Best Questions To Ask Before Taking AP Course

Best Questions To Ask Before Taking AP Course

Best Questions To Ask Before Taking AP Course

The fact that 43% more students took AP exams in 2020 than in 2010 initially indicates how popular these college-level courses have become in the last ten years. According to a past study, 1.21 million high school seniors who are graduating took 4.1 million AP examinations over their high school careers.

During high school, almost all teenagers (as well as their parents) ask themselves, Should one AP or not AP? There are numerous benefits to enrolling in AP classes, but there are also, to be honest, numerous drawbacks.

However, before deciding to pursue the Advanced Placement route, what are the actual questions that parents and students should be asking themselves?

These are the questions to ask before your child enrolls in an AP course.

Best Questions To Ask Before Taking AP Course

Some students find that AP courses are a perfect fit for them, but others discover that the curriculum and test do not suit their preferred learning method. Ultimately, regardless of how they acquire knowledge, the brightest and most accomplished students are those who have a passion for studying.

If your school is one of the thousands in the world that offers AP classes in various subjects, you might be thinking about the courses you can take.

1. What is the price?

It may be optional to take the AP course exam through The College Board, so be sure to inquire. Exam costs are as follows: $94 for US residents, and $124 for those outside the country. If you want to take four or five AP classes, that might add up rapidly.

A lot of families are unaware that enrolling in an AP course could have some financial implications. Find out if your school is paying for the AP exam or if you are responsible for paying for it if you decide to take it at the end of the school year.

2. Is it transferable?

Is this AP course going to be accepted as college credit by the student’s prospective college, and if so, to what extent? is arguably the most crucial question you should be asking.

For instance, an AP exam score of three or higher may be for three credit hours at one university, but a score of four or higher may only be worth credit at another. You should also find out if a 4 or a 5 gets you more than 3 credit hours that is, will a 4 get you only 3 hours? For a lab credit, will a 5 get you a 3 plus a 4?

Find out if your student’s AP credits will apply toward the requirements of that program by speaking with an advisor in their major. For instance, a biology major may still need to take (or retake, in a sense) “General Bio” as a major requirement, even though they received a 5 on the AP Bio exam.

3. What exactly will the workload include, and are there going to be any responsibilities outside of school?

Is summer preparation work required for this class? To what extent? Will students need to attend classes throughout the summer, or will they be allowed to complete the preparation work on their own? It is very helpful to ask the AP teacher to elaborate on the workload at this point.

4. Can I Complete This AP Class’s Academic Workload?

There is more work involved in AP classes than in a typical high school course. In addition to covering more difficult subjects, AP teachers give out a lot more reading assignments, homework, and projects. If you are involved in extracurricular activities or sports at school, you might find the additional responsibilities of AP courses to be too much to handle.

Certain AP courses are more difficult than others; not all AP courses are created equal. Check the course content and ask your counselor or the AP teachers at your school about what to expect in each subject. You can prevent burnout and make an informed decision with this knowledge.

5. How is AP grade weight calculated?

Once more, it’s helpful to know where your child might be applying to colleges at this point. A high school GPA is calculated very differently by each college.

While some may give them equal weight, others may give AP classes a “bonus bump” that is higher than the one they give honors classes. It raises the question of whether an honors “A” and an AP “A” are worth the same. Learn more.

6. What Are the AP Teacher’s Average Scoring Results?

Indeed, you are free to raise this question, and you really ought to do. See the guidance counselor, the prospective AP teacher, or both, and request to view a few of the test scores from the prior year (student identities withheld, of course).

Do most of that specific AP teacher’s pupils consistently receive a score of 3, 4, or 5? What is the trend in the teacher’s scores? Maybe look for a different teacher if the score is 3.

7. What Score Do I Need to Earn College Credit for This AP Class?

You already have enough pressure as a high school student, so you don’t need to have all of your college plans planned out just yet. On the other hand, this information can assist you in selecting AP courses if you already know which universities you wish to go to.

