Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (2023)

Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (1)

If you're an advanced student aiming for top colleges, or you're a student who wants to save on tuition by getting college credit in high school, taking Advanced Placement classes is a great option.

However, you might be wondering, "just how many AP classes should I take?" You can save a lot of money and make your transcript pretty impressive with lots of AP classes. However, if you overdo it, you could actually hurt your GPA and lose time for other important activities—like extracurriculars and ACT/SAT studying.

So what's the magic number? We'll look at different factors to help you decide the right amount of AP classes for you.

Why Take AP Classes?

Before we get into the numbers, it's important to remember your reasons for taking AP classes in the first place. This will help you consider your options and make the best choice for your long-term goals.

Taking and passing an AP class and its exam proves you are capable of an intro-level college course. Many colleges will give you credit for higher class standing for passing AP scores. (To find out any college's particular policy, see the database at the AP website.)

AP classes are also a great way to explore classes you might want to take in college—like economics, psychology, or computer science.

Finally, taking AP classes is a great way to challenge yourself and also to show colleges you're taking on the toughest courses available to you.

But take note: the point is not to "collect them all." Colleges will not automatically favor applicants with the most AP courses, especially if they start to drag down your GPA or if you don't pass the exams.

In short, APs can be a huge boost to your college application, but if you take too many, they could actually hurt your chances.

How Many AP Classes Should I Take to Impress Colleges?

One of the most important factors for how many AP classes you should take is the competitiveness of the schools you're interested in applying to.

For Less Selective Colleges and State Schools

For these schools, the number of AP classes you take is up to you and your goals—for example, which classes would you want to get over with in high school so you can focus on harder classes in college? This is because most state schools accept AP classes for credit (again, check the AP database for more info) but don't require them for admission.

You only get credit if you pass the exams, so don't overload yourself with AP classes and spread your studying thin. It's better to get two 4s than four 2s! (Read all about AP scoring here.)

For More Selective Colleges or State School Honors and Scholarship Programs

For more selective schools—or honors programs and scholarships at state schools—it's important to show you are taking the most challenging courses available to you, which includes AP courses if your school has them. There is no "magic number" of AP courses for the most selective colleges, especially because course availability changes so much from high school to high school.

For example, Harvard College says on their admissions website, "Most of all, we look for students who make the most of their opportunities and the resources available to them, and who are likely to continue to do so throughout their lives … You should demonstrate your proficiency in the areas described below by taking SAT Subject Tests, Advanced Placement tests, and International Baccalaureate tests."

(Video) How Many AP Courses Should You Take in High School?

Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (2)

The University of Pennsylvania's website notes, "We expect that every student who applies to Penn will challenge themselves in high school based on the opportunities offered at their school... Every high school is different, though, so we will review your school’s profile to best understand the types of courses available to you, your school’s grading scale, and the ways you can challenge yourself with extracurricular or post-secondary activities."

Out on the West Coast, Stanford says, "We expect you to challenge yourself throughout high school and to do very well. The most important credential for evaluating your academic record is the high school transcript. Please know that our evaluation of your application goes beyond any numerical formula. There is no minimum GPA or test score; nor is there any specific number of AP or honors courses you must have on your transcript in order to be admitted to Stanford."

Note that Stanford specifically says there is no certain number of AP courses you should take, but that the transcript is the most important part of the evaluation and that they expect you to challenge yourself.

Translation? If you are going for the most competitive colleges, you should take the toughest core courses available at your school—including AP English Literature and/or Language, Calculus or Statistics (or both!), US, World, or European History, and at least one of the sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). You should also take APs in non-core subjects that are interesting to you—like Psychology, Economics, or Computer Science.

That said, you won't impress colleges with a laundry list of AP courses, especially if they have no relation to what you want to study, and especially if it drags down your GPA or you don't pass the exams. The goal is to challenge and enrich your high school curriculum, not to spread yourself thin.

Looking for help studying for your AP exam?

Our one-on-one online AP tutoring services can help you prepare for your AP exams. Get matched with a top tutor who got a high score on the exam you're studying for!

Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (3)

So What's the Right Number of AP Classes?

You need to challenge yourself, but not overload your schedule. Also keep in mind your target schedule depends on which type of college you are trying to get into, and the AP availability at your school. As a general rule, you should aim for the following AP class numbers:

Most Selective Schools (Top 20): APs in most or all of the core courses (English, Mathematics, Science, History, and Foreign Language), plus additional AP courses that relate to your goals, future major, or interests. This will end up being between 7 and 12 AP courses.

