• Why Should you Enroll in an AP Class?

    Do you want to save money by earning college credit in high school?

    Taking an AP course and exam give you the opportunity to earn college credit in high school, which saves you money! Most colleges will give students credit for AP exams that students passed in high school, allowing students to bypass required courses in college.

    I took AP throughout high school because it was the most interesting and well-taught program offered. When I reached college, I realized that I had accumulated a year’s worth of credits. I graduated from Michigan’s undergraduate business school a full year early, saving $30,000 and a year’s time.

    —Nikki Baker, University of Michigan


    Do you want to get into a good college?

    Many colleges are interested in admitting students who have challenged themselves by taking AP courses.

    AP Exams affirm the rigor of a student’s course work. Though admissions policies vary, if I were a student, I wouldn’t assume that the college of my dreams didn’t care about AP Exams in the admissions process.

    —Bruce Walker, Director of Admissions University of Texas at Austin


    Do you want to increase your course options in college?

    College credit can allow you to move into upper-level college courses sooner, pursue a double major, and gain time to study and travel abroad:

    As a freshman, I was able to skip general ed requirements and head straight into the higher-level classes I wanted to take. Taking AP Exams literally saved me semesters of time.

    —Brent Wiese, University of Iowa

    Do you want to be a step ahead of your peers in college?

    The work that comes with an AP course can really pay off in college, preparing you to have an easier time in your courses than your peers:

    “I am currently a pre-biochemistry major at UCSB and so I have to take a lot of chemistry and biology. I would encourage everyone who is planning to major in ANY hard science to take AP chemistry. Now that I am here I realize how lucky I am to have the prior knowledge...I, at least, have the foundation of AP chemistry, while the majority of students are still trying to get a grasp on the material.”

    —Chris Tea, former Woodcreek student now at UCSB


    Do you want to be a successful college student?

    Students who have taken AP courses and AP exams are able to maintain a higher GPA in their first year than students who have not taken AP courses.

    First-Year College GPA Bar chart

    Not only do students who take AP earn better GPAs in their first year in college, but they tend to perform better on college level tests as a whole. The intensity of college exams catches far too many freshmen by surprise.

    Students who have prepared for and taken the AP Exams adapt more easily to taking college essay exams, and are especially skilled in including a thesis and a well-developed argument. They are also less intimidated by sophisticated, college-level multiple-choice questions that seek to test understanding over memorization.

    —Robert Blackey, Professor of History

    CSU, San Bernardino

    Do you want to graduate college in five years or less?

    You can increase the likelihood of graduating in five years by making a choice before you enter college. By simply taking an AP course, taking an AP course and taking the AP exam, or taking an AP course and passing the AP exam you have increased chances of graduating college in less than five years.


    Level of involvement in AP

    Percent chance of graduating college in five years or less compared to students who did not take an AP course

    What this means to you

    Took an AP course in HS

                15% higher

    You should take an AP class if you want to graduate in a reasonable amount of time.

    Took an AP course and received a  score of a 1 or 2 on exam

                19% higher

    When you take an AP class, you should take the AP exam even if you aren’t confident you’ll pass.

    Took an AP course and received a score of 3, 4 or 5 on exam

                30% higher

    If you’re able to pass an AP exam you’ll maximize your chances to be a successful college student!

    Control Variables: test scores, school status, socio-economic status

    Group: All Texas public high school students who graduated in 1998 (67,412)

    Source: National Center for Educational Accountability, 2006