When it comes to granting credit for AP courses, each college has its guidelines. Verify the AP credit requirements at the institutions you are considering. Take the corresponding AP classes if you can obtain general education credit for a science or humanities course.

While some universities may need an AP score of 4 or even 5, others may grant credit for scores of 3 or higher. Additionally, some universities don’t give AP exam credit.

8. Should I Dual Enroll Instead?

Dual enrollment courses are a good choice if your primary goal is to receive college credit for your AP coursework. High school students can enroll in college courses through nearby higher education institutions through dual enrollment programs.

After high school, students can transfer their acquired credits to a university. High schools work in conjunction with nearby colleges or universities to provide a smooth procedure.

The class fee is typically covered by school districts, and if the community college is public and state-supported, any classes taken through DE will probably transfer smoothly to the public university in the same state. Additionally, find out if you can earn three credit hours from a DE course in one semester.

Compared to AP programs, dual-enrollment classes could provide a greater selection of possibilities. They also provide students with a genuine flavor of what to expect from a university education because they are actual college courses. Nevertheless, transfer credits from your particular dual-enrollment program might not be accepted by all universities.

9. How to Sign Up for AP Classes

It’s time to enroll when you decide which AP courses you wish to take. You’ll likely enroll in AP classes in the spring or summer before as they begin at the same time as regular courses.

Discuss your intentions with your school counselor, then register via the appropriate channels at your school, either via a counselor or an administrator.

You will eventually have to register for AP examinations, which you can do using the My AP portal on the College Board.

Best Questions To Ask Yourself Before Taking an AP Course

As it is highly important to ask many questions that will simply help you out in deciding to take an AP course, it is very essential to ask yourself many questions to have a clear view of how you stand in that decision.

1. What are my goals for taking AP classes?

Would you like to benefit from the demanding curriculum and get ready for your college exams? Or would you want additional chances to demonstrate your intellectual prowess? You can determine if AP classes are good for you by evaluating your goals.

2. What are my future academic goals?

By preparing students for the AP exam, students can often bypass introductory college or university seminars, enroll in advanced classes, and complete their general education requirements.

Many students find time throughout their college years to participate in more activities (such as internships, study abroad programs, etc.) by finishing AP classes in high school.

However, not all colleges follow this route; some give credit for excellent AP scores, while others just mention them during the application process.

Colleges and universities don’t need to grant placement or credit for AP courses, so make sure to confirm the prerequisites at the institutions you are considering. Your time and money will only be well spent on the course and exam if you know how they will be recognized.

3. Can I Afford the Cost of the AP Exam?

Think about the expense of the AP exam as well. Every AP exam taken in the United States costs $96 from the College Board; the only exceptions are the $144 special exams for AP seminars and research.

Additionally, the College Board charges $40 for canceled or unusable tests as well as late orders. Costs associated with AP exams can mount up quickly, particularly if you’re enrolled in several AP courses.

Don’t give up if the entire cost prevents you from enrolling in some AP classes. Students who meet certain financial requirements might get a $34 cost discount for each exam from the College Board. Additionally, certain districts and schools might provide financial aid.

4. What are the benefits of taking AP classes?

Enrolling in AP programs offers numerous advantages, including heightened self-assurance and the chance to get better scores. Additionally, it is simpler to handle the stress of preparing for tests when you are prepared.

5. Are the classes offered at my school AP eligible?

While many high schools offer AP courses, not all of them qualify for credit. If the classes you are thinking about taking qualify for Advanced Placement (AP), find out from the registrar’s office at your institution.

6. What are the requirements for taking AP classes?

You must meet the requirements of the course to be eligible to enroll in an AP course. These requirements may include earning a passing grade point average (GPA) on the AP Exam and having a high school GPA of at least 3.5.

