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Taking AP and College Level Courses in High School


Building new skills is easy to accomplish when you incorporate challenging high school classes. These extra challenges will set you up on a path to success in college. You will be accustomed to working hard and ready to tackle any extra work.

Did you know that college freshmen students in a recent survey stated that they wished they had used their high school years to work harder? Preparing yourself now (without becoming drained or exhausted), will help you be ready to achieve greater things.

College-level classes, challenging courses and honor programs will make your college application look extra promising. These are the items that the admission officers want to see on your application. These “harder” courses are often more interesting and much more worthwhile compared to the basic classes. Students who have taken International Baccalaureate programs and Advanced Placement courses are familiar with problem-solving skills and collaborating on a grander scale.

Foster Vital Skills

College-level and honors classes can deliver the habits and skills you need to succeed in college and life. These courses will assist you in developing the following:

  • Positive study habits
  • Better time-management skills
  • Discipline
  • Problem-solving capabilities
  • Enhanced writing ability

Getting Ready for College

When your college admissions see that you have surpassed the basics by engaging in more rigorous high school classes, they will take note. The level of courses you have attained is one of the major items that colleges consider when reviewing your application.

AP Exams, IB exams and classes and college courses may lead to advanced college placement and college credits. This allows some students to skip certain basic courses and be able to directly advance into more interesting and higher-level classes. Some students utilize this extra time to study abroad or pursue a double major.

Taking a Varied Approach

College-level courses and honors classes are very different from regular classes. Here are some of the different learning opportunities that might be available:

  • The IB Program delivers college-level classes that focus on developing your awareness of global issues and your thinking skills.
  • Honors Classes typically cover similar items compared to regular class material; however, they tend to delve deeper into the subject matter and may operate at a faster pace.
  • There may be a variety of college courses available while you are still attending high school. Check with your school counselor or look into options available at your local college campus.
  • The AP Program offered by the College Board delivers college-level classes that help students apply critical thinking skills, problem-solving techniques, better writing strategies and other beneficial skills. There are over thirty classes to choose from.

Discover Your Passions

Higher-level courses can introduce you to ideas and topics that are not typically covered in the regular classroom. For instance, AP courses include Psychology, Environmental Science, and Chinese Language and Culture. You might find the subject that will turn into your career focus or your college major.

Take Action

After you have determined that taking college-level or honors classes will be beneficial, speak with your teacher, a school counselor, or the principal to get more information and direction. They can help you understand the preparation required and the course’s workload that may be necessary and how to sign up to take these classes.