Back to School: Top 7 Reasons to Take AP Courses

Considering an AP course this fall? College prep courses, such as Advanced Placement® classes, are among the most important factors in college admissions today. To help you excel in high school and prepare for college, edX offers more than 40 high school courses from top universities. The edX High School Initiative is also a great way for learners of any age to explore a new subject.

Whether you are interested in taking an AP prep course on edX or at your school, check out the “Top 7 Reasons to Take AP Courses” below and enhance your education today!

1. Stand out in the college admissions process.

Universities and colleges are looking for well-rounded applicants who demonstrate drive, passion, and academic excellence. The College Board cites AP coursework as great way to highlight the subject areas that interest and inspire you– and the areas where you excel!

Get started with Preparing for the AP* Physics 1 Exam – Part 1: Linear Motion from RiceX, beginning September 8, 2015.

2. Start developing college level skills before your first day on campus.

Walk into your first college class feeling confident, knowing you’ve already successfully completed college coursework! AP courses are modeled after college-level curriculum, and while they are quite challenging, they will help you prepare for your first year of university.

Familiarize yourself with college coursework in DavidsonNext’s AP Macronomics: Challenging Concepts course (self-paced), or Preparing for the AP* Statistics Exam starting October 1, 2015.

3. Earn college credit without the college price tag.

Working hard in your AP courses and passing the AP test could really pay off! Most U.S. colleges accept AP credit, meaning you can skip introductory courses in general studies by applying AP credits to your college transcript. Learners can start college with anywhere from 4 to 16 credits already completed.

Make your first move toward preparing for the AP exam and college credit with On Ramp to AP* Biology from Weston High School.

4. Start taking classes in your major.

Skipping intro level general studies courses means you can dive into your desired major sooner, and start taking courses that truly interest you. Also, you’ll have more room in your schedule to pursue a minor, or second major.

Prep for an intro class with Preparing for the AP* English Language and Composition Exam starting October 1, 2015.

5. Take more electives.

Since your freshman year schedule was not taken over by tons of general education requirements, you’ll have credit hours available to take electives, or add a minor! This is a great chance to take a class for fun, and future employers will appreciate the diversity of your academic background.

Explore a new subject today with On-Ramp to AP* French Language and Culture from Weston High School.

6. Challenge yourself.

AP courses are rigorous, and they require you to step outside of your comfort zone. Through AP courses, you’ll further develop your critical thinking skills, and also learn effective time management tactics. Whether you decide to take the AP exam for college credit or not, you will certainly not regret challenging yourself in your AP classes, and you’ll feel better prepared for the college

Start challenging yourself today with Preparing for the AP* Computer Science A Exam — Level Up! Part 1 from UC BerkeleyX, starting September 15, 2015.

7. Take AP courses on your own time.

If your high school does not offer AP courses, or you don’t have enough room in your schedule, there are other ways to complete AP course work. EdX high school courses let you prepare for college and the AP exams or supplement your current AP coursework. Take any course free, or pay for a Verified Certificate to share with teachers or college admissions officers!

Get started on your own schedule with DavidsonNext’s AP Calculus: Challenging Concepts from Calculus AB & Calculus BC, or Preparing for the AP* Spanish Language and Culture Exam from SMES. Start anytime in these self-paced courses!

*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these offerings.

Davidson Next is the product of a partnership among Davidson College, the College Board, edX, 2Revolutions, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  In 2013, these institutions came together with the shared mission to create high-quality AP®-aligned materials that would be free to high school students and teachers around the world.