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Honors & AP Courses – Preparing Students for College


There is not a single doubt that your high school transcript plays a pivotal role when it comes to your admission into a well-reputed college. Taking Honors and AP classes might not guarantee your admission into your dream college, but they surely increase your chances. These advanced college-preparatory classes help you move closer towards your dream career or education.

Just taking these courses is not enough. You need to score well in these courses to establish your caliber. These courses are recognized as offering a rigorous experience to students.

Apart from taking challenging courses, you need to make sure that you go for the right combination of classes

What are Honors courses?

These courses usually refer to specialized higher-level classes that move forward at a quick pace. These accelerated courses cover more material than core classes. However, these classes are usually meant for talented high school students who excel in specific subjects. When a high-school student passes an honors class with good scores, it proves their academic abilities and diligence. This kind of proofs is what college admissions boards look forward to.

The honors courses are usually more academically challenging when compared to regular courses. Students who enroll in honors classes are considered to be more academically advanced than the rest. It even helps them to secure scholarships and entrance to their dream college. These college-preparatory classes were intended for high achievers right from the very beginning. However, these days honors classes are more open to all kinds of students. The students need to secure a teacher recommendation or maintains an average grade of B or higher in a similar class in order to get into this advanced course. When it comes to the term honors course, there are no official standards. Thus, these classes greatly vary design, quality and content wise.

When you avail an honors program at your high school, it gives an impression to the college board officers that you are damn serious about academics! It gives them the assurance that you shall continue to challenge yourself in college as well. Also, once you have taken this course, you are likely to start college with a few college credits at least. You might not be required to take certain college courses. Thus, both your time and money is saved that shall give you an accelerated college degree. When you are conditioned to deal with a high level of challenge at a faster pace, you shall not find it that challenging when you enter college. Thus, it shall be very easy for you to cope up with your college assignments.

However, remember that taking a lot of honors courses is a bad idea. It might lead to extreme stress and deprive you of proper sleep. Even your grades might go bad. Moreover, when you have are interested in certain extracurricular activities and want to pursue them, there is no point in taking the extreme load of multiple honors courses. You just need to clarify your situation to colleges in your application.

What are AP classes?

The AP curriculum is administered by The College Board. It consists of standardized high school courses that are almost equivalent to undergraduate college courses. Students usually take the AP exam on a subject after completing an AP class. This can help them earn credits and even accelerated placement in college.

However, you need to make sure that AP course is right for your child. Keep in mind that Advanced Placement classes are highly rigorous and demanding. They might turn out to be strenuous for your child if your child is not that determined. These classes necessarily stimulate the smartest minds. Such kind of stimulation is often missing in regular high school courses. Advanced Placement Courses improve your chances of getting through college admissions. AP classes usually raise the credibility of a student. These are crucial in forming a good impression in front of employers or college board officers. When a student performs decently in his AP classes, it is demonstrated that he has the capacity to handle the pressures of college-level work or even job-level work.

AP classes also sharpen students’ writing skills. They force the students to think critically, thus improving their problem-solving abilities. AP students get an idea as to how to navigate the academic expectations they’ll encounter in college courses.

AP exams are usually scored on a scale of 1 through 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest score. Earning scores within 3 to 5 enables them to earn course credits. They might even receive advanced placement as well. However, AP policies differ from school to school. However, a majority of colleges in the U.S. grant credit as well as accelerated placement for AP exams, either any one or both.

AP courses and exam scores help students to qualify for scholarships. Also, students who have AP experience and credits have a higher likelihood to graduate from college in four years. It saves the students and their parents from the cost of extra semesters at college.

An honors course is usually regarded as the most challenging course that exists today. However, a specialized Advanced Placement (AP) class can be more challenging from an academic perspective. In short, AP courses result in college credit unlike Honors classes.

If you wish to receive college credit for a completed AP course, you need to pass the AP exam with a score of three or higher. In fact, most of the colleges require a score of at least four with the maximum score of five.

The intensity of honors and AP courses is different for different states or schools. The factors that bring about this variation in academics are the faculty, students and geographic area. Of all these factors, the most prominent one is which organization determines the curricula. AP curricula are well-regarded and determined by the academic authority College Board. On the other hand, honors curricula are determined by state officials and school district administrators.

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