Do AP Classes Boost GPA? (Everything You Need to Know in 2024)

GPA always play a crucial role in the life of a student as it helps in getting future opportunities and admission to higher institutions. However, when you take up courses essential to a higher standard you get a lot of options to choose from. There are mainly 3 types of courses – regular, Honor and AP. Honour or AP courses are usually harder than regular ones. You need to work really hard for these two courses when compared to the regular ones. Taking such courses always makes you confused if they will help you increase your GPA or not. Therefore here, we will help you to know more about AP classes and discuss whether AP classes boost GPA or not.

Quick Takeaways

  • An AP class is a course in which you get more advanced practical knowledge.
  • Taking up this course help you in earning college-level credits that will help you to easily get into a college or a working placement.
  • When you take up an AP course it also helps you to boost the GPA but when it is calculated on the basis of a weighted GPA system.
  • An AP course is different from an honoured course as you get fun extra points for an AP course and half for an honour course according to the standard method.
  • The amount of post your GPA will get for having an AP course will depend upon whether your institution uses the standard method or non-standard method.
  • If you want you can take up online AP courses as after COVID-19 they are in high demand.
  • You must try to get at least four to eight AP courses to make your application stronger. But make sure not to overburden yourself with the AP classes.
  • Always remember that your AP exam does not add anything to your final GPA. It only helps you to get college-level credits or a work placement. Only the grade you get for the AP class will count in your GPA

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of whether AP classes boost your GPA or not.

Do AP Classes Boost GPA?  (Everything You Need to Know in 2023)

What are AP classes?

AP or advanced placement classes are the classes that you take in High school having a college-level course. If you are able to complete the course you may get college credits. It is the course that helps you get professional knowledge which further helps in getting into a good career. Further, when you take an AP course there are high exams that you have to sit for at the end of the year. Usually, this exam consists of multiple-choice questions that you need to answer. Make sure that you are not confusing this subject with the honour courses.

Do AP classes boost GPA?

When your GPA is calculated on the basis of weighted GPA then your AP class can boost your GPA. It is because the weighted GPA also value the difficulty level of the subject you are studying. It takes AP and honour classes into consideration. You will get an additional 0.5 points for the honour course and one additional point for the AP scores.

On the other hand, if the GPA is calculated on the basis of an unweighted GPA then there will be no boost in your final GPA. An important point you must note is that if your school do not offer you an AP course in a particular subject then you will not be getting any extra point for it.

Do AP Classes Boost GPA? (Everything You Need to Know in 2023)

How much do AP classes boost your GPA?

The amount of getting pulled in your GPA for doing AP classes is dependent upon two main factors that is the school’s grading system and the AP classes you are choosing. When you have more AP classes your GPA will increase more. Further, you must remember that there are two types of grading systems.

The first is the standard grading system in which you get one additional point for an AP class. The second one is the non-standard grading system, in which you get additional points depending on the school policies. Therefore you must try to contact the school administration to understand your grading policies.

How to calculate weighted GPA will AP classes?

Let us understand it with the help of the standard grading system. Thus below we have mentioned the standard grading system for the AP classes-

Letter Grade GPA for regular courseWeighted GPA (AP Course)
A+4.05.0
A4.05.0
A-3.74.7
B+3.34.3
B3.04.0
B-2.73.7
C+2.33.3
C2.03.0
C-1.72.7
D+1.32.3
D1.02.0
F0.00.0

To understand it let us take two different examples-

Example one:

Suppose you are taking 5 courses and each course is a regular course with the following grades- 

  • A, A, A, A-, and B+

Even if your grades are calculated on the basis of weighted GPA, there will be no difference in final GPA. So your final GPA, for these grades will be –

  • (4.0 + 4.0 + 4.0 + 3.7 + 3.3)/5 = 19/5 = 3.8 GPA.

Example two:

Consider the same example as above with one A and B+ being an AP course. Further are the scores you will get for these grades 

  • A (for AP course)- 5.0 
  • A (for regular course) – 4.0
  • A- (for regular course) – 3.7
  • B+ (for AP course) – 4.3
Do AP Classes Boost GPA?  (Everything You Need to Know in 2023)

So your final GPA will be –

  • (5.0 + 4.0 + 4.0 + 3.7 + 4.3)/5 = 21/5 = 4.2 GPA

From the above example, you can easily see how taking up an AP course can help in increasing the GPA when calculated on the basis of a weighted GPA system. 

What do you need to do if your school do not follow a non-standard system?

