The Advantages of Advanced Placement Courses

advancementOne important decision to make in high school is whether or not to take advanced placement courses, college-level classes taught in high school. According to Allen Grove, a college admissions expert, you should take advantage of the courses offered in your school. Taking advanced placement courses will benefit you in both the college application process and undergraduate life.

In a world where entering college is a challenge, taking the AP courses will give you that boost among other college applicants. Your academic record is the most important part of college application thus, succeeding in difficult courses is the surest sign of your preparedness for college which will then impress college admissions counselors.

Advanced placement courses require high-level calculation and critical thinking that you’ll encounter in your first year of college. Therefore, if you’ve successfully passed an AP course, you have developed college-level academic skills which in turn will lead you to a fruitful college life.

If you take enough AP courses, this will help you in saving money in the long run. You can potentially graduate a semester or even a year early which is a good idea for students who are not receiving financial aid. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars for another semester or year, graduating early is a great option.

Choosing a major sooner is also one of the benefits in taking advanced placement courses. Each course provides in-depth introduction to a specific subject area and a high score on an AP exam often fulfills one of a college’s general education requirements. Therefore, it will give you ample time to explore different academic fields.

Colleges also honor credits earned from taking advanced placement courses. With this, you can take more elective classes that serve your interests like glass blowing or the occult. You can also add a minor or second major more easily because AP credits will make it more feasible.

History of the Advance Placement Programs

The Advance Placement Program has become the leading educational excellence in the secondary schools in the United States. The program offers rough curricula and assessment to high school students. The AP result will be the basis for college courses, if you fail the courses you prefer, you will end up taking the course that don’t require a higher grade. This year alone, almost 2 million students have taken the exam, showing how necessary it is for college hopefuls.

The program started in 1955, its original intent was to provide students the opportunity to take college-level coursework and earn college credit while still in high school. Originally, AP was used almost exclusively for purposes of college credit and placement, as different from admissions.

There is a wide gap between secondary and higher education in the early part of the twentieth century. In two studies supported by the Ford Foundation, educators endorsed that secondary schools and colleges should work together to elude repetition in course work at the high school and college levels. The recommendation aims to motivate students to work at the height of their capabilities and to advance their skills as quickly as possible.

In the 1960s, the College Board activated a long-term pledge to teacher development. There was a good result as secondary school teachers had improved through the program. The number of schools that included AP to their advanced academic offerings had increased between 1970 and 1980. Over the years, the access to AP was expanded by the College Board by introducing Pre-AP Initiatives and AP Vertical Teams to aid students, targeting more the students in mid grade. The preparation for the AP at the moment has been advanced and has been in an utmost importance in most schools. Learning the history of the advance placement programs could make you understand its importance.