Advanced Placement Reality Check

Are you ready for Advanced Placement?

The following information should be seriously considered before signing up for an AP course.  Think about your priorities and how you would like your life to unfold next school year. We encourage you to stretch academically, to participate in other activities, and to be healthy.

Answer the following questions truthfully. Talk to teachers, counselors, and peers that have taken the courses. Also consider the requirements and expectations of universities you are researching. We sincerely and strongly encourage you to get all the information that you need in order to make the most informed decision for yourself.

Why am I considering an AP course?

The Right Reasons

  • Love the Subject
  • Want to learn more about the subject 
  • Want to go in more depth in this area

Other Reasons

  • Looks good on my transcript
  • All my friends are taking it
  • I am feeling pressured to take it

How much time do I have to devote to these courses?

  • Do I have a job?
  • Do I participate in a sport or activity?
  • Do I do volunteer work?
  • Do I have responsibilities at home?
  • Do I have the time required to do well in each AP Course?

Questions to consider and discuss before you register

Before you meet individually with your counselor be sure that you have seriously considered the following questions and discussed them with your parents. While no one expects to be overwhelmed by too many commitments, it does happen.

  • Am I taking the course(s) for the right reasons?
  • Do I have enough time in the day for all these commitments?
  • How committed am I to doing well in this course even when it proves a challenge to me?
  • How quickly/efficiently do I complete my homework?
  • Have I considered the cumulative effect of taking multiple Honors/AP courses?
  • What will happen if the course load is difficult and I cannot change my schedule?
  • Would I be willing to adjust hours or give up my job?
  • Would I be willing to drop a sport or activity?
  • Would I be satisfied with a grade less than a "B"?

Signing up for an AP course is a yearlong commitment. Once you are registered for the course you are expected to complete the course and take the AP exam. Dropping an AP course should be a rare circumstance.