Should You Really Take The APs?

Tutela Why you should take APs

If you’re in high school, you’ve probably heard about AP classes.You might have even taken a few of them already. However, is all the hard work that goes into preparing for APs actually worth it?


APs definitely provide you with an edge over other regular course students. APs give you early exposure in terms of knowledge, experience, and college-level courses. It also provides the capability to handle a good amount of workload that can ease your college life. Only go for AP if you have a foolproof study plan to get a perfect score. Otherwise, it can simply bring down your overall performance.

So, before you make up your mind about taking or not taking AP, let’s briefly talk about its importance in your application process-

1. College credits– What draws most of the student’s attention for taking the APs are college credits. College credit policies vary from college to college. So, it is advisable to check the policies of that particular college in which you’re interested to get a better idea. Some colleges might use your college credits to allow you to graduate early whereas others may use it to put you in advanced courses in freshman year. Either way, it’s a win-win for you.

2. Explore– APs give you an opportunity to explore your field of interest. It allows you enough time to introspect and prevents you from juggling between career choices.

3. Challenging experience– AP exams tend to be harder and more challenging as they have a detailed curriculum. Hence, AP classes are designed in a way which makes you a pro of a particular subject and helps you ace your exam.

4. Time management– AP exams not only improve your studying skills but also enable you to micromanage your routine tasks like school homework, projects and other day-to-day activities. This skill of time management should come in handy before starting college.

SAT Subject tests vs. APs

It is advisable to take the SAT or ACT, followed by SAT Subject Tests and then APs. Nevertheless, it depends on the college. It will be better if you take both. Most colleges accept SAT Subject Tests scores. Hence, you need to take the SAT Subject Tests regardless of your AP exam. So, we suggest you do thorough research by checking the college website and check the requirements of your target colleges.

As an International student- Can a strong profile with a perfect AP score compensate for a poor school academic record?
If this question is bugging you, then we’ll try to help you. AP is just an addition to your existing knowledge of the subject of which you’re taking your AP exam. It’s not a concrete formula for getting admission to your desired college. It is undeniably correct that extracurricular activities and AP help you stand out of the crowd but if you haven’t brilliantly scored in your academics, everything else is worthless. So, to encapsulate: a good academic record is equally important for your entire college application process.

AP Preparation

It usually takes 2-3 months to prepare for the AP exam. The main aim is to give yourself enough time to get used to AP question types: take a few practice tests, review the course content, and polish your test-taking strategies. If you have enough time for preparation and feel confident regarding the subject, you can go for self-preparation. However, it is advisable to take external help as the APs are quite overwhelming and exhausting at the same time. APs are a bit more complex as you’re tested on the in-depth knowledge of every topic so it’s better to prepare properly for it with complete guidance.

It is advisable that a student should ideally take between 4-8 APs in their high schools. Speaking of which, APs are time-consuming and taking more classes in order to impress colleges is definitely going to take a toll on your mental health and school academics. Mental stability and health are more important than getting into any college. So, carefully take the classes as per your capacity. If you think you’re going to burn out in the process or are unable to focus on other areas, please reconsider your choices.

Also, APs tests are a bit expensive. So, unless you have a fee waiver, think wisely before choosing more than 8 APs as it would cost around $1000.

AP Problems students face while preparing for AP exams

Although AP classes are one of the most popular ways to take college classes in high school, there are a few major downsides-

1. College credits are given to certain scores. If you have scored below 3 you will not get any credit. Some colleges give credits to only those who scored a perfect 5.
2. The content you learn for your AP can be overwhelming as it introduces you to high-level concepts.
3. Some APs have below 50% passing rates while some have below 40%. Around 60% of test takers end up failing the test leading to loss of college credits and losing the chance of getting into their dream college.


Mindset for the exam- Don’t be afraid and don’t doubt your capabilities. Whatever the result is going to be, have faith in yourself as APs are not the only criteria for your selection. Do what you can and leave what you can’t.

APs are a valuable addition to your treasure of knowledge. You get in-depth knowledge of the topic and you’re preparing yourself for your college while still in high school. APS prepare you to handle more workload as they’re in addition to your existing syllabus and develop consistency and discipline in you. Hence, it irrefutably adds value not only to your knowledge but also to your personality and your mindset.

Retaking your AP exam – You can retake your AP exam in the subsequent year, however, you need to be very mindful and consult your counsellor before doing so. All the scores are sent to the college officials for admission purposes. Go for a retake only if you score below 3 and if your revised AP score will have a good impact on your college admission, otherwise don’t go for it. Furthermore, retaking an AP exam can turn out to be very expensive and it’s also a big time commitment. So, think before you settle on your decision of retaking your exam.
To know more about AP check out our blogs on SAT vs AP and Will AP and SAT help in getting your dream college


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