Selective Schools (Top 100): APs in most core courses, plus one or two additional courses. This will end up being between 4 and 8 AP courses.

Less Selective Schools: APs in some core courses, or in courses related to your anticipated major. This will end up being between 1 and 5 AP courses.

But how do you fit these courses into a four-year high school plan? This is our suggested schedule for a relatively ambitious student:

Freshman Year: Consider taking one or two AP classes that are less demanding and build on skills from middle school, including Environmental Science, Human Geography, or Psychology. In your core courses, take honors classes if possible so you can begin earning prerequisite skills for tougher AP classes down the line.

(Video) Everything You Need to Know About AP Classes and Exams

Sophomore Year: Take one to three AP classes. Consider adding a more challenging AP class, like World History or US History, and one or two less-demanding APs. Continue to take honors courses if possible in your other core classes.

Junior Year: Based on your experience and scores from freshman and sophomore year, start taking APs in core classes, for example AP English, AP Calculus, or AP Biology. Take as many as you can handle without spreading yourself thin, and make sure you will have time to study for the ACT or SAT this year. An Ivy League hopeful might take 3 to 5 AP classes, while if you're aiming for less-selective schools, 2 to 4 would be enough.

Senior Year: Take more APs in core subjects and additional subjects, again being careful not to overburden your schedule and to leave time for college applications. It's not uncommon for applicants to highly selective schools to have as many as 5 or 6 AP classes senior year, but keep your own schedule and limits in mind. Adding one more AP class will not have a huge effect on your college chances at this point, but it could significantly reduce the time you spend on applications and therefore hurt your admission chances.

Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (4)

Be careful about burning yourself out, especially senior year. You will need to devote lots of time and energy to your college apps!

Below is a chart summarizing the above information. And again, these rules aren't hard and fast, as there is no set formula for admission to the most selective schools. The bottom line is to take the most challenging course load you can handle while also doing very well academically.

Year

Recommended Number of AP Classes to Take

AP Class Suggestions

9th Grade

0-2

Human Geography

Environmental Science

10th Grade

1-3

World History

European History

Psychology

11th Grade

2-4

English Language

United States History

Biology

Chemistry

12th Grade

3-4

English Literature

AB or BC Calculus

Statistics

Computer Science

Physics

US Government and Politics

Foreign Language

Other Factors to Consider

Your target schedule could also look different if you spend a huge amount of time on one activity, like playing an instrument or doing a sport, speech and debate, or college-level research. This is especially true if you compete or participate at a national level.

When choosing AP classes, prioritize subjects that are genuinely interesting to you and you would like to continue in college before you choose AP classes just for the sake of AP.

Also, think about your grade level and experience with AP classes before signing up. Don't jump into four AP classes your sophomore year if you've never taken them before. Learning how to study for the exams and pacing yourself is tough. This can be hard with just one or two exams, let alone a handful.

Plus, in many subjects you won't be able to acquire the necessary pre-requisites for AP courses until your junior and senior year. For example, AP English is usually taught junior or senior year, most students won't have the pre-requisites for AP Calculus until junior year at least, and for the sciences—Biology, Chemistry, and Physics—most high schools have a recommended sequence that doesn't have students taking the AP courses until sophomore year at the very earliest.

This is why many students begin with courses like AP Human Geography or Psychology in freshman or sophomore year. The exams are comparatively less difficult, and younger students are more likely to have completed prerequisite courses for them.

If you do well on the first exam or exams you take, you can consider taking on more in junior and senior year, but again, be careful about overloading.

Mistakes to Avoid

How do you know if you've overdone it? If you find your grades slipping in non-AP classes or if you're having a hard time keeping up with your usual sports and/or extracurriculars, you might have overloaded yourself.

Don't give into peer pressure—just because you have a friend who has taken 10 AP exams doesn't mean you have to do the same. College applications are considered holistically, so it's important to keep your overall GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and activities intact.

Again, one extra AP class won't make or break your admissions chances, but if it causes your GPA to fall or your performance in extracurriculars to suffer, it could be hurting you.

Make sure you are leaving ample time to study for either the SAT or ACT. Your score on that will have a huge effect on your admissions chances—as well as scholarship eligibility at other schools.

