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Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Do AP courses really make a difference in college admissions?

Hey everyone, I'm a high school junior trying to figure out my schedule for next year. AP courses are super stressful but are they worth it? Like, do they make a big difference when you're applying to college or should I just focus on keeping my GPA up?

7 months ago

Absolutely! AP courses can make a significant difference in college admissions, especially at competitive schools. They're one of the most direct ways to show colleges that you're willing to challenge yourself academically, and that you have the foundation of skills necessary to succeed in a more rigorous college environment. While it's definitely important to maintain a strong GPA, colleges also want to see that you've taken a rigorous course load appropriate to your abilities—if you have a high GPA, but haven't taken any challenging classes, admissions officers may be concerned that you're just aiming for the "easy A."

However, it's crucial to strike a balance. If you're overloading on AP classes to the detriment of your GPA or mental health, it may be time to reassess, as a low GPA, even one earned in challenging classes, never impressed any admissions officer. Most students aren't able to realistically handle every AP out there, so try to select AP classes in subjects where you have strengths or a particular interest, as this will make the challenging material more engaging and manageable for you, and thus increase your chances of doing well.

If you're unsure if a particular AP is the right match for you, you can reach out to the teacher to ask more about the specific content covered, to get a sense of how the material aligns with your strengths as a student. Good luck with your course selection!

7 months ago

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