AP Tests are supposed to get you ahead in college, and in some cases, it does. However, overloading on AP credit doesn’t really help you as much: be wise in what you take, and if you decide to take it, study!
Going to college I was surprised by how lucky my school was to offer so many AP classes. Many of my classmates barely took any AP classes. Albeit, most top colleges don’t give you much credit for AP classes, but for the ones they do, it is so helpful to be ahead and skip introductory classes. :P
What AP Classes you should definitely take and study for:
- BC Calculus (Not AB!)
- Learning this when you have the time is much better than trying to figure out integration and derivatives in a busy college environment.
- Physics C (Mech AND E/M)
- English Language and/or Literature
- Foreign Language (if fluent)
- This can satisfy your foreign language requirement, especially if you don’t plan on continuing a language through college.
If your school doesn’t have a good AP program and you still want to take an AP test, I recommend finding online materials to augment the material you learn in class. There are plenty of practice tests and old official tests that you should take to gauge how you will score in the real thing. Because in the end, the test still costs a lot of money.
A note about state schools:
Having AP credit is even better if you know you’re going to a state university. It can really help reduce the graduation requirements and gives you more free time to enjoy life or take harder more specialized classes.