Frequently asked questions ...

What is the benefit of taking AP courses over honors courses?

What is the benefit of taking AP courses over honors courses?

As all young adults should be aware, preparing for successful admission to the college of their choice starts in high school. Taking either AP or honors classes can be a good idea in this regard, but there are significant differences between these two options.

Honors classes cover the same material as regular school coursework but in greater depth. They are, therefore, harder and require more work. They make a student more attractive to colleges, can help develop study habits and techniques that are invaluable in higher education, and raise your GPA.

AP (Advanced Placement) courses, on the other hand, are college-level classes offered in high school. They allow students to earn college credit, advanced standing, or both based on their performance on AP exams. They are more challenging than honors courses, with a nationally standardized curriculum.

The benefits of taking AP classes include the following:

  • College credit: Many colleges and universities grant credit and/or advanced placement for AP exam scores (typically 3 or higher out of 5). This varies by the course and the college. You may use the College Board's Credit Policy Search tool to better understand how this may affect you in the future.

  • Improved college admissions prospects: AP courses demonstrate to colleges a student's ability to handle challenging coursework and their commitment to academics to an even greater extent than honors classes.

  • More robust preparation for college: AP courses offer students the opportunity to study college-level material and prepare for the rigor college coursework requires.

  • Enhanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills: AP courses require students to demonstrate higher-level thinking and the ability to apply what they learn.

  • Increased confidence: AP courses allow students to demonstrate their abilities and improve their academic confidence. Depending on their talents and available time, however, honors classes may be the better option in some cases.

2Sigma School offers an Advanced Data Science course with an Honors option in addition to College Board authorized AP Computer Science Principles and the AP Computer Science A courses. In addition, our Advanced Computer Science in Python course prepares students to potentially obtain college credits from Carnegie Mellon University for their College Programming and Computer Science course.