The first thing you need to do is to check what grading system your institution follows. Some of the institutions follow a pattern of giving extra points whereas some give more extra points for higher grades and fewer points for lower grades. Once you know the grading policy, try to choose the subjects accordingly. Suppose you are not good at Maths but are excellent at English. In such a scenario choosing both AP subjects can help you in getting a higher GPA. 

Is taking AP classes common?

Do AP Classes Boost GPA?  (Everything You Need to Know in 2023)

AP classes can play a game-changing role in your application. There are many institutions that take students who have studied an AP course. In the last decade, it was seen that there was a 43% increase in the number of students who were taking the AP course.

How is the AP course different from the honour course?

AP courses are the ones which have only one level and have standardized content. Whereas, an honour course is one which has various levels and does not have standardized content. Further, you get 1 extra grade for the AP course and 0.5 for Honor. If you want to take an honor course you will need to get a recommendation from the professors. On the other hand, you can take the AP courses anytime. Also, there will be a fixed schedule for taking up the exams for the AP course but not for the Honor course.

Should you take an online AP class?

AP courses are the one which are difficult in nature and can help you to increase your GPA. Taking them online can definitely be worth it as after covid most of the institutions have started giving online course preferences. However, one thing that you should take care of is the course content of the AP course is difficult.

Thus if you think you can’t handle the pressure then you must not go for an online course. On the other hand, if you are interested in taking up the challenge, then you must go for it. If needed you can always take help from private or online tutors

Do colleges look at weighted GPAs or unweighted GPAs?

An unweighted GPA is one in which the difficulty level of your subject is not considered. Whereas weighted GPA will consider the difficulty level of the subject. Usually, your institution will look at both of the GPAs because they want to see your determination and how challenging you are. An interesting fact here is your weighted GPA can have a great impact on your selection. It is because it will help to show how hard subjects you have taken to study.

Further having a good weighted GPA is important especially if you are going to a prestigious university like Harvard or Cambridge. This is because they are usually in search of students who have a highly competitive nature. However, it does not mean that you will be taking AP or honours courses to increase your GPA. Further, if you have a GPA of 2.87, do not round off your GPA at 3.0.

Will the AP exam have any impact on your GPA?

Do AP Classes Boost GPA?  (Everything You Need to Know in 2023)

The final thing of an AP course is the AP exam that you will need to sit in. You may want to on college credits even before applying to the chosen school. But whether will they also impact your final GPA is a big question. Well no they will not impact your GPA. The grade that you get in the AP class will only affect your GPA and not the exam. However, the only thing that will happen with the GPA exam is that you will be getting college credits even without going to college.

How many AP classes should you take up?

If you are interested in getting into the most reputed institution then you will need to take four to eight AP courses in both years. If you are really interested in getting into the higher institution you must try to take more and more AP classes. When you have more AP classes, it shows your skills, competitive nature, and dedication. However when you are taking the classes you must make sure that you are not overburdening yourself.

Do AP classes look good on a transcript?

AP classes are the one which have a high difficulty level and thus it looks great on your transcript. It shows you have the ability to take challenges and shows how competitive you are. Taking AP classes also shows your high knowledge and academic abilities. Having AP classes not only helps to show your academic abilities but also helps to improve your final grade. With the help of AP courses, you can get good future opportunities by helping you to get a better application than the others.

Are AP classes mandatory for getting admission to the top college?

AP class is not mandatory but it will help you to improve your chances of getting admission in the top colleges. However, you must remember that there are a lot of other factors like SAT score, ACT score, letter of recommendation, etc. Thus even if you do not have AP classes you must try to consider other factors to get admission to the institution. 

Conclusion

As a student in High school, you need to choose courses from regular, honour, and AP courses. The main difference between the three of them is that honour and AP classes are more difficult than the regular ones. An AP class is a class that helps you to get college-level credits and get working placement. They are tougher than honour courses and they may also help to boost your GPA if calculated on the basis of the weighted GPA method.

However, you must remember that when a weighted GPA is calculated you get an extra point for the AP course and half a point for the honor course. Further, there are many institutions that may not follow the standard grading system. It is important for you to discuss this with your academic council.

FAQs

What GPA is B+ in an AP class?

The B+ in an AP class is 4.3 based on the weighted GPA.

What is the cost of AP exams?

Taking up AP exams is much easier in the US and the cost of the exam is lower than the other countries. The cost of the AP exam is $97 in the US and if you want to take it outside then it is $127.

Should you enter a weighted or unweighted GPA?

Usually, your GPA is mentioned on an unweighted GPA basis. You must try to add the one which you think is better and higher. However, there are chances that they may want to know a specific GPA, and they will definitely mention it. Thus you will need to enter it. The institution may also need to have a minimum GPA requirement which they will mention.

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