Advanced Placement Analysis

This is the official college board logo for the Advanced Placement Program.


This is the official college board logo for the Advanced Placement Program.

Imaan Moten, Photojournalist

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program of classes developed by the College Board that allows students to take college-level classes and earn college credits before graduating (La Times). AP classes also affect your high school GPA because an AP class is “weighted,”  which in most cases means high schools and colleges give it an extra point; this means that you could revive a “B” in an AP class but still end up with a 4.0 GPA.

In order to receive college credit from an AP class, you must pass the AP test with a 3, 4, or 5. These tests are administered and graded by the College Board in May, with scores becoming available around July-August. AP classes are said to be about 30% harder than your average high school class because they delve deeper on topics through evidence and research while also having a focus on “practical applications and critical thinking” (LA Times).

During high school, the average student who gets accepted into highly selective and desirable schools takes anywhere from 5-13 AP classes. While these classes are extremely beneficial for your education they are not in any way necessary and it is crucial that a student does what works for them academically. In terms of college admissions, the AP test is not pivotal. Many schools look at the classes a student has taken and their performance in said class; the test is primarily for college credits. 

Personally, I have taken one AP class during my freshman year which was AP Human Geography. I felt that it was extremely helpful because it exposed me to a lot of new concepts and ways of thinking. I am not sure if I really had the full class experience because I took the class virtually, and because of this many things were modified and many experiences were lost. I took the AP test for the class and received a 4 on the exam. The exam experience was fortunately fairly normal for me as I’ve been told because I opted to take the exam in person. The class itself took a fair amount of adapting for me because the reading level was higher than I was used to, and the tests were longer and more difficult. 

A student at Yorba Linda High School, Nikole Galea (10), was asked about their standpoint on AP classes to which they responded “I think AP classes can be very advantageous for students to help them for accurate college preparation and can help students challenge themselves academically.