College & Workforce Readiness

Here’s What College Board Research Says About How Many AP Classes Students Should Take

By Ileana Najarro — October 31, 2023 1 min read
Verona Area High School students Maddie Hankard, left, Gabby Henshue, center, and Allison Ford collaborate on a homework assignment during class time in an advanced placement chemistry course on Feb. 14, 2013 in Verona, Wis.
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Advanced Placement courses, offered through the College Board, help prepare high school students for college level workloads.

But new research from the College Board this summer suggests that more AP courses are not necessarily better, in terms of college achievement. The analysis found that “performing well on more than five AP Exams does not markedly alter first-year college grades and four-year degree completion,” the nonprofit says in a statement.

Though students and counselors alike still question how many AP classes they should take if the goal is admission to a highly selective institution that values AP courses on transcripts without clarifying how many they wish to see.

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For more information on the College Board’s research into the relationship between number of AP courses, performance on AP exams, and future college success, see the brief below.

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