AP Courses and 5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Them
If your child is not yet in High School, or if you’re new to the U.S. Curriculum, you may not be familiar with Advanced Placement or “AP” courses. AP courses are comprehensive, university-level classes offered to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students that exhibit academic excellence and dedication to coursework.
There are a variety of subjects to choose from, such as Economics, World History, Biology, Calculus, English Literature & Composition, and Chemistry, among many others. Although AP classes are unique to the U.S. and Canadian curriculums, these courses are valued and recognized by universities all around the world. In addition to these advantages, here are 5 reasons why you should care about AP courses.
1. AP Courses Prepare Students for the Challenges of University Study.
University life comes with adversity from many different angles. Time management, balancing social and academic commitments, and self-reliance are just some of the many challenges faced by university students. AP courses offer a taste of these future hurdles within a more supportive and nurturing environment, affording students a smoother transition into post-secondary education.
2. AP Courses are an Integral Advantage of the U.S. Curriculum.
The freedom of choice, the focus on holistic development, and the breadth of subject matter offerings are just a few of the many advantages of the U.S. curriculum. While other curriculums may force students to specialize their studies at an early age, students in schools with a U.S. curriculum are able to customize their learning up until graduation. AP courses complement these advantages by offering students the option to focus on higher level content across multiple disciplines.
3. Passing an AP Exam will Boost a Student’s Academic Resume.
An academic resume is the sum of all a student’s achievements in high school. Universities all over the world with competitive admissions for international students carefully scrutinize school records and awards as a means to identify quality applicants. Although GPA plays a vital role in college acceptance, a passing score in an AP course serves as concrete evidence of academic ability and can be the determining factor for an admission decision.
4. Students have the Opportunity to Earn University Credits.
Like any test or exam, there is a reward of some kind for achieving a high score. AP courses are scored on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 3 being a passing score. Attaining a 4 or 5 on an AP exam is a significant achievement, and students who do so are eligible for university credit. This means that when these students enter college, the school may award them credits towards their degree as recognition of their AP studies.
5. They Allow Students to Delve Deeper into Their Passions
Students will always have a subject that they are passionate about or, at the very least, prefer over others. Advanced Placement courses allow students with interests in math, science, English, history, art, or language to delve deeper into these specific areas and enrich their understanding of them.
While the academic advantages of AP courses are likely at the forefront of any parent’s mind, it is important to remember that all students are individuals with their own interests, strengths, and weaknesses. For a student to truly gain everything from an AP class, they should also have a relatively strong interest in the subject matter.
“I highly recommend choosing to take AP courses offered at Raffles American School, especially if the class is geared towards your future career choice or is related to a subject you are passionate about. I am taking AP Biology as one of my advanced classes and though it is not easy, I love what I am learning! The teachers are engaging and care about the subject, ensuring I understand the material. It challenges my skills as an effective communicator, preparing me for rigorous coursework, building my confidence and character, and imploring me to look deeper into our world.”
Lucy W. Woodward (12th Grade)