How AP classes Can Help You Stand Out in the College Admission Process?
There are several things that might set you apart from other applicants when it comes to college applications. Although colleges look at three major titles for their admission criteria (grade point average, test scores, and extracurricular activities), especially the competitive schools also look at the details in the transcripts of applicants. Accordingly, we can say that the importance of advanced coursework, such as Advanced Placement (AP) programs, is one of the important variables. This blog post will discuss the value of AP courses for future academic performance as well as how they can help you stand out throughout the college application process.
- Show that you are prepared for school.
The fact that AP classes show you are academically prepared for college-level work is one of the key reasons colleges value them. AP courses are intended to be more difficult and demanding than regular high school classes and passing them demonstrates your readiness for college-level work. AP classes can be a powerful indicator of your readiness for the academic difficulties of college, which is something admissions officers will look for. You can demonstrate that you are ready to take on difficult academic work and are driven to succeed by enrolling in and doing well in AP programs.
- Engage in academic challenge
Taking AP classes not only demonstrates your college readiness, but also your willingness to push yourself academically. Students who are motivated to push themselves to achieve more and who are dissatisfied with the status quo impress admissions officers. Taking AP courses is a great method to show that you are dedicated to academic success and that you are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. You can demonstrate that you are a driven, committed student who isn’t scared to take on new difficulties by pushing yourself to complete challenging schoolwork. On the other hand, since high school counselors assign students to specific AP classes by checking their academic history, having several AP courses in transcripts shows that the specific student has been approved by his/her high school counselor. Such course selection is not a random act and may have some prerequisites set by the high school admins.
- Make a statement among a crowded field of applicants
With more students applying to college than ever before, the admissions process for colleges is more difficult than ever. Admissions representatives seek out applicants who will stand out from the throng and contribute something special and worthwhile to their school community. A great method to stand out in a large pool of applicants is by enrolling in AP classes. You prove that you are a driven and capable student who will have a positive influence on campus by showcasing your academic preparation and willingness to take on challenges. Overall, everybody at college admission offices knows the difference between AP Calculus AB class and GYM class although their impact on unweighted GPA is same.
- Get educational credit
You can obtain college credit while still in high school by enrolling in AP courses, which is another advantage. Several colleges and universities grant credit for AP courses, enabling you to skip foundational courses and dive right into more challenging material. When applying to colleges, earning college credit through AP courses can be a great asset. Your aptitude for managing college-level homework will impress admissions officers, and you’ll be able to jumpstart your academic career. Most colleges require students to submit their AP test scores to transfer those AP credits to the college. In many cases, those schools expect minimum score of 3 out of 5.
- Be ready for schoolwork at the collegiate level.
Last but not least, enrolling in AP courses can help you get ready for the academic difficulties of college-level education. By contrast to regular high school courses, AP programs are intended to be more demanding and difficult, and passing them might give you an idea of what college-level work would be like. You can form the habits and skills you’ll need to thrive in college by enrolling in AP courses. You’ll discover time management techniques as well as how to take notes, prepare for tests, and compose research papers. You will have an advantage over your peers who have not completed AP coursework with these skills when you begin college. In subjects like the arts, English, history and social science, math and computer science, the sciences, and world languages and culture, there are 38 AP courses available. Based on the subjects you are interested in and the classes you do well in, you should select an AP course. You can click here to see the full list of AP classes offered by the College Board.
Further to taking individual AP classes, students can choose to complete an AP Capstone diploma (if their high school have the agreement with the College Board). AP Capstone curriculum consists of the AP Seminar, AP Research and at least four (your choice) AP courses. The critical thinking, research, and communication skills that are necessary for success in college and beyond are taught in these courses (AP Seminar, AP Research). By obtaining an AP Capstone diploma, you can show universities that you are a well-rounded student with advanced writing, research, and analysis skills. You may also qualify for some scholarships and other academic accolades by getting an AP Capstone diploma. College application platforms (i.e., Common App, Coalition App) ask high school counselors whether the specific student will receive AP Capstone Diploma or not besides the regular high school diploma. Overall, AP Capstone Diploma has a huge impact on college applications.
In conclusion, enrolling in AP courses can benefit you in a number of ways when applying to colleges. You can demonstrate that you are a motivated and capable student who is prepared to take on the challenges of higher education by demonstrating your academic readiness, challenging yourself academically, standing out in a competitive applicant pool, earning college credit, and preparing for college-level coursework. International students whose high schools do not offer AP classes can take AP tests in other high schools (where AP tests are offered) and can show their potential to the colleges. Colleges are aware of this reality.
Last but not least, you can convince admissions officers that you are a driven and capable student who is prepared to succeed in higher education by showcasing your academic readiness, pushing yourself academically, standing out in a crowded applicant pool, earning college credit, and getting ready for college-level coursework. Talk to your school counselor or academic advisor about which AP classes would be the best fit for you if you were thinking about enrolling in them. Keep in mind to prioritize maintaining good grades, taking part in extracurricular activities, and showcasing your moral character and leadership qualities.
By Erkan Acar, PhD