What is Advanced Placement (AP) and How To Make it Work for You
Stand Out in College Admissions
College application season can be an anxious time for you, your family and just about everyone who cares about you. you've worked hard and done your best, but how do you know you've got the academic experience that colleges are looking for?
By making the decision to take an AP course, you're letting colleges and universities know that you have what it takes to succeed in an undergraduate environment. AP courses signal to admissions officers that you've undertaken the most rigorous classes your high school has to offer. They see that you've challenged yourself with college-level course work and expectations, and have refined your skills to meet these expectations. In the increasingly competitive admissions process, this knowledge can be very valuable.
Importantly, AP courses offer admissions officers a consistent measure of course rigor across high schools, districts, states and countries — because all AP teachers, no matter where they're teaching, have to provide a curriculum that meets college standards. So when admissions officers see “AP” on your transcript, they have a good understanding of what you experienced in a particular class and how well it prepared you for the increased challenges of college.
Earn College Credits
As college costs grow each year, the prospect of continuing education becomes less and less of a reality for many high school students. By making it through an AP course and scoring successfully on the related AP Exam, you can save on college expenses. Currently more than 90 percent of colleges and universities across the country offer college credit, advanced placement, or both, for qualifying AP Exam scores. These credits can potentially save students and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition, fees and textbook costs, which can transform what once seemed unaffordable into something within reach.
You can see specific colleges’ guidelines on accepting AP scores for credit and placement by searching our AP Credit Policy database. Here you can see how many credits your AP scores will earn you and which courses you may be able to place out of at your future college.
Skip Introductory Classes
If you know what you want to major in at college, taking an AP course related to that major and earning a qualifying score on the AP exam can help you gain advanced placement out of introductory courses. This means that you can possibly place out of crowded required courses, and move directly into upper-level classes where you can focus on work that interests you most.
Even if you take an AP exam unrelated to your major — or if you're not sure what you want to major in — AP courses can often help you place out of your colleges’ general education requirements. With this additional time on your class schedule, you can pursue a second major or minor, take exciting electives or follow additional interests in new ways.
Build College Skills
By taking an AP course, you aren't just distinguishing yourself in high school and in the college admissions process; you are also building the skills you'll need throughout your college years. Since AP courses give you the opportunity to get your hands on real college-level work while still in high school, you'll get a great idea of what to expect when you move onto the next phase of your educational journey.
The increased rigors of AP courses will not only give your mind a workout, they will help you polish up your time management and study skills, which, given the pressures of undergraduate life, will become an invaluable ally. In addition, getting a feel for how to tackle challenging issues and problems, with the support of your AP teachers, can help you grow your natural study habits and skills. In the end, you will get the most out of your AP courses now and your college courses in the future.
With AP classes, you'll experience the thrill of overcoming difficult problems as well as the pride of seeing challenges through to the end. College can be challenging, and learning how to work intensely and overcome academic obstacles while in high school can enable you to experience the joy of making it over the hurdles that may confront you during college classes. Once you know this, you'll be rewarded with the confidence and understanding that with knowledge, hard work and determination, you can overcome just about anything that stands in your way.
- From the College Board and AP Central website: AP Central on College Board
AP Courses offered at Ennis High School:
AP English Language
AP English Literature
AP Spanish Language
AP Environmental Science
AP World History
AP U.S. History
AP Human Geography
Pre-AP Courses offered at Ennis High School:
Pre-AP English I
Pre-AP English II
Pre-AP Spanish II
Pre-AP Spanish III
Pre-AP Algebra II
Pre-AP World Geography