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Why Taking Challenging Classes in High School Matters

Last updated May 13, 2024

Taking challenging classes in high school, such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Honors, and classes offered through dual enrollment programs, offers numerous benefits as you prepare for college. In this article, we share some benefits of taking challenging high school classes!

Prepare for college-level coursework

Taking challenging classes can help prepare you to successfully complete high school, take on college-level coursework, and build time management and study skills along the way. Plus, by taking advanced classes, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses in subject matter and work to improve them before starting college!

Prepare for standardized tests

Advanced classes typically require additional reading, more complex math, and more rigorous test-taking than classes not at the collegiate level. This will help you hone your test-taking strategies while expanding your knowledge in subject matter that is likely to be covered on standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, or college placement tests!

Potentially earn college credit

Performing well in advanced classes may lead you to earn college credit while you're still in high school. For example, if you're enrolled in an AP course and decide to take your subject's AP exam at the end of the year, and receive a score of 3 or higher (depending on the college you want to attend), you can receive college credit. Similarly, enrolling in a dual enrollment program in high school allows you to take college-level general education classes, meaning that by the time you are a full-time college student, you've already earned credit for them. In both cases, performing well in these types of classes can mean less time spent in college and less money spent on tuition! 

Explore your interests and connect advanced classes to potential majors and careers

Taking advanced classes is a great way to explore potential areas of study in college as well as potential careers! For example, taking AP Calculus in high school might help you decide if pursuing a major in STEM may be a good fit for you, or learning more about the Renaissance in a dual-enrollment history course at your local community college may lead you to find a great part-time job opportunity at a local museum. Not sure how your advanced classes can relate to your college major or career? Learn more here from College Board.

Ready to put your knowledge to the test? Play our Kahoot!

Have any questions for us about taking advanced classes? Leave us a comment on Instagram @getschooled or text us! Send #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors, or click here to have the text message set up for you!

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