For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Aug 25 2017
by Rachel Malaga

7 Things I Gained from Taking AP Classes

By Rachel Malaga - Aug 25 2017

Most high school students can relate to the stress of taking an advanced placement course. The added work and college level learning can be challenging in a high school environment. As someone who is heading to college soon, I constantly think about whether or not taking AP classes was worth it. I have concluded that I am much more prepared for college than some of my peers are.

1. Time Management Skills

Being in an AP class requires more time to complete projects and reading assignments. Managing homework with other extracurricular activities helped me prioritize my work and not procrastinate (too much). 

2. Teamwork

In many of my AP classes, group projects were a major factor in my grade. The ability to work with other people helped me become a team player and delegate work more quickly. It also helped me collaborate in groups in other classes, especially because I had worked with those people on projects before.

3. Failure

There were many times in my AP classes where I did not do NEARLY as well on a test or assignment as I wanted to. While this was disheartening, I was able to use these failures to learn from my mistakes and improve. I feel grateful to have had this opportunity in a learning environment, as I no longer fear failure.

4. Friendships

From the GroupMe chats to late night study questions, the bond between students in AP classes is strong. I met many of my friends through working together in challenging classes. These friendships helped everyone succeed in the class while also expanding social connections.

5. College Credit

Most people hope that their school will accept their AP credits to get a general education class out of the way. I was lucky that my college accepted all of my AP scores, giving me the ability to minor and take classes outside of my major. Additionally, enough AP credit can let you graduate from college early, saving lots of money!

6. Confidence

Many AP classes require students to do presentations in front of their peers. While I was comfortable with this, I also frequently met with my teachers to talk about my progress, which helped me get used to processing constructive criticism. This can be intimidating for many students, yet many college professors offer office hours and other opportunities, so this helped me significantly.

7. Preparedness

One of the biggest selling factors for taking an AP class is that it prepares students for the rigor of college coursework. I decided to take classes at my local community college during my senior year. Because of my AP classes, I was able to succeed in my college coursework because I was used to the rigorous environment of higher level classes.

While AP classes were hard, the college credit and preparation I received was invaluable to my high school career.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Rachel Malaga - University of Utah

Rachel is a Musical Theatre major at the University of Utah. She loves cats, knitting, and naps, and is often told she has the soul of an old woman. She hopes to one day live with many cats in New York City! Instagram: @rachelmalaga

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