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Why Taking Challenging Classes in High School Matters

Last updated August 23, 2022

Considering taking an honors, AP, IB, or dual-enrollment class this year? There are many reasons why challenging yourself in high school by taking advanced classes can help you get accepted into and attend college - and even feel more prepared when you get there! Here are some benefits of taking advanced high school classes.

Preparing for college-level coursework

Taking advanced courses can help prepare you to not only successfully complete high school, but for college-level coursework. You can work to build college skills like time management, good study habits, and more. Plus, by taking advanced classes you can identify your strengths and weaknesses in a subject and tackle them early before starting college! This can be beneficial at your future college or university, because students are typically required to take around two years of general education classes before focusing on their major’s classes down the road.

Explore or deepen an interest

Not sure what your interests are yet? Are there any subjects that you wish to explore or become more knowledgeable in? It goes without saying that the more interested you are in a subject, the more effort you’ll put into learning and doing well. Also, by taking an advanced class now, before college, you’ll avoid paying a hefty price tag to find out that you may just not like the subject.

Prepare for standardized tests like the SAT & ACT

Advanced classes typically require additional reading, more complex math, and more test-taking than classes not at the advanced level. The more you do these things, the more you’re honing skills that will come in handy when it’s time for you to take the SAT, ACT, or college placement tests! You’ll develop critical thinking skills, expand your knowledge in areas typically covered on these tests, and ultimately, possibly feel more prepared to take them. Strong SAT & ACT scores are a great asset to have when applying to colleges!

Potentially receive college credit

Did you know that succeeding in AP and dual enrollment classes now can save you college money in the future? If you’re enrolled in these types of classes and decide to take the course’s official exam, or pay for the dual enrollment tuition, you can potentially receive college credit. This means less time taking classes in college - and less money spent on tuition!

Connect advanced classes to majors and careers

Taking advanced classes is not only a great way to explore potential areas of study/college majors, but careers, too! Taking AP Calculus might help you decide you want to go into a STEM career. Learning more about The Renaissance in a dual enrollment history course at your local community college might lead you to finding a great opportunity at a museum. Advanced classes are a great stepping stone to help you decide what areas of study and careers you’re passionate about! Take this quiz from the College Board to help identify which AP classes are related to a major or career.

Does your school not offer AP classes? Or have a limited selection of options? As always, we’re here to help! Colleges are looking for rigor and challenge, and there are lots of ways to accomplish this! Check out the different ways you can still challenge yourself in high school and prepare yourself for college life.

Have any questions for us about taking advanced classes? Leave us a comment on Instagram @getschooled or text #Hello to 33-55-77!

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