AP is for Freshmen and Sophomores Too
AP isn't just for juniors and seniors. In fact, over one million 9th and 10th grade students took AP courses last year. By starting AP classes earlier you'll build important skills that will help you succeed throughout high school and beyond. You’ll have more time to explore potential majors and careers and more opportunities to earn college credit and advanced placement.
Entering college with credit you’ve already earned through AP can save you time, money, and may give you the flexibility to pursue a second degree, study abroad, change majors, or graduate early. Getting a jump-start on AP courses and exams offers many benefits that help prepare you for success in college and career.
“AP can be challenging, but it is the most rewarding thing I did in high school—I came into college with enough credits to pursue a bachelor’s degree AND master’s degree in four years total!”
Anna K., University of Alabama, former AP student
How to Know if You’re Ready for AP Classes
If you’re up for a challenge, want to gain a deeper understanding of the topics taught in the course, and are committed to doing your best, you may be ready for AP. Talk with your teacher or school counselor to learn which AP courses are offered at your school and how they differ from other high school classes. They can help you determine your options and take the next steps.
Most Popular Courses for 9th and 10th Graders
There are 39 AP courses available, and while the AP Program does not use grade levels as an enrollment requirement, some courses are recommended before others. Schools also offer a different mix of AP courses and may have their own criteria to enroll, so it's important to check with your counselor to confirm that these courses are available to you.
The courses that are most popular for 9th and 10th graders are:
- AP Human Geography
- AP World History: Modern
- AP European History
- AP Seminar
- AP Computer Science Principles
- AP World Language and Culture courses
"Taking AP has taken me to places I never thought someone like me could go to. It's helped me grow in ways I never thought I could grow."
Marlen, AP alum
Some schools offer a program called Pre-AP. Pre-AP courses are designed to help students develop the skills needed to succeed in AP—they remove the guesswork about what’s most important to be ready for AP. Open to all students, Pre-AP courses are usually taught in grades 9 and 10, though some schools offer these high-school level courses in middle school. If you’re considering taking AP courses but aren’t sure if you’re ready to take the next step, talk to your school counselor to see if Pre-AP courses are available to you.