(Video) HOW MANY APS SHOULD I TAKE?

Finally, have back-up plans ready when you sign up for classes. For example, if you start BC Calculus but realize it's too tough, see if it's possible to transfer down to AB Calculus. Also be prepared to switch into an honors or regular classes if an AP class is eating up too much of your life and hurting your GPA.

Talk to your guidance counselor before signing up for AP classes to find out the protocol for changing your schedule mid-year.

Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (5)

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Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (6)

Is It Worth It To Self-Study?

Is it possible to study for an AP exam on your own? Is it worth it? It's actually not uncommon for students to not take an AP class but study on their own and just take the AP exam.

This often happens if a school doesn't offer a more niche AP, like Art History or Latin, or if a certain AP class doesn't fit into your schedule.

Here's the thing: self-studying only works if you are very disciplined. Most students who take AP exams have taken a class for the whole year, and all of the assignments and tests that come with it, to prepare.

Replicating that on your own can be tough, especially if you have a full class schedule and other commitments.

Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (7)

Be prepared to plan ahead to fit a self-studied AP exam into your schedule.

That said, if there is a topic you are really interested in but can't take, and you are committed to self-studying, that kind of initiative and self-discipline is very impressive, especially to colleges—if you pass the exam.

(Video) AP classes: how many is "too much"?

I would wait to self-study until you have already taken at least one AP exam through a class. That way you will have an idea of how much you need to learn and what it takes to study for an AP exam. Also talk to your guidance counselor and ask if they know of any students at the school who have successfully self-studied for an AP exam.

Tips for Self-Studying

#1: Gather your resources. At the very least you should have a prep book for the exam you're taking, but if possible, try to find the following:

  • A teacher at your school who can answer questions about the subject if you ever get stuck or lost. For example, if you are self-studying for European History, ask your history teacher if any of the history teachers at your school have background in that area.
  • Additional materials, like a textbook for the subject. Your school might have old textbooks lying around, especially if they used to teach the class or some variant of it.
  • A private tutor, especially if there is a college or university nearby. (College students who have recently taken AP exams often make great tutors, and often charge less than private companies.)

#2: Develop a year-long strategy. You can't self-study for an AP exam in just a few months. Create monthly content goals. You can do this based on units or sections in your prep book. Remember to schedule time for practice exams in the spring!

#3: Set weekly study times. Build your self-study into your schedule like it's a class or extracurricular activity. By doing a steady amount of work each week, you will have time to learn enough content to do well on the exam and won't face a time-crunch in the spring.

For more tips, check out our guides on how to self-study and the best APs to self-study. Also, make sure studying for this AP exam doesn't replace time you would use to study for the ACT or SAT—those tests ultimately carry much more weight in college admissions.

What's Next?

We mentioned how important the SAT and ACT can be. The first step to studying is deciding which one to take! Find out how with our exclusive guide.

Once you've chosen the SAT or ACT, you will also need to develop a study schedule. Use our guide so you can fit in study time alongside your AP courses and other commitments!

Finally, get tips from our full scorer on the SAT and ACT—even if you're not aiming for 100% perfection, these tips will help you improve your score, both on the SAT/ACT and AP tests.

Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!

Exactly How Many AP Classes Should You Take? | AP Experts (8)

Halle Edwards

About the Author

Halle Edwards graduated from Stanford University with honors. In high school, she earned 99th percentile ACT scores as well as 99th percentile scores on SAT subject tests. She also took nine AP classes, earning a perfect score of 5 on seven AP tests. As a graduate of a large public high school who tackled the college admission process largely on her own, she is passionate about helping high school students from different backgrounds get the knowledge they need to be successful in the college admissions process.

(Video) How to Choose Your High School Classes: Course Selection Tips!

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FAQs

How many AP classes should I take overall? ›

Because of this, you need to prepare for them the same way by taking AP® courses in each of the core subjects and excelling in them. You should aim to take 7-8 AP® classes as a minimum to be considered a competitive candidate for admission.

How many AP classes should I take at once? ›

Take as many as you can handle without spreading yourself thin, and make sure you will have time to study for the ACT or SAT this year. An Ivy League hopeful might take 3 to 5 AP classes, while if you're aiming for less-selective schools, 2 to 4 would be enough.

