What to Expect When You Start Taking AP Courses

test prep

If you want to head off any nervousness you might have about taking an AP course for the first time, find out more about what's to come. This blog post will help you anticipate the ways in which your AP courses are going to be different from other standard high school courses.

What to Expect When You're AP-ing

If you're taking an AP course for the first time in this coming school year, you might be a little bit nervous about the experience. Yes, it's true, your AP courses are going to be different from the ones you've taken in the past in your academic career. Here's what you should expect to encounter when your AP courses start this fall.

A Higher Level of Academic Material

There's a reason why you get college credit for AP courses: they're harder than your average high school class. In fact, they're college-level hard.

But what does ''harder'' mean? First, it means that there's a lot of content to get through; for example, a standard high school class might go through only half of the material in the same period of time. Second, the reading will be at a higher level, with more difficult vocabulary words and academic language that might take some getting used to. And third, you'll have to think more deeply about challenging concepts, really delving into the causes and effects and the deeper questions about a topic than you might in a non-AP class.

AP courses are more academically challenging than standard classes

A Lot of Reading

We just mentioned reading and for good reason: unless you're taking an AP art course, you're probably going to be doing a lot of reading in your AP classes. That's what your college courses will be like - there won't be time for your teachers to cover and go over the material multiple times in just one class period alone. You'll be assigned reading as homework, and this reading will be crucial to your success in your AP course. To prepare, brush up on your critical reading and note-taking skills.

AP courses include a high volume of reading

Emphasis on the Test Itself

Finally, you should be prepared for the fact that AP courses are taught largely in order to help you pass the AP test in May. Your teachers will probably spend a lot of time talking about:

  • The AP test and what's on it
  • How the AP test will be graded
  • What you need to do in order to succeed on the AP test

You'll probably look at and take practice tests and write practice essays based on topics from previous years. And unlike non-AP classes, you'll not only be thinking about your homework, quizzes, and assessments in the class itself, but you'll also have to be mindful of the actual AP test, the big kahuna at the end of the year, which is what this course is all about.

AP courses focus on preparing students for AP exams

Good luck with your AP courses. You're going to do great!

If you want to learn more about AP tests and find some helpful AP resources, check out this page on Study.com.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
July 2019

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