Each year thousands of students enter high school thinking about their future. They want to know the best courses to get ready for college.  They may be the first person in their family to consider college and they are not familiar with Advanced Placement (AP) courses. What is an Advanced Placement (AP) course? It is a rigorous course that gives high school students an opportunity to experience college level instruction. Students who take an Advanced Placement test at the end of the year and score a 4 or 5 are eligible to be given college credit. They are rewarded for demonstrating the knowledge that they’ve obtained while in their high school classes. Most students say studying for an AP test is more intense but it is worth it. 

What are the secrets to performing well in an AP course or on an AP test? A student should not wait until their senior year to take all AP courses. The amount of work will overwhelm the student who is enrolled in too many AP classes. A better goal is for each student to challenge themselves to take two or more courses each year.  Each student must ask themselves how hard they are willing to study and to prepare for tests. There are ten benefits that you will receive from enrolling in an AP course:

  1. Advanced placement classes prepare you for the rigor of college '

      2, You will do more and learn more in each of your AP classes

  1. Your instructor will know how to challenge you to get you prepared for college

      4. You will get better preparation for college level math and science classes 

  1.  You will improve your writing skills

      6.  You will be more prepared to have greater success during your first year of college

  1. You will position yourself to earn a 4 or 5 on the AP test at the end of the school year

      8. You benefit from getting more motivated to pursue a college degree

  1.   Start reading and researching a significant amount of information on each class subject 

      10. You’ll gain confidence in your ability to succeed on challenging tests


It is important to be prepared for every AP class. To avoid the pitfalls of procrastination you need to find a quiet place to study.  Devote yourself to researching and asking questions during your classes. You should seek to be very clear on assignments and know the teachers expectation for the class. Create an effective study skills plan that starts with organizing all of your learning materials, books and notes. Begin with the end in mind. Determine what you would like to learn from each course and what grades you want to achieve. Instead of making plans to study at the last minute follow a calendar. Students who want to perform well in AP classes must study for each test at least three to five days ahead of the scheduled test.

When you follow these strategies you are on your way to earning A+ grades in your AP class.  There is one more thing that is a vital factor in your success. You must have a positive attitude and expectation that you will earn a good grade during your AP class. Approach each class believing that you are going to earn an A+ grade and you will be on your way down the road to a successful academic year.


Launch into each study session with enthusiasm and excitement about the new information that you will uncover. It’s important to invest additional quality time studying every day. Remember the formula for success in an AP class is a commitment to critical thinking every day without losing your motivation to pursue your college dream.  Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide. Go on the internet at to order a book or to order by telephone call 610-544-5480.


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Dr. Jones is an education guru, workshop presenter and the author of 3 books the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parents Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide. Dr. Jones helps students to earn A+ grades in 12 hours at <a href=""></a>

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