How many AP classes does the average person take? ›

The Key Number

If that answer isn't fully satisfying, here is a look at the average number of APs students tend to take over the course of their high school years, broken down by college selectivity: Selective schools: around 7–12 APs. Semi-selective schools: 4–8 APs. Less selective schools: 1–5 APs.

Is it a good idea to take 5 AP classes? ›

You can definitely take 5 APs, but just make sure to stay on top of your work and spend a good amount of time studying to make sure you know the material.

How many AP classes is impressive? ›

To be competitive at some of the most highly selective colleges in the country, 8-12 AP courses may be the sweet spot amount, assuming the student can handle that level of rigor. There are no colleges out there that require you to take 14, 17, or some other obscene number of Advanced Placement offerings.

What is the hardest AP class? ›

The Three Hardest AP Classes
  1. AP Physics 1. Despite a reputation as one of the most difficult AP classes, Physics 1 is also one of the most popular—144,526 students took it in 2022. ...
  2. AP U.S. History. AP U.S. History is one of the hardest AP classes in the humanities and in general. ...
  3. AP United States Government and Politics.
Feb 9, 2023

Is it OK if I only take one AP class? ›

Please know that taking 1 AP course will not make or break you getting accepted to a college. The admissions officer will look at your entire high school career and the courses you took. Taking AP US History vs. US History Honors will probably make no difference whatsoever in your acceptance to that school.

Is 4 AP classes in one year too much? ›

For students applying to the most selective colleges, you might need 7–12. But even so, taking 4 AP courses in a year can be extremely challenging. You're better off spreading the course load over as many years of high school as possible, so you can limit yourself to at most 2–3 AP courses in a year.

Do colleges prefer AP or honors? ›

Colleges like them both. Both honors and AP courses are rigorous courses that most high schools weight more heavily on your transcript. AP courses, however, culminate in the AP Exam. Good AP scores show colleges you are ready to succeed at college-level work and can even earn you college credits.

How many aps does Harvard want? ›

Freshmen who have taken College Board Advanced Placement exams need a total of four full credits to be eligible for Advanced Standing. Credits are earned by scoring 5 on a minimum of four AP tests.

How many AP classes do valedictorians take? ›

Additionally, starting with the class of 2027, students must take at least six advanced placement, dual enrollment or early college classes to be considered for valedictorian status.

How many AP classes do Ivy League students take? ›

How Many AP Classes to Take for Ivy Leagues and Other Top Schools in the US. For students aiming for the Ivy League and Top 20 schools in the United States, a good target is to take (and pass) 10-14 AP classes throughout your high school career — or 3-4 each year.

Can I get into Harvard with 5 AP classes? ›

Does Harvard Accept AP Credit. Harvard does accept AP Credit for classes in which a student earned a 5 on the AP Exam. These credits are accepted under a program called “Advanced Standing.” To qualify, students must earn a 5 on a minimum of 4 AP tests, transferring a total of 32 credits.

What is the hardest 5 Class AP? ›

Top 10 Hardest AP Classes by Exam Pass Rate
AP Class/ExamPass Rate (3+)Perfect Score (5)
1. Physics 151.6%8.8%
2. Environmental Science53.4%11.9%
3. Chemistry56.1%10.6%
4. U.S. Government and Politics57.5%15.5%
6 more rows

What is the easiest AP to get a 5? ›

Top 10 Easiest AP Classes by Exam Pass Rate
AP Class/Exam*Pass Rate (3+)Perfect Score (5)
2. Calculus BC81.6%44.6%
3. Spanish Literature75.1%17.6%
4. Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism74.4%40.4%
5. Physics 273.3%14.0%
6 more rows

What is the most common AP class? ›

AP English Language and Composition is by far the most popular AP test, with over half a million students taking the exam in 2021.

How much do AP classes boost your GPA? ›

While honors courses usually add 0.5 points to your GPA, AP classes often add 1 point. In other words, a 3.5 GPA would be boosted to a 4.0 in an honors class and a 4.5 in an AP class.

What is the lowest AP pass rate? ›

All AP exams have a passing rate of at least 50%. The most failed AP exams are Physics 1 (failed by 48.4% of all students), Environmental Science (failed by 46.6% of all students), and Chemistry (failed by 43.9% of all students).

Is AP more difficult than honors? ›

AP classes, however, are more challenging than honors classes. These courses cover information, teach skills and give assignments that correspond to college classes. High school students taking AP courses will be held to the same standard as college students.

