Believe it or not, it's getting close (although not nearly as close as businesses would have you believe) to back-to-school time for many high school and college students. If you're about to begin your senior year of high school, you are probably feeling pretty excited. After all, you're about to begin an important and fun-filled year. While I encourage you to enjoy yourself during your final year of high school, I also highly recommend taking an Advanced Placement (AP) class if your school offers them. Although this will certainly add in extra homework and study time to your senior year experience, it will ultimately prove beneficial in the long run. Below, I've compiled seven reasons why the benefits an AP class could give you should be taken advantage of!

1. It gives you a taste of college courses. 

Let me just say it: The majority of college courses are NOT easy. No matter where you go to college, you can expect to invest a considerable amount of time in most (if not all) of your classes, whether it is through studying, essay writing or homework. So, by taking 1 or more AP classes (which are on par with college courses in terms of difficulty), you will get a better taste of the workload expected of you in college.

2. Your time management skills will improve. 

As a person who took many AP classes throughout high school, I can assure you that you need effective time management skills to complete all of your work completely and on time. When you're in college, you won't receive much help in terms of managing your time and workload, as some professors never remind you that an assignment is due, while some expect you to keep track of assignments by just reading the syllabus provided. So, it's a great idea to get a head start on this unteachable life skill during high school.

3. You may discover what you're most interested in.

Countless high school seniors are still undecided about their future major. One great way to figure out what you're interested in is to take an AP class in a subject that seems most appealing to you,  such as an AP science or humanity course. If you're not interested in the AP class, chances are it's not your cup of tea. The best part is you've come to this realization before you've even started college and therefore saved yourself copious amounts of time and money that would have been wasted on a major you do not particularly enjoy. 

4. Get ahead on obtaining college credits.

One of the best parts of taking AP classes is the opportunity it lends you in earning college credit. Although these exams do cost money, when you think about how much money you save on college tuition by receiving the college credit in high school, it's a financial no-brainer. However, you definitely should make sure to study quite a bit during the year so your exam costs are worthwhile! 

5. AP Memes. 

I'm not gonna lie, one of the most enjoyable parts of AP classes are the memes fellow and past AP students have created, particularly the post-exam memes. (Although I would not advise creating one yourself, as it violates the College Board's confidentiality agreement.) Still, there's nothing quite like emerging from a grueling exam to find hilariously specific memes all over Twitter.

6. Bask in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Even the AP courses people consider to be "easy" are academically rigorous. Therefore, passing any AP course, even if you don't take the test, is a big accomplishment and proves you're ready for college-level work. Plus, once you know you can pass an AP course, you'll have much more confidence in your ability to persevere throughout college.

7. You'll learn a lot.

With all the pressures students feel to achieve good grades and high scores on standardized tests, it's hard to remember that the actual goal of education is to learn. I'm not going to lie: some AP courses mainly focus on learning enough to pass the test. However, in EVERY course, you will learn a TON. When I took AP US History, for example, I learned seemingly every fact in existence about American history. So, if there's a subject you'd like to learn a lot about (chemistry or European history, for example) taking an AP class is a great idea. 

If your school offers them and you have the opportunity to add a course or change course levels, it's a smart idea to take an AP course during your senior year of high school. College classes are not easy and cost quite a bit of money. So, if you have the opportunity to experience a similar workload and earn college credit while still in high school, you should absolutely seize it. I promise, your college self will be very glad you did. 

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