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What are AP courses and why do they matter? (2021)

OCT 26, 2020

With all of the recent changes to the university admissions process, namely the shift to test-optional admissions, students from around the world are looking for more ways to boost their profile and stand out to admissions officers. One of the most popular curriculums in the U.S. is CollegeBoard’s Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

What are AP courses?

AP courses are a set of curricula created by CollegeBoard to give students the opportunity to take college-level courses and, depending on the score a student receives on the exam, receive college credit.

How are AP courses different from Honors and other curricula?

While many schools offer Honors courses in addition to their standard curriculum, APs are becoming increasingly common because of the potential that comes with receiving top scores on the exams. Similar to Honors, AP courses count towards your weighted GPA, but unlike Honors, APs have a standardized exam at the end of the course. Depending on the score you receive (1-5), your goal university may offer you college credit which can set you up early for particular credit-related benefits.

How long do AP courses take to complete?

AP courses run the length of the academic school year, with the exams hosted over the course of 2 weeks in early to mid-May.

You can self-study for these exams in a shorter amount of time but it is very difficult to comprehend the amount of material you would need in order to get a top score on the exams.

Why do AP courses matter?

AP courses are the perfect way for you to demonstrate their intellectual curiosity in ways that traditional high school courses cannot. They allow you to:

  • Boost your candidacy for college applications - Earning top scores in an AP course is the best way to demonstrate your academic ability to colleges.
  • Stand out amongst your peers - Showcasing your academic ability will help you stand out from your peers, whom you are directly compared to in admissions
  • Get a head start in high school - Study college-level material early and gain exposure to the academic expectations of college.
  • Give yourself an edge in college - AP courses allow you to earn college credit and pursue more advanced courses.
  • Take a deep-dive into areas of passion - Explore areas of interest, such as Psychology or Computer Science, and provide a clear indication of your academic passions.
  • Challenge yourself - AP classes are rigorous and demanding, offering intellectual stimulation that you won't get elsewhere.

How can you take additional AP courses?

While many high schools around the US offer APs, there are plenty that do not, or they do not offer the full AP course roster. By taking additional AP courses, you can show admissions officers that you are not only prepared for college-level courses, but are actively seeking out opportunities to learn more, explore your possible interests, and stand out from your peers and the global applicant pool. So how do you get started with additional APs?

Five months ago, we brought together the brightest minds in education to create Crimson Global Academy (CGA). CGA, a fully-registered online high school, offers students the opportunity to take additional AP courses part-time, online, via live weekend classes with extraordinary teachers.

Through our school, students are able to take AP courses such as:

  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Computer Science A

These courses start on November 7th of 2020 and will run through the May 2021 exams.

You can learn more about CGA at our website or request an information pack at this link.

Amanda J

Written by

Amanda J.

Amanda graduated from the University of Connecticut where she majored in Communication & Marketing. While in college, she wrote for & managed social media for Culture Trip, while also creating marketing content for dessert company, Petit Pot. Her focus of communication extends cross-culturally through her years working with Rustic Pathways. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and spending time at the beach. She is now the Marketing Executive for Crimson in the United States.

Learn more about AP courses from Crimson Global Academy & get ahead of your peers!