High School AP Courses-What Are They and Should I Take Them?

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Taking on more work in an already stressful high school situation may sound like madness to some, but for others the payoff could be huge. This article explains AP courses, and discusses the benefits of taking them.
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AP courses, or Advanced Placement courses, are college-level courses you can take while you are still in high school. About.com states that at the end of each AP course, you will have the option of taking an AP Exam. If you perform well on this exam you may earn credit or advanced standing at some colleges. While it is no guarantee that the college of your choice will give you credit for the courses, you will still stand out from the crowd.The reason for this is because AP courses are optional. So, if you perform well in the AP courses, the college admissions officer will give you priority over an applicant who hasn't taken such courses. About.com lists the following attributes you are signaling to your college admissions officer about yourself:

- A Love of learning

- Academic interest and discipline

- Commitment to success and academic excellence

- Willingness to take on work and responsibility

- Maturity

- Ability to handle college-level work

- Good work and study habits

In addition to taking AP courses for possible college credit, the level of work you take while in an AP class prepares for college-level work. AP courses are tough, but so is college. Thus, by taking such courses you are more ready than many of your peers to handle college-level course work.

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