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Last Updated: April 21, 2021

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. The most popular courses in the Advanced Placement program are English Language and Composition, United States History, English Literature and Composition, World History, and Psychology among others.

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 persuading 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, 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 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 in nature and helps develop skills than expertise in a subject. But at the same time, this course is still popular among students.

This course has comparatively lesser 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 better writing and analyzing skills and is focused entirely on the humanities and fine arts section.

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 in order 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 to make the course worthwhile for students who desire to take an AP exam.


Students in high school often have the choice of taking Psychology as one of their subjects. But at the same time, if students choose AP Psychology, they get to earn extra college credits and an intro-level understanding of the course by learning about the 14 key concepts in Psychology that the course deals with. This course covers more in-depth concepts in Psychology that are not part of the high school syllabus.

Taking the course also provides the student an understanding of whether they want to major in the subject after high school. Joining a college and realizing that this subject does not suit one can be a bit too late for the realization. But doing an intro-level course during high school provides the student with the choice of understanding the subject, earning college credits for admission, and benefitting from the subject in their personal life.

Most colleges require students in different disciplines to take up at least one humanities course. Taking this course in high school makes the student eligible to not take the course in college since they already have enough credits from the Humanities section.

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 out 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 it 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 than take up courses that are usually selected by a majority of students in general.

2022 Advanced Placement Test Dates

Understanding Advanced Placement

Courses Offered in AP