The best reason to take an AP class? You’re highly interested! Image courtesy of College Board.

Being a freshman, almost a sophomore, I was asked to choose my electives, and, to my surprise, my core classes for next year. Of course I have to take classes like Chemistry, but I was now given a choice if I wanted to be in an advanced placement (AP) class. Obviously this had benefits in the long run for getting into college and such, so it was tempting to take as many as I could. Still, I looked further into this and here is what I have found.

According to Sonali Kohali from The LA Times, an AP class is 30% more work than any other class simply because they explore the topic more deeply and the homework is more rigorous. It’s all college level work that can even earn college credits. Not only this, but it affects your GPA greater as well. Earning a B in an AP class can still catch you a 4.0.

Still, all these benefits won’t matter if you do horribly in the class, and, as you may have guessed, AP classes are hard. With multiple AP classes, your regular core classes, and with after school activities you get a lot of stress. While it’s recommended to take AP classes to get into colleges, sometimes not taking one is ideal. A good grade in a significantly easier class may be better than a below average grade in an AP class.

So, if you aren’t aiming for an Ivy League college, Christopher Taibbi’s psychology report suggests just taking what you’re interested in.  While it may seem obvious, simply taking what classes you’re truly interested in can lead to greater success. If you really like the subject, you want to challenge yourself. And while some students thrive off this more than others, it’s important to do these things in high school to develop further as people and as students.