard, paying attention in class, and not missing days if you can help it.

AP courses are great for hard-working, dedicated students who are looking for a leg up before they head off to college. These tips have, hopefully, made the process a little easier for those with this ambition.

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