7. Do I have the necessary background to be successful in an AP course?

Even though many students benefit from the AP curriculum, it is undoubtedly not for everyone. Passing the exam is the class’s main objective, therefore having a track record of achievement in the subject you want to study is advantageous.

School guidance counselors are frequently useful tools for evaluating your preparedness, and many courses offer recommendations for required courses.

An AP course could broaden your knowledge and intensify your enthusiasm for a subject in which you excel. Alternatively, the total complexity and breadth of material required in an AP Calculus program may disappoint a student who finds calculus challenging.

Recall that AP coursework is frequently respected by college admissions officers, but never at the price of a strong GPA.

8. Will the class allow me to pass the AP exam successfully?

It is possible to take and pass the AP exam without enrolling in the course, so keep that in mind when you sign up for an AP course.

Should you achieve a high exam score, you will have the same benefits as students who attended classes to get ready for the test. You might not require the AP course if you are homeschooled or an extremely effective independent learner.

9. At what cost will passing the AP class/test come?

A college application that includes an AP exam pass score appears fantastic, but admissions committees take other factors into account. Education institutions include extracurricular activities, employment history, internships, grades, and other factors.

Choosing an AP course could be a bad idea if you struggle to manage your academic obligations. You might be interested in these four AP prep myths.

The maintenance of all of your grades, getting enough sleep, and dedicating time to pursuing your interests are also crucial. Considering your study style, testing prowess, and timetable is important because AP courses need a lot of commitment.

10. What other options are available to me?

You must understand that passing AP tests and taking classes is only one way to succeed academically. Some students leave college or university after enrolling, but others benefit from the introductory courses offered during the more traditional first year of higher education.

While some students feel that AP courses are a fantastic fit for them, others find that the test and material are not in line with how they want to learn.

Ultimately, the most intelligent and successful students are those who are passionate about learning, regardless of how they obtain their knowledge. Certain students find that dual credit courses offered by a community college better suit their needs and academic goals.

Best Questions To Ask Before Taking AP Course
Best Questions To Ask Before Taking AP Course

Appropriate Questions To Ask Your School About An Advanced Placement Program

1. How would your institution handle the situation when AP sign-ups were either extremely tiny (and so “expensive” to staff) or extremely huge (and thus requiring either trimming down or adding a section)?

2. Does your school’s schedule of Advanced Placement tests in May hinder the creation of effective end-of-year programming for upper-grade students? Or does it conflict in any other way with other commendable or possibly beneficial extracurricular or academic programs?

3. Can public schools in your community provide a wider and more well-established selection of AP courses than your institution can? If yes, are your efforts to uphold your program undervaluing the special qualities and capabilities of your institution in a field where gaining a competitive edge can be hard or impossible, anyhow?

4. Do bright, motivated students become disengaged from hard, interesting classes that don’t carry the AP title because they feel under pressure to “have” AP courses on their transcript?

5. If you now offer AP courses, how much do you think it would cost the general public to replace them with courses that you have created yourself? In your situation, what information or proof would your institution need to decide whether to keep the AP program going or not? How would the information be gathered?

6. If you were to think about ending or not implementing an AP program, who constituency would you be most accountable to? How would you respond to their worries?

7. Do the worries of your school’s Advanced Placement teachers impede efforts to change the curriculum in a way that would benefit all students, such as scheduling reform?

8. If you were creating an internal program to take the place of Advanced Placement courses, where would you start?

9. Are you concerned that your students’ prospects of getting into college would be compromised if you do not now offer Advanced Placement courses?

10. If you already provide Advanced Placement classes, are you concerned that stopping them will make it more difficult for your students to get into colleges?

11. If you now provide AP courses, how much do you think it would cost the general public to replace them with courses that you have created internally?

12. Do your AP instructors educate for the sake of the test, or are they teaching a subject?

13. Does your institution use AP course grades to calculate a student’s GPA or class rank? Have you gathered and examined information to ensure that this weighting is fair?

