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Are AP classes actually important?

Many parents are wondering is an AP class right for their child, and if not, what is the alternative?

AP classes are designed to give students a dose of the rigor of college level classes. Most AP classes require a lot of reading and homework and long nights...and stress. The good thing about AP classes is that it can act as a boost to a student's GPA if they perform well. A 'B' in an AP class is actually an 'A' towards the GPA. The reward for completing an AP class is getting college credit! But don't get too happy just yet, because you only get that credit if you pass the big test at the end that summarizes the full year of curriculum. If you don't pass, well, no college credit and some teachers use the test as a final for the class (just rude). It will look good on your transcript that you successfully made it to the end of the class though.

But with the shift to distance learning, this assessment begs the question, are AP classes really worth the headache?


So what is the alternative to AP classes that students can take that looks good to colleges and universities, and cuts down on loads of stress? Online community college classes. High school students can take part in concurrent enrollment (also called dual enrollment), which means the high school student can take college courses for...wait for it...FREE!!!

Yes, free. High school students can get their general education units started while they are in college and the most you will have to pay is a health services fee of no more than $25 for the semester depending on the school. You may have to buy a book, but some schools have waivers, and with everything online, most professors are trying to provide digital books for students. You can also submit the grades you receive from the community college to your high school to go towards your graduation credits. 2 birds, 1 stone.

So in short, cut the middle man and go straight to college. Don't depend on one hard end-of-the-year test to see if you get college credit. Go to college in high school and flex accordingly.

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