How To Take Online AP Classes

According to reports, only about two-thirds of all high schools actually offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Does that mean if you happen to go to a school that does not, you don’t qualify to take the AP tests? Absolutely not. If you prepare for the test, you can take it, and passing an AP test means that you can get credit for college while still in high school.

AP classes are more difficult that high school classes, so be prepared for teachers to expect more from you. The tests are more difficult than typical high school tests as well, and they are scored on a scale of one to five. Many colleges accept scores of three or higher, though some colleges will only accept fours and fives (here’s an example of how one college gives credits based on scores). Getting credit for passing this test is like taking and passing a class in college, so passing AP tests can allow you to finish college sooner, take fewer classes every semester, or pursue a double major.

If your high school doesn’t offer AP classes, you can turn to online classes in order to prepare for the test in the spring. Online classes are offered from a number of websites, with some being free and others costing money. In general, the online AP classes that are free require a lot of self-guidance, while more expensive classes are often taught by someone with vast knowledge of the subject and available to answer your questions.Many schools are part of a virtual network, so your guidance counselor can help you choose the best online AP class option.

You’ll need a reliable computer and Internet connection to take an online AP class, as all of your coursework will be done online. You may also need an email address or free instant messenger program so you can contact your teacher. Most importantly, however, you need time. Many students don’t realize just how much additional time is required for a college course. This is the equivalent of a 3- or 4-credit class in college, in which you’d spend 8 to 12 hours a week doing work and attending lectures. You should plan for similar time commitments for every AP course you take.

Where will you find this additional time? Some high schools allow students to participate in an online AP course during school hours, instead of a study hall or typical class in that subject area. Otherwise, you’ll need to make time after school and on weekends to complete the work. Most students find it difficult to take more than one AP class at a time, so don’t overbook your days with studying and homework by taking multiple classes.

Your online AP class will end in May, when AP tests are nationally given across the country. Remember to pay for the tests and register by the deadline, and show up early on the day of your test – you may need to make arrangements to miss school on this date. These tests aren’t easy – reports show that less than 16% of test takers across the nation receive a score of three or higher. Start preparing for the test early so that your time, work, and money don’t go to waste and you receive college credit for the class.


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