14. Is it regarded as a distinguished assignment to teach AP in your school? If so, why is that the case because it’s “AP,” because educators genuinely think it’s the finest curriculum, or because they regard instructing a particular student body as a “plum”?

15. Do you think that offering an AP course brightens your whole curriculum? In that case, do you allow all students to enroll in AP courses?


16. Does your faculty employ an externally driven curriculum in place of enabling them to develop the knowledge necessary to create extremely demanding and captivating advanced courses on their own?

17. How recently have you heard of a former student using their Advanced Placement credits to “place out” of a full year of college?

18. Do you keep track of how frequently your school’s alumni use their Advanced Placement credits to go up into college courses rather than down?

19. How are the tasks assigned to students in the current AP courses graded and assessed? Do the results of the AP exams factor into the school-based evaluation process?

20. Do you feel confident enough to recommend students for admission into college based on the faculty’s internal standards?

21. How much does your school value depth over breadth in the curriculum, both conceptually and practically?

22. To what extent does your school’s AP program represent the concerns of stakeholders outside of your faculty and student body?

23. Is your school’s AP program intended to offer a rigorous advanced curriculum or only to give your more aspirational students a transcript advantage for college admission?

24. Have your policies regarding students enrolled in “AP” classes taking the Advanced Placement exam been determined based on the needs of each student or on concerns about the perceived integrity of the institution?

25. What kind of resources are needed for AP courses? People, time, place, and materials?

26. Does the AP program offer courses whose subjects and teaching styles align with the specific goals and values of your school?

27. Does your school’s dedication to diversity in all its forms come through in the AP course content and methods?

28. Do the philosophical and developmental aspects of your department’s curricula align with the “vertical team” approach to AP instruction in certain disciplines?

29. Do you make AP classes the top of a pyramid based on ability or achievement through a winnowing or sifting process?

30. Who is eliminated from AP classes through “winnowing”? Do you keep tabs on this on a demographic and individual basis?

31. What are the lost opportunities resulting from utilizing these resources on an AP course?

32. Are your kids being challenged in the most appropriate manner conceivable by the AP curriculum?

33. Does your AP curriculum have any obstacles? Are there any high-level classes that are deemed the “best” or most desirable in the school that students are not allowed to enroll in because of your policies?

34. Is an AP curriculum the greatest thing your school could come up with, given a room full of engaged and inquisitive students and an enthusiastic, knowledgeable teacher?


Remember, it’s critical and essential to enquire about the DE and AP transfer policies of prospective colleges from advisers and admissions representatives. Keep doing this throughout the high school course selection process, since policies are subject to change.


What do I need to know before the AP exam?

  1. Begin with historical content. Start by going over the content you have already finished in class.
  2. When learning new content, keep the AP exam in mind.
  3. You shouldn’t depend too much on your high school instructor.
  4. Purchase an AP study guide.
  5. Find a professional AP helper.
  6. Get ready for the SAT.

What are the 6 tips to succeed on the AP exam?

  1. Answer the simpler questions first, then go back to the more difficult ones.
  2. Answer all the questions, but reserve your judgment until you have ruled out those that you know are incorrect.
  3. Remember to bring a watch and be mindful of the time!
  4. Before writing, give your essays careful thought and planning!
  5. Bring Water and a Snack for the Break

What kind of questions are on an AP exam?

Three different question formats are available on AP exams: multiple-choice, free-response, and through-course performance tasks. Free-response and multiple-choice questions are both included in most AP exams.

Which AP exam is the hardest to pass?

Physics 1 is the hardest AP exam in terms of pass rates. Furthermore, fewer than 8% of exam participants scored perfectly. Naturally, your strengths will determine which AP exam is the hardest.

What gets you a 5 on the AP exam?

A five, the maximum attainable score, is usually obtained on an AP test with a score of 90–100%. Still, test to test can somewhat differ in the precise percentage required for a 5.



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