How Many AP Classes Should You Take?

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Find out how many AP classes you should take —and pass— to stand out in your college application!

Have you thought about taking AP classes during your high school years, but you don’t know how many you should take to stand out when the time of applying for college comes? Let’s dig a little deeper into this important matter.

What are AP classes?

Advanced Placement classes, or AP classes, are advanced high school courses with a more accelerated approach than the traditional high school courses. These classes are aimed to prepare students for college-level work, since they are as rigorous as college classes. 

Each spring, students in AP classes take standardized tests to show their comprehension of the college-level subject.

There are AP courses available in many different fields, including Science, Math, History, Languages, Psychology, Art, Humanities, among many others.

Why take AP classes?

The college application process is a highly competitive one. As such, students need to do everything at their disposal to stand out from the crowd if they want to get into their dream college. What does it take to stand out when applying to college? 

There’s no single way of impressing admissions officers, but there are some things that will enable you to have more chances of getting accepted.

If you want to have more chances of getting into your dream college, taking AP classes will up your game. Depending on which college you are aiming at, there are different requirements to be accepted, since some colleges are more selective than others.

If you are aiming for Ivy League colleges, then you need to make sure that you are making everything in your power to excel in several aspects.

However, it’s not only about taking AP courses, but about the number of AP courses you take and the grades with which you pass them. 

How many AP classes should I take if I want to have more chances of getting accepted into an Ivy League college or similarly competitive colleges?

Number of AP classes to take if you want to stand out

Some students don't worry about college applications until junior year in high school. When they start high school, they think they have plenty of time, but the truth is thinking of high school as a four-year preparation for college is vital. 

We strongly recommend that high school students start planning ahead as soon as they start their freshman year. This will give them enough time to prepare for college and make sure they have more chances of getting into the college they aim at. 

Something students should do since their first year of high school is take AP classes. This will enable them to take as many classes as necessary during their 4 years instead of having to take an impossible number of classes during their last two years of high school. 

But how many AP classes are enough? Depending on the kind of college you are aiming at, the number of AP courses you should take will vary.

For selective colleges or scholarship programs

The students that stand out the most are the ones who challenge themselves and make the most out of the opportunities and resources they have, meaning that you should take as many as possible to you. 

These colleges are extremely competitive, and only the hardest-working students with the most impressive applications get in. We think that you will be safe with 7-9 AP classes over the four years of high school.

For state schools and other not-so-selective colleges 

There’s no magic number, but the amount of classes you take will depend on your goals. For example, there are some colleges that accept AP classes for credit! This means you can take some classes that you want to get over with in high school so that you can focus on harder ones in college! 

Tip of the Day: Avoid AP course overload

It’s also important to avoid overdoing yourself! You will impress admissions officers more with high grades in 6 AP classes than medium grades in 10! 

Bear in mind that there are other things you must also do in high school if you want to get into college, such as extracurricular activities. 

Take as many AP classes as you can manage and avoid AP class overload so that you can have enough time to spare to do other things that can help you get into college.

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