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How Many APs Should My Student Take?

Don't get caught up in the AP hype. You don't need a million APs in high school. In fact, you really shouldn't have too many APs. All tests and no fun make a dull teen. A recent study of 400,000 entrants to about 100 colleges proves that high school sanity reigns supreme.

How Many APs should your student take? Here are some guidelines:

  • 1 or 2 APs has the biggest benefit
  • 4-6 APs are suggested for Ivy League schools
  • More than 4-6 APs doesn't improve success
  • Conclusion: more is not better. 
  • Solution: take a reasonable number of AP tests for your student's goals

College admission advisers may recommend more and more APs, but that's not what will really impress a college. I have known some homeschoolers who were so busy taking AP classes that they didn't have time to cover core subjects, or have the time they needed to pursue interests and delight directed learning.

Homeschool parents know their child best and make the best guidance counselor for their student. We can ensure that our child does enough to meet their career goals, but not so much they get burned out and frustrated. Read Proof positive that the best guidance counselor is YOU!

If you don't need 12 APs, what do Ivy League schools want?

  1. Genuine activities (not gallons of business)
  2. Personal recommendations (not unfamiliar recommenders)
  3. Charming essays (not impersonal pat answers)
  4. Family background (to bring unique experiences to campus)

If you are thinking Ivy League, start doing your research early with this short Coffee Break Book, so you are prepared for anything. Read Upper Echelon Education: How Homeschoolers Can Gain Admission to Elite Universities

The report, "Studying the Benefits of Taking APs: Relationships between the Number of APs, AP Performance, and College Outcomes" was mentioned in the Washington Post article "Will 10 APs get you ready for Yale?" You might find it helpful.

 SAT®, AP®, and CLEP® are trademarks owned by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse, this blog post or The HomeScholar, LLC.

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Tuesday, 20 April 2021

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