If you are planning to go to college and your high school offers AP classes, you should take advantage of the opportunity. The successful completion of Advanced Placement classes has benefits during the college application process and undergraduate life. Below are six of the biggest perks to taking AP classes.
1. Impress College Admission Counselors
At nearly every college in the country, your academic record is the most important part of your college application. The folks in the admissions office want to see that you have taken the most challenging courses available to you. Success in difficult courses is the surest sign of your preparedness for college. The most challenging courses, of course, are college-level Advanced Placement classes.
2. Develop College-Level Academic Skills
AP classes require the type of high-level calculating and critical thinking that you will encounter in your first year of college. If you can write essays and solve problems successfully for an AP class, you have mastered many of the skills that will lead to success in college.
3. Save Money
If you take enough Advanced Placement classes, you can potentially graduate from college a semester or even a year early. Early graduation is not always a good idea, but for a student who is not receiving financial aid, it can save tens of thousands of dollars.
4. Choose a Major Sooner
AP classes can help with your selection of a major in two ways. First, each course provides an in-depth introduction to a specific subject area. Second, a high score on an AP exam often fulfills one of a college's general education requirements. This means you will have more room in your schedule to explore different academic fields early in your undergraduate career.
5. Take More Elective Classes in College
Not only do AP classes help you zero in on a major sooner, but they also free up your schedule so you can take more elective classes (college classes that are not required for graduation). For many students, a college's general education requirements and major requirements leave little room for fun and exploratory classes. If you want to take that interesting class on glass blowing or the occult, AP credits will make it much easier to fit the course in your schedule.
6. Add a Minor or Second Major More Easily
If you will particularly driven and have multiple interests, AP credits can make it more feasible to add a minor (or two) or even a second major to your undergraduate academic plan. With a standard work load and no AP credits, you might find it impossible to complete the requirements for two majors in four years.
AP Classes - Why They Matter
"6 Reasons to Take Advanced Placement Classes" by Allen Grove
See also Explore AP on CollegeBoard.
AP coursework requires significantly more homework, writing, reading, and research than Honors or standard level classes. Some Honors courses are prerequisites for AP classes. The following are recommended limits on the number of AP courses a student should take, providing prerequisite criteria is met:
9th Grade: One AP course
10th Grade: One AP course
11th Grade: Up to three AP courses
12th Grade: Up to four AP courses
Classes Offered at Vista del Lago High School
AP Literature (12th)
AP Language (11th/12th)
English 3 Honors (11th)
English 2 Honors (10th)
English 1 Honors (9th)
AP Calculus AB
Algebra 2 Honors
AP Human Geography (9th)
AP Economics (12th)
AP Economics (12th)
AP Psychology (10th-12th)
Honors World History
AP European History (10th-12th)
AP US History (11th)
AP US History (11th)
AP Government (12th)
AP Chemistry (Every other year)
Physics Honors (Available next year)
*AP Biology and AP Chemistry are offered every other year.
AP Spanish Language
AP Spanish Literature
AP Spanish Literature
AP Art History
AP Studio Art
SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS FOR HONORS AND ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDENTS
The Moreno Valley Unified School District's high schools maintain comprehensive Honors and Advanced Placement programs to make it possible for academically talented and high achieving students to increase the challenge of their studies. Teachers in the Honors/AP program are committed to preparing students to achieve academic excellence that will ensure superior preparation for college course work. An Honors level course is more rigorous than regular courses. Teachers cover curriculum at a faster pace and in greater depth while incorporating more complex analysis. An Advanced Placement class is a college level course that culminates with an exam, which can earn college credit for the student. The instructional program offers in-depth study and is not intended to accelerate the date of graduation.
INDICATORS FOR SUCCESSFUL PLACEMENT
Students are encouraged to enroll in Honors/AP courses on the basis of a variety of indicators:
•Completing all prerequisite classes with a grade of B or higher.Past performance as indicated by grades.
•Test scores may be utilized as necessary.
SUMMER SCHOOL CLASSES DO NOT QUALIFY AS A PREREQUISITE FOR HONORS/AP CLASSES
Upon acceptance into the Honors/AP program, students are expected to:
•Maintain A/B grades in all Honors/AP courses.
•Remain in the course(s) for the duration of the year. Student success is the goal of MVUSD and students not succeeding in an Honors/AP class will be handled on an individual basis.
•Maintain high standards of academic integrity.
•Be in class every day. Excessive absences are grounds for removal from the course.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HONORS/AP STUDENTS
Students in Honors/AP courses are expected to have the following characteristics:
•High academic achievement and intellectual ability
•Self-motivation and self-discipline
•Good organizational skills
•Excellent written expression
•An avid interest in reading
•Good oral communication skills
•An ability to work independently and collaboratively
•Good citizenship and attendance
SKILLS TO BE A SUCCESSFUL HONORS/AP STUDENT
The ability to:
•Identify and formulate problems, as well as the ability to propose and evaluate ways to solve them.
•Recognize and use inductive and deductive reasoning, and to recognize fallacies in reasoning.
•Draw conclusions from information found in various sources, whether written spoken, tabular, or graphic and defend one's own conclusions rationally.
•Distinguish between fact and opinion.
•Engage critically and constructively in the exchange of ideas.
•Analyze and edit one's own writing.
•Gather information from primary and secondary sources; to write a report using this research; to quote, paraphrase and summarize accurately; to cite sources properly.
•Prepare for various types of examinations and to devise strategies for success.
•Accept constructive criticism and learn from it.