Is self studying AP worth it? ›

As opposed to just taking an AP class through your high school, self-studying lets you study whatever subject interests you most, allows you to structure the learning around your schedule, and comes off as impressive to college admissions.

Is 3 AP classes too much senior year? ›

Take as many as you can handle without spreading yourself too thin. Make sure you will have time to study for the ACT or SAT this year. An Ivy League hopeful might take 3 to 5(!) AP classes, while if you're aiming for less-selective schools, 2 or 3 would be enough.

Do AP classes matter senior year? ›

While you don't have to take all of the AP classes your school offers, taking a few, especially during junior year or senior year, will definitely boost your college applications.

How much harder is AP classes than normal classes? ›

In general, there is a lot of material to cover in AP classes, so they tend to be more challenging than regular classes—especially courses like AP Calculus, AP Biology, AP Physics, US and World History, and English. These are all much harder than their regular or honors equivalents.

Is 4 AP classes enough for Harvard? ›

Credits are earned by scoring 5 on a minimum of four AP exams. Harvard confers 4 or 8 credits for eac eligible AP exam depending on whether the exam covers one semester or one full year's worth of material.
...
Advanced Placement Exams.
EXAMAP SCOREHARVARD CREDIT
AP Statistics54
SCIENCES
AP Biology58
AP Chemistry58
39 more rows

How many AP classes is too much for junior year? ›

Aim for four to eight AP exams in your junior and senior years. For competitive Ivy League schools, admission officers also want to see AP courses for core subject areas and additional courses. If possible, aim to pass about seven to 12 AP exams if applying to these highly selective schools.

Can you get into Ivy League without AP classes? ›

The Ivy leagues don't discriminate if your school doesn't offer you AP classes. However, if your school offers AP classes and you don't take the opportunity to take them all they will notice that and it's not a good thing. This really depends on how many your school offers.

Is it better to get an A in honors or B in AP? ›

The short answer is that it's better to get a "B" in the AP or Honors class because selective colleges want to see that students are challenging themselves academically, but also that they're mastering the material.

What GPA is an A in AP class? ›

Many schools treat AP classes differently when calculating a student's grade point average (GPA). Rather than the traditional 4.0 scale, AP classes are weighted on a 5.0 scale — in an AP class, an A is equivalent to 5.0 instead of 4.0, and a B is equal to 4.0 instead of 3.0.

Do colleges look at senior year grades? ›

The important thing to know is that colleges do look at your senior year grades. So, a weaker performance in senior year than in previous grades can impact your application and college admissions decisions.

Does Yale accept 4 on AP? ›

Yale awards acceleration credit to students for scores of 4 or 5 on some AP exams. Acceleration credit may offer some students the option to graduate in fewer than eight terms, but only after completing specific courses in specific departments.

What aps do Ivy Leagues accept? ›

Most universities, especially Ivy League schools appreciate students who take full advantage of challenging courses while maintaining a high GPA.
...
Best AP classes for Ivy League schools
  • AP English.
  • AP Chemistry.
  • AP Biology.
  • AP Computer Science Principles.
  • AP World History.
  • AP US History.
  • AP Psychology.
  • AP Economics (Macro)
May 22, 2020

How many APS should I take for Yale? ›

Yale does not require students to take AP courses to get accepted by the school.

Do valedictorians have a 4.0 GPA? ›

The title of valedictorian is used to distinguish indivduals who have achieved the highest level of academic excellence. Students who earn an unweighted 4.0 GPA, through the seventh semester of high school, will receive valedictorian designation.

How common is AP Scholar with honors? ›

The National AP Scholar award is typically the highest honor granted to a student before graduation and is granted to less than 1% of students nationwide.

How many valedictorians get into Harvard? ›

If you're a high-school valedictorian applying to Harvard, you have only a 25 percent chance of being admitted. Admission is denied to 75 percent of the high-school valedictorians who apply to Harvard every year.

Can you get into Harvard without taking AP classes? ›

What is this? All schools, including selective ones like Harvard and UChicago, won't compare your academic performance to applicants from other schools (that wouldn't be fair). They will compare you to other students in your school. So even if your school doesn't offer any advanced courses, you are not disqualified.

Do Ivy Leagues prefer AP or dual enrollment? ›

Do Ivy League schools accept dual enrollment? The majority of Ivy League schools do NOT accept dual enrollment credits under any circumstances.

