First of all remember that there are many reasons why teachers and school administrators have incentives to ensure certain numbers of students are in the AP classes. High Schools want to be listed as having a high number of AP students. So, should your student go the AP route, or not? It depends. Following you will find some basic questions to ask before you insist your student be pushed into the AP classes. . .
Ask the college they want to attend if they can steer you in the right direction. They might not share their exact point system, but they might help steer you in the right direction. The fact is that they might even change the parameters from one year to another, like Google's Algorithm, so just act logically and in each situation a little differently.
- Does your student have an 'A' average from last year? If not, you want to get them to up to an 'A' before you push them into AP classes.
- Is the AP class pertinent to your students academic course of study? Is it an engineering related class for your prospective engineer? If not, the ratio of course load to potential gains might be too high.
- Did your student take AP classes last year and come very close to the grade where they might have missed getting college credit? If they almost didn't get the credits, there's a good chance that they might double their load, drop from an 'A' to a 'B' average and still not get the credit. Now they have lost ground in the eyes of college admissions. Also, since it is a one-time test for a full year worth of work, you completely lose ALL the work done in the AP class. If they are on the edge, you'll push them over. Keep the 'A' average and don't push your luck.
- Is your student already well rounded? Even and 'A' average AND AP classes, with no extracurricular activities, might lose them that last spot at the college they desire.
- Can they get the credits in less time, for a little money, but taking many tests and get the same credit at a community college? Are you really in a hurry to get them out of college and into the work force a year, or six months sooner?