The effect of Advanced Placement classes

How they do or do not prepare one for college


Michaela Dolph, Author

Every year around April, all students taking any Advanced Placement class begin to take the highly anticipated AP test. The AP test is very different from the SOL, SAT, and ACT. Depending on what class the test is for, there is usually multiple sections requiring different skills and students are under a time limit. For example, the AP World History exam has a multiple choice section, a short answer, a long essay, and a document based section. The tests are scored on a scale from one to five, with five being the best you can get. Usually, if you get a three or higher, most colleges will give one college credit for that course so they will not have to take it once they get to college.


Sophomore Brooke Harley, currently in AP world says, “ My AP class helps me manage my time and encourages me to try harder then I would on my own in traditional classes, and the weight boosts my GPA.”


Anyone who gets below a three has a very low chance of getting college credit, and all their hard work goes down the drain. AP classes are also a weighted class for the students which means their grade in their class factors into their GPA. AP classes are also notorious for being extremely hard. These classes require a lot more work than the standard class does. They require a lot more reading and a lot more work that students must do on their own at home. Some say that the AP classes prepare one for college, but some think otherwise.


In a poll taken on twitter out of 300 students, 46% said that AP classes do prepare one for college and 54% said that they do not.


In college, the students have to do most of the reading and learning on their own with some help from the professors, but in some AP classes the teachers give more help than needed. Another issue that some people complain about is that the AP classes do not enhance their writing skills. Some college students complain that they struggle writing long essays and research papers because they do not know how to format it or how write about the information in general because they were never taught in high school. They also claim that they AP test does not affect their college experience.


On the other hand, there are plenty of current college students who claim that high school AP classes do prepare you for college and benefit them if they do well on the AP test. Battlefield alumni of class of 2016, Tyler Dolph says, “ Yes they do prepare you for college because they prepared me for my college level classes. I’d even say some AP classes are more difficult than college classes. Also, getting fours and fives on AP tests allowed me more freedom in my college course selection because of that I was able to study abroad in Greece and take classes I found interesting without falling behind in my major.”  


Overall AP classes can be beneficial or not beneficial depending on the type of course one takes and what they score on the test itself.