If you are a junior or senior in high school, you may be taking an Advanced Placement (AP) class in hopes of getting some college credit. These classes are a terrific way to get ahead in college, but not just because of the possibility of skipping a freshman level class or two. The skills you will learn in the AP class will prepare you for college, even if you don’t earn the grade needed for the credit.

It’s true; contrary to popular belief, even if you fail the AP exam, the skill you’ve picked up along the way can be beneficial to you once you get to college. Things like taking notes, time management, and study skills can be immensely helpful in the long run, especially when it will be entirely up to you to do well in a class. Most of the time in college there are no handouts, no pre-formed study groups or sessions, no extra credit to get ahead. It will be up to you to do what you can to succeed. Learning these success skills in an AP class will help you prepare.

AP classes are much more about skill building than content. It doesn’t really matter if you remember anything about Great Expectations, bicameral legislature, or Newtonian mechanics. Sure, those things will probably be important if you are taking AP literature, world government, or physics tests, but what’s more important is the process in which you learned that material.

In the end, the journey is more important than the destination. AP classes can help you prepare for college, even if it’s not in the way you think. Something to consider as you prepare for the tests in the coming weeks.


Since 2002, the professional tutors at Learning Ascent in St Charles, IL have provided tutoring and ACT prep, helping thousands of students from Batavia, IL; Geneva, IL; South Elgin, IL; and other Fox Valley towns to improve their academic performance. Click here for Homework Help resources.

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