5 Key Benefits of Studying Advanced Placement

AP Students

Why are Advanced Placement courses a popular choice for students around the world? The Advanced Placement Program (AP) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue university-level studies while still in school. The program consists of one-year courses and corresponding externally-written and marked exams. Here are 5 ways the AP can be an excellent choice.

1. Learn what you love

Students can specialise and focus on subjects that they enjoy and are highly motivated to achieve success. AP courses help students learn to tap into their creativity and problem-solving skills as they learn and prepare for external examinations. Popular courses among our students include sciences, mathematics, language, literature, arts and computer science.

2. Strengthen your university application

Each year, more than 1.25 million high school (senior secondary) students take AP examinations. AP courses are valued by college and universities as markers of academic ability, demanding content, and rigorous assessment. University admission officers that AP courses on your transcript represent challenge and commitment. The program is recognised in over 100 countries including the UK, US and Canada.

3. Be READY for the next step

AP courses are more demanding than regular high school classes, most being similar to first-year college courses. The courses are academically rigorous, offering challenging work and a taste of what college classes are like. Students learn essential time management and study skills needed for university and career success. AP courses are content-rich, laying foundations for future study in a range of disciplines and career applications.

4. Get university/college credit

AP exams are graded on a scale from 1-5, and many universities consider ‘3’ (Qualified) as a successful demonstration of understanding equivalent to passing a college-level course in the subject. Students who plan and succeed in a broad range of AP courses are eligible for the AP International Diploma and other awards. Thousands of universities grant advanced placement or credit hours for successful students.

5. Keep your options open

ACS students can pursue academic and personal challenges across a wide range of opportunities, including the widely-respected but demanding IB Diploma and Career-related Programmes. AP courses allow students the flexibility to undertake one or two more difficult courses while managing other commitments and pursuing passions in engineering, sport, arts, service, business and more. Students can apply themselves in a balanced way that still leaves time for themselves and things they care about beyond the classroom.


“I chose to take the AP because it allows me to focus furthering my skills and education in areas that interest me. I was able to select classes that I enjoyed and believed would be helpful for my future career path.”
Toby, Grade 12, ACS Cobham

At ACS we offer the Advanced Placement Program at three of our campuses, delivering a broad, balanced and connected curriculum which can be tailored to a student’s individual strengths and interests. At ACS Cobham and ACS Hillingdon the program is well-established with a variety of options available, which can also be taken in combination with International Baccalaureate courses. At ACS Doha, the program is the latest extension of our rigorous curriculum, offering more flexibility to students alongside the IB and US High School Diploma.

“Especially for students considering university in North America, AP courses are a well-recognised way to show they’re ready to succeed in a challenging academic environment. The Advanced Placement Program helps our future graduates build confidence and master content that they’ll need for their next adventures in learning.”

Robert Harrison, PhD, Education Strategy Director 

Find out more about the Advanced Placement programme at ACS International Schools.