Most people I know who want to do well in life and get into a good college, are people I’ve always seen push towards taking AP classes, which count as college credit. As someone who definitely wants to do well, I was without any further thought, planning on following the “take as many AP’s as possible” course of action. That is, until I got some second opinions. One of the main opinions that explained why AP’s aren’t necessarily the college guaranteed ticket I had heard of, was Cal Newport’s How to be a High School Superstar.
Newport talks about how most students burn themselves out trying to take lots of AP’s in order to look good for college. However, Newport argues that nowadays, given the prevalence of students with tons of AP’s, colleges no longer put as much weight on them. Also, some colleges have found that AP courses don’t end up teaching enough material and students are having to retake the courses. Therefore, burning yourself out on AP’s you have a high chance of failing or are not interested in, has less value.
Now, one might say that preaching this and taking an AP makes me a hypocrite. But unlike some of my peers, I’m taking AP Chemistry for the challenge and because I enjoy chemistry. I don’t necessarily think that taking AP Chem would even help me get into college because, as of now, I’m not pursuing anything really requiring a science.
In my newly enlightened mind, AP’s should act as higher level courses, never mind their college credit, and should be taken by those who wish to delve deeper into that subject.