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Last Updated: November 22, 2023

Top 5 Advanced Placement Courses

The Advanced Placement Program is provided by the College Board in order to give students an opportunity to obtain college credits while in high school and aid them in their placements. Doing AP courses provides the students with the option of skipping intro-level courses in their colleges thereby saving them a lot of college tuition and allowing them to graduate sooner than otherwise possible.

They offer 38 courses for students who are interested and these courses are spread across different disciplines making it easier for students to choose courses that are thematically similar to the courses they want to take up as part of their higher education. For the past two years, the top five courses have remained the same.

Most Popular AP Courses Chosen by Students

The following courses are considered to be the most well-liked ones for students in all grade levels.

English Language and Composition

This course is taken by most of the students since an intro-level college course in English is a requirement for most students in college. The course focuses mainly on the study of rhetoric and speaking skills along with the art of creating and interpreting arguments which help students in whichever field they choose to move ahead in. From Political Science to Law, no matter which course the student takes it is essential that they have speaking skills that aid them in delivering their thoughts into well-structured sentences.

Taking the AP English and Composition course in the Junior year makes students eligible for other AP courses like Human Geography and European History where it is necessary that students have excellent language skills. Students will have to learn about argument and composition in the course by critically reading works from different periods and writing about them by explaining the idea mentioned in the text to persuade the reader about their perspective.

United States History

This course owes its popularity to the fact that most high schools have a course related to US History that is mandatory for the students to take. Taking this AP course then supplements the course they are already doing making it seem effortless to clear an important AP exam. The course includes the socio-cultural, and economic factors that helped develop the U.S. into what it is today ranging from 1491 to the present day.

The units have been split into different periods that often overlap each other but is necessary for students to understand how history is not split into specific sections but is spread across a large timeframe with most of its significant events overlapping with each other and contributing to each other’s rise and fall.

Students opt for United States History over European History because the course is considered relatively easy since students will be more familiar with their national history than they are with European history. At the same time, it also offers them a perspective into their own nation’s history through the nine different units offered in the course.

English Literature and Composition

The AP English Literature and Composition course is chosen next to the AP English Language and Composition one. This is mostly because this course is deemed slightly tougher but also because the Language course is practical and helps develop skills rather than expertise in a subject. But at the same time, this course is still popular among students.

This course has comparatively fewer books to read and students will only be required to read novels, plays, and poetry but at the same time, the texts that are being read will have to be analyzed deeply. The course has been designed to provide the students with better writing and analyzing skills and is focused entirely on the humanities and fine arts sections.

The course is for students who are interested in intensive reading and can deal with regular writing assignments which are mostly based on the reading content. Students who are aiming to take courses in Arts or Humanities can also opt for the course since it is thematically similar to the courses they will have in college.

World History

This course is relatively tough compared to most of the courses but is well sought after by students due to the importance it holds in higher studies and also because of the credibility the student earns by completing the course. The course generally only requires good memorization skills and other critical thinking skills to understand the history that is covered in the syllabus and to retain that information well enough to reproduce it during the exams.

This course teaches students to think historically and create arguments and at the same time, it teaches students to develop their writing and argumentation skills. The extra skills that students learn from the course along with the obvious benefits and perspective building that happens by learning world history clubs together make the course worthwhile for students who desire to take an AP exam.

United States Government and Politics

What representative colleges and universities normally expect students to know and be able to do in order to earn college credit or placement is outlined in the AP U.S. Government and Politics Course and Exam Description. By examining data, political writings from the time of the founding to the present, the Constitution's description of the form of government, and Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution, students can practice the methods used by political scientists. Throughout the test, students will demonstrate their mastery of these abilities through a range of techniques, such as concept application, data analysis, case comparisons with the Supreme Court, and writing political science arguments.

As students study topics like constitutionalism, liberty and order, civic engagement in a representative democracy, competing policy-making interests, and techniques of political analysis, they will also be able to develop their understanding of U.S. government and politics through data analysis and text-based sources.

Beginning with the 2023"24 academic year and the spring 2024 AP exam, updates to the AP U.S. Government and Politics Course and Exam Description (CED) will be implemented. These revisions consist of:

Some Other Popular Courses

AP Psychology

A basic college-level psychology course is called AP Psychology. Through inquiry-based investigations, students develop their understanding of the methodical and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. They study concepts such as developmental psychology, learning and cognition, motivation, sensation and perception, biological bases of behavior, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology.

AP Biology

An introductory college-level biology course is offered by AP Biology. Through inquiry-based research, students learn about evolution, cellular functions, energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions as they deepen their understanding of biology.

AP Chemistry

An introductory course in college-level chemistry is called AP Chemistry. Through inquiry-based lab investigations, students develop their understanding of chemistry while studying the four Big Ideas of energy, transformations, scale, proportion, and quantity, as well as the structure and properties of substances.

AP Physics

Advanced Placement (AP) Physics offers four college-level courses: Physics 1 and Physics 2 with an algebraic foundation. Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism and Physics C: Mechanics.

AP Computer Science A

Students learn about computer science through programming in AP Computer Science A. This course covers fundamental topics such as designing solutions to problems, organizing large data sets with data structures, developing and implementing algorithms to process data and find new information, analyzing potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing systems. Using the Java programming language, the course places a strong emphasis on object-oriented programming and design.

Choosing the Popular Courses

Choosing an AP course is mostly related to the interests of the student and the subjects they want to major in after high school. Though the above-mentioned courses are the most sought-after ones, students can always choose other courses that can make their college application stand out. Language courses and other similar courses can provide students with enough college credits though they may not be thematically relevant to the subject they want to take up.

Students who excel in Mathematics can also choose courses like Calculus AB or Calculus BC even though these courses are generally deemed tough. It is recommended that students play up to their strengths rather than take up courses that are usually selected by a majority of students in general.

2024 Advanced Placement Test Dates

Understanding Advanced Placement

Courses Offered in AP