Advanced placement classes are college level classes taught in high school. Students are taught by high school teachers who have been taught and trained by the college board (the same people that administer the SAT) and when the student completes that class, they sit a national exam for that subject and if they score high enough ( a 3,4, or 5 out of a 5) they often receive college credit for that class. The benefit of that is that the student can exempt a course or two or 5 in college and that means less time and money spent in college. Frequently students can enter college as sophomores and finish their degree in three years instead of four.
But there are other reasons to take AP classes. AP classes give smart kids the challenge they need to become stronger students. Parents often boast how easy good grades come to their smart kids but in high school, smart kids, disciplined kids, need to take classes that challenge them. No one gets stronger lifting the same 2 pound weights all your life. Instead, if you want to build muscle, you need to gradually increase the weights and repetitions. That is what AP classes do, they build muscle, They teach students how to study and that they need to study; how to write essays and free responses, how to analyze and memorize, how to think.; how to balance life and challenging classes – All the skills that college students need to survive and thrive.
Successful AP students have a greater chance of staying in college, keeping any scholarships (because they know how to study and manage all parts of their life?, and going to a more prestigious University or college. Any student wanting to go to any Ivy League University or highly competitive school needs to take AP classes. Most schools offer it except for some small private schools. High schools know the importance of teaching as many AP classes as they can. They know that their students will have a higher chance of getting into a greater school. They also know that while diligent students take AP classes, AP classes also produce diligent students, a feather in any reputable educational institution.
Students are often apprehensive about taking AP classes and they should be, these are college courses taught in high school, but since they are taught by high school teachers, students usually benefit from both worlds: teachers who know the curriculum but who also are more willing to guide and teach than many university professors. While the curriculum is hard and much is required from the student, students learn that if they learn some time management skills and learn to study… that it is all doable and that builds self esteem as well as builds character and a sense of accomplishment. AP classes are just one step in attaining the goal of being admitted to a prestigious college… The more AP classes that you can manage successfully, the better your chances. Good Luck on all of your endeavors.