How many AP classes does Princeton require? ›

candidates: need four advanced placement units in at least two subject areas (described above). need a minimum of 27 courses to graduate, of which a maximum of two may be taken away from Princeton with prior approval.

Is a 3.7 GPA good with AP classes? ›

An unweighted GPA of 3.7 is good: the national average unweighted GPA of high school students is 3.0. If you took high-level courses such as AP or IB classes, an unweighted 3.7 GPA is good and shows you performed well even when taking the most rigorous curriculum available to you.

Should I report a 4 on an AP exam to Ivy League? ›

In terms of Ivy League and Top 20 schools, even a 4 is a relatively low score to earn on an AP exam. It is routine for Ivy League admissions officers to review applications from students who have scored 5s on multiple AP tests.

Do Ivy Leagues accept 4 on AP? ›

It is a fact that five out of the eight Ivy League colleges give college credit for AP exams in which students have scored at least a 4, or in some cases, the score must be a 5. While the AP credit policies vary from school to school, they can also vary from department to department within a school.

Are AP classes harder than college classes? ›

It depends on the rigor of your AP classes and your university classes. AP classes can definitely be more difficult than the introductory-level courses they represent, but once you advance further into the university's curriculum, that's no longer the case.

What is the hardest AP to self study? ›

[8] AP Chemistry is rated as the hardest of all AP classes if you're self-studying, at 8.3 / 10.

Can I get into an Ivy League with 5 AP classes? ›

Ivy League

To be a competitive candidate for admission, you will need to take at least 8 AP® classes, more if you can. It is a good idea to take 1 AP® course in each of the following core disciplines: English, Foreign Language, History, Math, and Science to impress the admissions officers.

Is a 70 A 5 on an AP exam? ›

Usually, a 70 to 75 percent out of 100 translates to a 5. However, there are some exams that are exceptions to this rule of thumb. The AP Grades that are reported to students, high schools, colleges, and universities in July are on AP's five-point scale: 5: Extremely well qualified.

Is 6 AP classes a year too much? ›

Yes, it's too much. You could be that one person who can handle this schedule, but something has to give, and your Junior year needs to be REALLY strong in order to keep you competitive. AP Calc AB is solid for anything above a 3, but bear in mind that over 30% of students who took the test last year scored only a 1.

Is 13 AP classes good? ›

Don't worry 13 APs is definitely a good amount and makes you competitive in terms of academic rigor for top colleges. In fact, it is recommended that you have at least 7-9 APs for selective schools.

Is taking multiple AP classes worth it? ›

Students looking to earn admission to highly selective colleges should take multiple AP classes to bolster their applications and demonstrate they can handle challenging coursework. Some college admissions experts recommend taking as many as 7-12 AP courses before applying to the most elite universities.

How many AP subjects do you need to take? ›

For students aiming for the Ivy League and Top 20 schools in the United States, a good target is to take (and pass) 10-14 AP classes throughout your high school career — or 3-4 each year.

Is 4 AP classes too little? ›

Aim for four to eight AP exams in your junior and senior years. For competitive Ivy League schools, admission officers also want to see AP courses for core subject areas and additional courses. If possible, aim to pass about seven to 12 AP exams if applying to these highly selective schools.

Do AP classes boost GPA? ›

At many high schools, honors and AP classes both offer more heavily weighted training compared to regular classes. While honors courses usually add 0.5 points to your GPA, AP classes often add 1 point. In other words, a 3.5 GPA would be boosted to a 4.0 in an honors class and a 4.5 in an AP class.

Is 20 AP classes too much? ›

It depends on the student's high school. If a school offers 20 AP courses but students are only allowed to take a maximum of 2 AP classes sophomore year and 8 AP classes in total junior and senior year, then admission officers will only expect a student to enroll in 10 AP courses. They don't expect any more.

Is 3 AP classes too much junior year? ›

3 APs in your junior year is pretty average. It isn't terribly hard, so I don't think you should face too many issues. I would push it to 4 if the three you currently have are pretty easy like AP Statistics, Psychology, or Environmental Science.

Is taking 2 AP classes enough? ›

Take as many as you can handle without spreading yourself too thin. Make sure you will have time to study for the ACT or SAT this year. An Ivy League hopeful might take 3 to 5(!) AP classes, while if you're aiming for less-selective schools, 2 or 3 would be enough.

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