AP Classes – You Better Take Some or Their Equivalent
Note: This is part 4 of the transcript of the information contained in the video from VanderbiltUniversity about Applying for College – an Insiders Guide for Getting Into a Good College and it’s about AP Classes.
For the previous segment: About Your College Essay
This is taking AP classes and if an “A” is required.
Before we get to the transcript let me say that you don’t need to get a A. Just take as many AP courses or Honors classes as you can and manage your workload. You can take the college placement test if you have taken the AP classes or the honors classes. Sometimes the honors classes are better than the AP classes.
I want to take AP classes in my high school, but I’m not sure I’ll get A’s. Should I still take them?
That is really almost a million-dollar question that I’m asked constantly and I think let’s back that up a little and talk about balance and risk. That’s what we are talking about here.
We want students that want to be intellectually challenged and not always take the safe bet. That being said, whether you are in an AP classes, or a age-specific course or grade-specific course, you still need to do well. So there’s the balance there.
AP Classes or Honors Classes?
If somebody were in a high school, and remember again, we are talking in generalities here. If somebody were in a high school and that high school offered 10 honors programs, honors courses, maybe 10 AP classes and a couple of IB courses, and you did not take any and you came out with a really good GPA, that would not look very good at all because the rigor of your curriculum then comes into play.
So you need a balance – you know taking off and being intellectually challenged and knowing that you are just protecting that GPA.
Remember that we talked earlier; one variable does not get you in or out. It’s the multiplicity of all of these. So my best advice would be you need to be in college preparatory courses, AP, IB, a lot of schools particularly private schools may not even offer. They’ll say all of their courses are honors courses which is okay as well, that will all be reflected in the school profile from the counselor.
But what we are looking for that people seize the environment that they were in. And seizing it does not mean that if they are offered 10 APs they should take all 10.
But it’s – I hope that helps you think about the balance of your APs. But at the end of the day, if you take all APs and you’re getting Cs, we would think that there are some judgment issues here because you are more concerned about taking their course but you have not mastered the topic before.
So there’s some balance and that helps us understand intellectual maturity development of the student as we are building the community as well.