How AP Classes Help with College Admissions

By Huntington Learning Center

If your student is taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes, you already know that these classes are a challenge and can earn your student college credit. But you also might wonder if there’s a link between AP classes and college admission. Here’s what you need to know about AP classes, college admission, AP exams and more:  

AP classes can boost a GPA. Most high schools calculate the GPA by offering more potential grade points for AP classes than they do for regular classes.  That means earning all As in regular and AP classes would result in a GPA of higher than 4.0. Because high schools’ policies differ across the country, colleges recalculate weighted GPAs using their own scales—so they can compare students accurately. Bottom line: AP classes offer students the opportunity to boost their GPA in college preparatory classes. That’s always looked upon favorably by admission officers.  

AP classes prove to admissions officers that a student can handle a challenge. When looking at students’ transcripts, admissions officers want to see that students took the most rigorous academic course load available to (and appropriate for) them. They want assurance that every student they admit will succeed academically at their institution. Success in AP classes is good evidence of that. If you find your student is struggling in an AP level class call Huntington.  We offer subject-specific tutoring and can help your student with a quick refresher or more in depth instruction.  

At competitive colleges and universities, your student will be compared to other students taking AP classes. If your student wants the best chance of getting into their top college choice, they should strive to meet or exceed the academic statistics of the typical admitted student. At top-tier institutions, many students were at the top of their graduating high school class. It is expected that students applying have pursued the most demanding curriculum offered by their high school. That includes AP classes.  

AP course grades matter most of all. While scoring well on an AP exam is beneficial for many reasons, when it comes to college admission, your student’s academic transcript matters most. Again, academic rigor is important to college admissions officers, and a transcript with AP classes on it proves that your student challenged themselves in high school. If your student scores well on any AP exams they take, they can report those scores to colleges and earn college credit!  

At some schools, AP exam scores can meet the standardized testing requirement. New York University, for example, allows students to submit three AP exam scores in lieu of SAT or ACT scores with their application. So, at a college or university like this, students already taking AP classes and exams could compare their best SAT/ACT scores to their best AP scores and submit whatever will best reflect their academic strengths.  

Are AP Classes Worth It? 

AP classes can help with college admissions, but there are other reasons these classes and exams are worth the effort for your student:  

  • They prepare your student for college. As mentioned above, AP classes are more rigorous than other high school classes. As your student nears college, this is important! 
  • Strong scores could mean college credit. Most colleges and universities in the U.S. offer college credit, advanced placement or both for qualifying AP exam scores. That means your student could skip some general education or introductory classes their freshman year of college, which could save them (and/or you) money. 
  • AP classes could start to cultivate ideas for possible college majors. Although your student won’t need to decide on a college major until they are at college, there’s no harm in exploring subjects more deeply during high school. AP classes allow your student to go as far as they can in high school in various subjects. This could point them in a career direction now and help them make the most of their time in college. 

Prep For the Advanced Placement (AP) Test

If your student is currently in an AP class, AP exam time is coming up soon and your student should start their AP test prep with Huntington. Huntington takes the same individualized approach to AP test prep as we do with our tutoring and SAT/ACT test prep programs. We start with a full-length practice AP exam that will pinpoint your student’s strengths and weaknesses. That allows us to tailor our test prep plan to your student’s needs and goals, so we can help them develop the skills and strategies to earn the highest score possible on every AP exam they take.  

If your student is struggling in one or more AP classes, Huntington can help them get back on track. Earning strong grades in AP classes will boost your student’s GPA and strengthen their transcript. Of course, the more confident your student is with AP class material, the more confident they will be taking AP exams too.  

Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN today to discuss how we can help your student achieve their goals for AP exams, college admissions and more!