High Schooler FAQs: How Many AP Classes Should I Take?

ap classes

So, you’ve decided to take AP classes during high school. First of all, congratulations! 

Taking AP classes are a great way to challenge yourself in high school and to get a head start on your college career. Not to mention that they can also save you money toward your college tuition. 

But are you asking yourself “How many AP classes should I take?”

While every answer is going to be different for every student, this guide will help you decide exactly how many AP classes are going to be best for you and your schedule.  

What Colleges Are You Applying For? 

Taking AP classes doesn’t just give you college credit, but they also show colleges that you are challenging yourself toward a better education.

If you are applying to honors colleges, large universities or even scholarship programs, the more AP classes you take, the better your application will look and the higher your chances of getting accepted are.

But if you are planning on attending a community college or a state school, you don’t have to stress about loading your schedule up with AP classes for resume and application purposes.  

What Does Your Extra-Curricular Schedule Look Like? 

There is no doubt that AP classes force students to allocate a great amount of time to their studies. If you play sports or are in a number of clubs, taking an excessive amount of AP classes could overload your schedule.

Remember that it’s better to take a few AP classes and succeed as opposed to taking to many and failing. Therefore, it’s essential to balance your class schedule and your extracurriculars appropriately. 

What Grade Are You In? 

Believe it or not, the grade that you are in plays a crucial role in the number of AP classes you should take in high school.

Are you a freshman? Then maybe you should opt for just one AP class.

This is because you are already trying to adjust to a new school, a new schedule and the jump from middle school to high school.

Focusing on your transition, core classes and just one AP class will be plenty to fill your plate. And you definitely don’t want to spread yourself too thin your freshman year of high school. 

Are you a sophomore or junior?

These are going to be the best years for you to load your schedule up with AP classes. Not only will you have already transitioned, but your mind is still fresh and ready to study.

This is also a great time to take the AP Capstone Program.   

As for the seniors out there, take as many AP classes that you can without burning yourself out. While this is a great time to get ahead, you don’t want to load your schedule up and then come down with a serious case of senioritis halfway through the year. 

How Many AP Classes Should I Take?

As you can tell, there is no specific formula to how many AP classes you should take each year.

Instead of asking yourself “how many AP classes should I take”, try to look at it from a different perspective.

Evaluate your extracurricular schedule and combine that with the grade that you are in and what colleges you are applying for. And remember, don’t overload your schedule. 

For more articles similar to this one, make sure to take a look at our education articles