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Considering AP or Dual Credit Courses: Pros and Cons

Although the classes are harder, it is undoubtedly a big plus to be in an environment with other students that want to work as hard as you do.

Brady Keane

October 28, 2014

Considering AP or Dual Credit Courses: Pros and Cons
Building your schedule in high school can be a stressful time, especially if you’re a student that is trying to decide on whether or not to take AP or Duel Credit courses. The pros and cons of these advanced classes are important to consider and the following list includes some of the most important pros and cons to remember when you are making your decision.

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• Environment
Taking AP classes can be extremely beneficial for the environment alone, as you will be in class with most of the dedicated and hardworking students in your grade.

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Although the classes are harder, it is undoubtedly a big plus to be in an environment with other students that want to work as hard as you do. Sometimes it can be hard to motivate yourself to do school work in a regular class simply because of the lack of a dedicate mindset in the classroom.

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• Class Rank/GPA
Taking advanced classes, at some schools, can also benefit your class rank and GPA in a positive way if your school is one that weights classes. For example, I know that in my high school career, AP/Duel Credit classes added an extra ten points on to my GPA that calculated Class Rank, and it certainly helped motivate me to take as many advanced classes as possible.
• College Credit
Probably the most important benefit to taking college level classes in high school is the opportunity for college credit. Whether you get automatic credit through a dual credit class, or credit by examination in an AP course, it is financially beneficial to you to get as many college hours as possible while in high school.


• Class Rank/GPA
Although you can look at the weighted GPA as a benefit, there is also a chance that it wouldn’t be enough of a grade boost to make a difference. Sometimes, advanced classes are so hard that a regular student can outscore you even with the weighted addition to your grade. That’s an important aspect to keep in mind when making your decision.
• Additional Homework
In my high school career, the difference between outside homework for a regular class and an advanced class can be substantial. The homework is certainly more plentiful and you will be expected to do more work in a swift manner.
• Transfer of Credits
Another issue with Dual Credit classes is the possibility of the credits not transferring. If you end up attending an in-state college, the credits from your dual credit class will usually transfer. However, out-of-state colleges don’t always accept those hours, so it is important to check with the college you plan on attending. There are always pros and cons to the advanced class work you can take in college but, in the end, I would recommend doing so. The college credit I have gained from these classes will really pay off in the next year and will save me a lot of money down the road. Be sure to consider the cons before you make a decision!

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