Why Advanced Placement (AP) is so beneficial

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High school students should consider taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses or taking the AP Exam. There are many benefits to taking APs, which include: getting college credit, getting used to rigorous courses, and having better time management skills. 

The most common reason why students take AP courses is because they want college credit. For most universities, a passing AP Exam score will count as college credit. This somewhat varies by college. For example, some colleges will take a 3 on AP World History as an elective credit, but some will take it as credit for a history course. By getting college credits, students can take less courses in college. This could help students progress faster in college. For example, some students get a lot of college credit from APs that go towards all their general education requirements, allowing them to take more upper division courses during their first year of college. Keep in mind that the general education courses are the most competitive to register in because of the high amount of students needing the same courses. Additionally, students can save more money by taking APs instead. Each exam is approximately $100 (without the fee waiver). Depending on the college, college courses tend to cost a lot more. They typically range from $500 to $1000 at four-year universities. 

Taking AP classes teaches students to also be accountable and adapt to rigorous courses. This exposes students to what college level coursework is like. These classes teach students to have better time management skills. Better time management has many benefits. For example, being able to have more time freedom, having more time to spend with family and friends, having better focus, and feeling less stressed.

However, students can actually only take the AP exam, without taking the class itself. This could be a good option to consider. Self-studying for the exam means that there is more flexibility and freedom since there are no hard deadlines and direct consequences, such as grades. Additionally, not all AP courses are offered at our school. So sometimes, there is no option to take the class itself anyway so self-studying is the only option if a student wants to take the AP exam. 

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