Pros (and Cons???) of AP Tests

Everyone says take AP and IB tests because it can get you ahead in college. That is very much true. I have gotten out of a few classes myself because of AP classes. Yet, for many, it proves to be detrimental to their college experience and can cause harm.

So lets say that you are a genius and got out of many but not all classes because of AP, IB, etc. testing.

Pros

  • Some general education requirements (GEs) can be fulfilled, allowing you to take on classes that you would rather enjoy or prefer.
  • Some schools take the credits you’ve received from this testing and put you in certain standing allowing you to get your classes before someone of lower standing.
  • Some of those credits can get you out of major/minor prerequisite (prereq) classes advancing you in your major.
  • In some of your classes, a topic may not be new to you because it was taught in high school.
  • Not everyone took the advanced classes, and if you performed well in them, then you have a head start.

To summarize the pros: You have a head start. Great for you!

Cons

  • You may find classes that you would want to take, but since you have college credit already, it wouldn’t be beneficial for you.
  • You may have a professor that says “If you had me last quarter/semester/year…” then you may not know what the professor is talking about.
  • You could be placed into a more advanced class because you have credit for the first few courses. Sometimes students are not ready for the advanced college classes and feel/fall behind.
  • Classes that require background information from classes offered at the college that you did not take could hold you back a bit.

To summarize the cons: Yes you get credit, but it won’t work out how you think it would in some cases.

I do not mean to scare you. For some, like me, getting AP credit has been nothing but beneficial for me. It seems as though the ones that get screwed up are the ones that have a lot of credit. It becomes hard to juggle what you can and cannot take in terms of classes and that can hinder you in some ways.

However, college is all about learning. Your first year is a transition period. Do not worry about getting too many credits but just make sure that you stay on top of what your credits cover when you get to your future school.

Good luck with AP testing to all those that are doing them!

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