Advanced Placement

What is advanced placement?

The Advanced Placement (AP) program, administered by the College Board allows high school students to take college-level courses. Students are given the opportunity to take AP exams at the end of the school year and earn college credit.

pros to taking ap classes

There are numerous benefits to taking AP classes while in high school. First, students who earn high scores on the AP exams may be eligible to place out of certain introductory or general education (Gen-Ed) courses in college. This could lead towards students finishing college early or being able to take more classes and even pursuing second majors.

Second, AP classes can save families thousands of dollars down the road when it comes to college. While there is a fee per AP exam (around $100), it does not compare to having to pay thousands of dollar for a single course.

Third, while AP classes tend to be more challenging due to them being college-level, students who have taken AP classes tend to be more prepared for college because they have had the chance to develop strong skills such as time management, critical writing, and research analysis.

Fourth, students with AP classes on their academic transcripts stand out to college admissions because these are the students who have already demonstrated their ability to handle college work.

Cons to Advanced placement

First, some students may find AP classes to be too challenging and a lot of time commitment. However, we recommend that students take at least one AP class per year or at the bare minimum, take one class prior to high school graduation. These classes are meant to be rigorous but not impossible to handle.

To those new to AP, we recommend that students first take honors classes and then AP. Some AP classes are more difficult than others. AP Psychology is a good first AP class to take. At the end of the day, students should read more about the AP classes and talk to other students who have taken those courses about their experiences.

Others students are more concerned about how to pay for the AP exams. Another con to AP classes is some colleges will not take AP scores, however this seems to happen more with the elite universities. However, these universities still expect applicants to take college level courses if offered at their high school.

is there a fee to take an ap class?

It is FREE to take an AP class.

is there a fee to taken an ap exam?

Yes. Depending on the AP exam, there is a fee. According to the College Board, all AP exams (excluding AP Seminar and AP Research) are $95 each. The AP Seminar and AP Research exams are $125 each.

Fee Reductions

If you have significant financial need, you may be eligible for a $33 College Board fee reduction per AP Exam. Depending on your state, there might also be additional funding available to supplement the College Board fee reduction and reduce your cost even further. Check with your AP coordinator to find out what support may be available to you. At my high school, students who paid for more than 3 exams were given additional fee waivers to cover the rest of the exams being taken. Other schools may pay for students’ AP fees if they are low-income, receive free or reduced lunches, or have significant financial burdens.

Ultimately, Latinx Opportunities recommends you take AP classes, even if you cannot afford to take the exams because of the skills students can develop in these courses.

what classes does ap offer?

As of August 2020, the AP program offers the following classes:


  1. AP 2-D Art & Design
  2. AP 3-D Art & Design
  3. AP Art History
  4. AP Drawing
  5. AP Music Theory


  1. AP English Language & Composition
  2. AP English Literature & Composition

history & social sciences

  1. AP Comparative Government & Politics
  2. AP European History
  3. AP Human Geography
  4. AP Macroeconomics
  5. AP Microeconomics
  6. AP Psychology
  7. AP United States Government & Politics
  8. AP United States History
  9. AP World History: Modern

mathematics & computer science

  1. AP Calculus AB
  2. AP Calculus BC
  3. AP Computer Science A
  4. AP Computer Science Principles
  5. AP Statistics


  1. AP Biology
  2. AP Chemistry
  3. AP Environment Science
  4. AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based
  5. AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based
  6. AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  7. AP Physics C: Mechanics

world languages & cultures

  1. AP Chinese Language & Culture
  2. AP French Language & Culture
  3. AP German Language & Culture
  4. AP Italian Language & Culture
  5. AP Japanese Language & Culture
  6. AP Latin
  7. AP Spanish Language & Culture
  8. AP Spanish Literature & Culture

how do I know which ap class to take?

Depending on your school, different AP classes may be offered. If there is an AP class that you want to take but your school does not offer it, you can consider self studying for the test or petitioning your school to offer it next year. Figuring out what AP classes to take can be tricky, but Latinx Opportunities recommends students to take AP classes in the subjects they are most passionate about and most relevant to their academic interests.