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Misconceptions About the AP

We covered AP exams, and what they are in our previous article. However, there are myths about them that occasionally make their way around!

AP Misconception #1: that AP courses are entirely unmanageable
AP courses are known for their testing coursework, depth of material, and often challenging exams. However, it’s important to keep a healthy mindset when deciding on whether to take an AP on or not. Colleges want to know that you’re challenging yourself at school and more importantly, going out of your comfort zone helps you grow as an individual. Taking AP courses is not just about the content itself, but also the skills and lessons you gain with the learning journey. AP courses can stretch your creative mind, build critical thinking skills, introduce you to new perspectives, teach literary and research analysis, and so much more.

AP Misconception #2: that all colleges award credit when you pass an AP course
Not all colleges have the same system for evaluating whether or not a student earns credit for passing an AP exam. Not all AP courses are put at the same value; some are considered more challenging than others. Examples of the more “challenging” courses would be AP Calculus AB/BC or AP English Language and Composition, because they are considered the core classes. Each college decides the way in which credits for AP courses will work, so students should research colleges and their individual policies.

AP Misconception #3: that an AP score will get you into the college you are aiming for
We’re all aiming for a 5, which is completely reasonable! However, there’s often a thin line between a healthy goal and something akin to an obsession. AP scores, while important to your application, are mainly an evaluation of your ability to keep up with college coursework, an assessment of whether you push yourself or not. AP scores should not be seen as the end all be all, because they’re not. Though it’s critical that students must always work their hardest, try their best, and aim high, it’s important to remember that grades do not define an individual. They really don’t! What’s important is learning from and enjoying the learning journey, the wonderful process from which our mindset and habits are shaped.

APs and academics are not the only areas on a college application! Join us in our next weekly blog article to discuss extracurriculars.

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