What are AP Classes?

What are AP Classes?
Beth Dumbauld

Advanced Placement (AP) classes help students earn college credit in advance of completing high school. These college credits are awarded upon successful completion of an AP course and the passing of an AP exam. Here are some more important things high school students should know about AP classes.

There is an array of subjects that AP students can explore. This is because different students have different interests. Some students are unsure of what they would like to study in college or what career they may seek afterward. AP classes are designed to help sort out those thoughts, offering classes in the following study areas:

  • Arts
  • English
  • History and Social Science
  • Math & Computer Science
  • Sciences
  • World Languages & Cultures

Within each study area, there is a collection of courses for students to choose from. Let’s take a look at what classes are available under each subject.

Arts courses are diverse, offering students the chance to focus on its history or to try out more hands-on work that can improve their skills as an artist. This includes future designers, sketch artists, painters, musicians, historians and art administrators. Two courses that students can consider are; AP Music Theory and Art History.

English is a prerequisite or required college course that helps students to thrive in all study areas. This means that taking on English as a high school AP course can expedite a student’s first year of college, allowing them to take major courses sooner. In this subject, high schools offer AP English Language and Composition.

History and Social Science is one of the largest advanced placement study areas, offering nine class options. This means that the opportunities for students who take this study route are extensive. AP United States History, Psychology and Human Geography can start students on a path to study government, social work and other majors which can lead to diverse job experiences.

Math is another important prerequisite, which shares a category with computer science. There is a decent assortment of math and computer science classes in the advanced placement program. These courses cover everything from basic college mathematics to more progressive math, which can act as stepping stones for students to study various technical, analytical and scientific majors. Two classes offered in this category are AP Computer Science Principles and Calculus AB.

Sciences make up a large number of the available AP classes for students. Covering medical, laboratory and even math-based subjects, some of the science classes offered include; AP Biology, Environmental Science and Physics C: Mechanics.

World Languages and Cultures have more than five advanced placement modules. Some high schools students should consider these classes: AP Spanish Language and Culture, Latin and French Language and Culture.

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What Are AP Classes For?

Advanced placement classes are designed to guide students to their future college majors, and ultimately to their adult careers. High school students can also choose to try AP classes for the following reasons:

  • To see what college and university general studies courses are like
  • To show the college admissions office they are serious about attending and passing classes
  • To demonstrate motivation and initiative for their admissions packages

When taking AP classes, students should check with colleges they are interested in to be sure that credits are transferable to that particular institution.

AP classes are a worthy investment of time and energy to show high school students what college courses are like. Taking AP classes and doing well in them can help during the college admissions process.

StraighterLine offers 60 college level courses that you can take no matter if you are still in high school, attending college, or thinking about going back and earning your degree. Get ahead by enrolling today!

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