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How hard are AP classes?

If you want to go to an Ivy League school or a school that is highly selective, it is a good idea to take a few AP classes. 

While many high schoolers know that taking AP classes is a great way to prepare for college and even earn college credit, some are hesitant to sign up for these classes because of their reputation.

If you listen to many people talk about AP classes, the general consensus is that these classes are incredibly difficult. 

But how hard are AP classes exactly? Are they too difficult for you to take without ruining your GPA? Will you be able to do well enough to earn college credit, or are you better off taking an easier class?

Here’s what you need to know about taking AP classes:

AP classes are college-level courses

While the teachers and grading policies at your school will influence the difficulty of the AP courses you take, it’s important to note that AP classes are designed to be as rigorous as introductory-level college courses.

Remember, many colleges offer college credit for taking an AP class and earning a passing score (3 or higher) on an AP exam. This is because the workload and expectations of an AP course are similar to those of a college course.

If you do not feel prepared to handle college-level work, then an AP class will likely be a challenge for you.

AP classes require background knowledge

In the same way that you can’t jump right into an AP class without taking a prerequisite first, you shouldn’t take an AP class if you struggled to do well in the prerequisite course.

If Physics was unbearable, and it took everything you had to get a decent grade, then AP Physics is going to be tough. As a rule of thumb, the more background knowledge and understanding you have of a topic, the easier it will be for you to take an AP course in that subject area.

Consider your past classes. Did you take honors Biology instead of the regular course? If so, AP Biology may be a good fit for you. Have you received A’s in all of your English classes? AP English Language and Composition might work out well for you.

In general, you will find that AP courses for subjects you do well in are a lot easier than AP courses for subjects where you tend to struggle.

AP classes are not all taught the same way

Not all AP courses are taught the same way. While the material covered is the same, the structure of the classes may be different. 

Some AP teachers provide class time for students to complete assignments and class readings. Other AP teachers expect students to complete this work on their own. 

If you’re wondering whether or not a specific AP class is going to be too difficult for you, try to find the syllabus for the class or talk to the teacher about how they tend to structure the class. This will help you get an idea of whether or not you should sign up for the class.

You might also consider inquiring about the pass/fail rate for the students who have taken the course in previous years. If a large percentage of the students who take AP Biology fail the test, that’s a strong indicator that you will have to dedicate a lot of time and effort in order to get a good grade, pass the exam, and earn college credit.

AP classes cover specific content

Before you sign up for an AP class, you can look online and see exactly what topics you will be expected to know for the exam. Knowing what you will need to learn ahead of time means that you have the chance to prepare and use resources, like private tutors, to help make your learning experience easier.

Working with a private tutor can help you find success in even the most difficult AP classes. With the extra help, guidance, and strategies you will receive from a tutor, you will have no trouble learning the material that will be covered on the AP exam, even if the course is typically hard to pass.

Sign up for private tutoring through Prep Expert and start preparing to do well in your AP courses today when you visit our website.

Prep Expert

Written by Prep Expert

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