Posts Tagged ‘should I take AP’

More High School Students Taking AP Exams

Today’s high school students are smart, and they dream big! Over the last ten years, more and more students are taking advanced placement exams in a variety of different areas, and more of them are scoring a 3 or higher! For those who are not familiar with AP scoring, students can score between 0 and 5, with 3 being the score needed to count the class for college credit. Not a bad deal!

According to the infographic created by, 18% of high school students who take this test score a 3 or higher, with Washington D.C. having the lowest average (6.6%) and Maryland having the highest (27.9%). The data also indicates that the majority of test takers are women (66%). It may be surprising to learn that these exams aren’t only in typical high school subjects such as chemistry and U.S. government. AP courses include what many consider to be electives–computer science, calculus, music theory, microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, and psychology, just to name a few. In addition to more students taking and “passing” these exams, the subjects offered for AP exams are becoming more plentiful, with Chinese, Japanese, studio art 2-D design portfolio, studio art 3-D design portfolio, and world history having been added in the past decade.

Not all students who are recommended to take an AP class actually take it. Possible explanations are concerns that the class may be too difficult, not enough time to dedicate to studying, or a lack of confidence that they can pass a college-level test. After all, students as young as fifteen and sixteen can begin taking AP classes. That’s a lot of work for a high school sophomore, but students may be surprised to learn some of the advantages to taking these tests.

What could taking an AP course in high school do for you? Well besides bragging rights, having a class count for college credit is very useful! It often means you don’t have to use your tuition money on a general course that everyone else has to take. It might mean that you have met a prerequisite that allows you to take a course you have more interest in! If you have taken many AP courses in high school and had them all count as college credit, you could actually start your second semester as a freshman as a first semester sophomore, which is a big deal when sophomores get to pick their classes first! Taking AP classes in high school will also better prepare you for your college career. When your fellow freshmen are struggling with their studies, you will have already learned the ropes. You’ll know how to handle your workload and how to take a college level exam before you even take your first steps on your college campus. Talk about a jump start to your degree!

The Rise of the AP:

The Rise of the AP

(Infographic via and USC Rossier Online)