Are students feeling satisfied in AP courses?


Over 1.1 million students from the class of 2016 took one or more AP exams. Photo via Steven Lilley on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

The number of high school students taking AP courses continues to grow each year. In May 2018 there were 2,808,990 students taking AP exams.

According to the College Board, 28 percent of students in the New Jersey graduating class of 2017 passed at least one exam. Those numbers sound promising, but what do they really mean? Feedback from students and teachers can provide insight

Why are students choosing AP?

Schools all across the country offer a variety of AP classes to their students. This gives teens the chance to take college-level courses for credit in high school. A passing score of 3 or above on an exam can even earn college credit. In a survey done by The Declaration, 96.9% of students in or entering colleges reported that their school accepts AP credits. Out of the universities that do not accept credit, many use them to place new students into their classes.

There were 8 main reasons that students reported as their main reason for choosing AP. First, 28.57% said they took the class based on their interest in the subject. Following that, 19.05% chose their AP classes because they wanted to receive college credit. Another 19.05% took the courses to improve their college applications.

On the bottom of the list, 4.76% of students took the class to bypass taking final exams.

Preparing for exams

Each teacher has their own methods that they use to teach their students. As a result, some students felt more prepared for exams than others. In general, AP classes tend to have a heavier workload than standard classes. Teachers usually move at a faster pace in these classes. Students are expected to review on their own instead of relying on materials given by their teachers. For some, this may be a difficult adjustment. Exams cover a wide variety of topics which can make it hard to be prepared.

Getting ready for exams may be challenging but it can help students prepare for college. Taking AP classes may bridge the gap between high school and college.

Who should take AP?

AP classes can be great, but they are not for everyone. Before choosing to take one, be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort. Students taking AP need to be self-driven and have a good work ethic. For those who fit that description, AP is a great way to prepare for the future.