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The Benefits of Taking Advanced Placement and Dual Credit Classes in High School

High school is a crucial period of time for students as they begin to plan and prepare for the future. As students progress through high school, new opportunities for courses become available for students. Two popular options for high school students are advanced placement (AP) and Dual Credit courses. Both options are highly recommended to students because they are more academically rigorous, provide the opportunity to receive college credit, and allow students to explore their interests. In this blog, I will dive into how both of these courses will help to prepare students for college and their careers.


Academic Rigor and Challenge:

AP and Dual Credit courses are designed to give students the curriculum of college-level classes. Each course will dive deeper into the subject than a regular class would, and there is more homework assigned to students each night. Although there may be a little more homework each week, these classes are extremely beneficial to students. AP and Dual Credit courses are designed to challenge students to think critically and develop problem-solving skills and analytical thinking. By pushing students academically, students develop the ability to tackle complex problems, preparing them for college and the professional world. Students who wish to pursue medical school, engineering, or a science degree will highly benefit from the multiple options of science, technology, and math courses offered by AP and Dual Credit curricula. Students wishing to pursue their passion for reading and writing benefit from learning how to analyze literature and write on topics they are interested in.

Because of the challenging nature of AP and Dual Credit classes, having these classes on a transcript demonstrates to colleges a student’s willingness to push themselves academically. Admissions officers recognize that students who take more challenging courses are more likely to thrive in a college environment.


College Credit: 

Students have the opportunity to receive college credit from both of the courses. For AP classes, students receive a college-level curriculum, then take a test at the end of the class. Depending on the score, colleges may accept the credit. A Dual Credit course allows students to receive credit while they are taking the class. By successfully completing the course, students will receive the credit, but it varies by college if they will accept all dual credit classes. Gaining extra college credit during high school allows students to enter college with credit before they have started college classes. This will allow students to fulfill certain college requirements without having to retake classes and will accelerate a student’s college journey. By doing this, it can also lower the cost of education for students as they are not required to take as many classes.


Exploring Interests: 

High school is a time for self-discovery, and taking AP and Dual Credit classes can be a pathway for exploring various subjects before committing to a specific major in college. These courses cover a wide range of subjects, helping students to uncover their passions and strengths. By trying out different courses, students can make more informed decisions about their future academic and career paths. Because these classes are taught with a college curriculum, students have a better understanding of what certain majors or subjects will look like in college and the coursework it may come with. It is important that students ask their teachers questions if they need extra help so that they are able to gain a full understanding of the material. The more students are able to grasp the concepts in AP and Dual Credit classes, the more they can expand their knowledge and decide what they possibly want to do for their future careers.


AP and Dual Credit courses offer students a chance to challenge themselves academically, earn college credits, explore various fields of interest, and develop essential skills for success in both college and future careers. By participating in the opportunities presented by AP and Dual Credit classes, students set themselves on a path toward academic excellence and personal growth. Although these classes may be difficult, the benefits for each student are worth the work as it will help with college credits and exploring each possible career path.

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