Why enroll in an Advanced Placement (AP) class?
AP Classes Can Be a Smart Choice
AP classes can be as challenging as introductory college courses. Many high schools give greater "weight" to AP grades when calculating your GPA. So a "B" in an AP class might be a 3.3 rather than a 3.0. (By the way, you're not getting away with anything; colleges are aware of this practice!)
An AP class signals to admissions officers that you're ready for college–level work. Of course, if you bomb the class, you'll send the opposite message. Many students take these classes to impress prospective colleges despite being unprepared for AP-level work. So talk with the teacher before you enroll.
You can pick and choose AP classes. If you're a science whiz, AP Biology or Chemistry may give you the extra challenge you crave. If you're the next Ernest Hemingway, head to AP English. There are over 30 different AP–certified courses, although your high school may only offer some of these.
AP Exam: The Basics
Students around the country take AP exams in May. The exams last between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the subject. The structure of each exam varies, again depending on the subject. Each test may consist of some combination of multiple–choice, free–response, essay and short answer questions. The exams are scored on a scale from 1 to 5, with a score of 5 being the highest.
Many universities award college credit for strong scores. Given the cost of credits, success on AP exams could save you a good deal of money-potentially an entire semester's worth of tuition.
You may also be able to bypass introductory classes and enroll in upper–level courses. For example, Introduction to American Politics may be a prerequisite for second–year political science courses at your school. However, scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP U.S. Government and Politics exam might exempt you from this requirement. Taking the test that corresponds to your intended major can be a particularly canny move, allowing you to skip the survey course with 200 other students and dive right into more specialized classes.
Policies on AP credit vary greatly by college. If your college offers credit for AP courses, a score of 5 is golden, a 4 will work equally well and a 3 is considered borderline.
AP Courses at South San Antonio High School
English III AP
English IV AP
Spanish Language AP
Spanish Literature AP
US History AP
World History AP