A "B" in an AP class vs. an "A" in a regular class

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A "B" in an AP class vs. an "A" in a regular class

One of the most popular questions that parents ask me is, whether I should take an AP or an honor’s class if I have a chance of getting a B, or should I drop down and take the easier class if I know I’m going to get an A? And the answer is, it depends on the schools that you want to apply to so the more selective schools are going to want to see a more challenging curriculum. What I normally advise parents and students to do is try the harder class. If you have the opportunity to try in AP class, start it. In the first 2-3 weeks, if it doesn't work for you, if it’s too much work, you can drop down typically to a regular class; but you can’t go the other way. You can’t start at a regular class and try to bump up. Once you’re out of that AP or honor’s track, it’s very difficult to get back there. So challenge yourself but know that I would prefer that you get good grades across the board. So if one AP class is making all of your grades suffer, then it’s probably not worth it. But if you really just need to get adjusted to the class and you can get a B or a B+, I’d rather have it in a more challenging class.
TEEN, Education, Applying to College

View Danny Ruderman's video on A "B" in an AP class vs. an "A" in a regular class...


Expert Bio

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Danny Ruderman

Independent College Counselor

Danny Ruderman is a nationally recognized college counselor whose mission is to help as many families as possible navigate the admissions process.  

The Fontana High School and Stanford grad is the author of The Ultimate College Acceptance System and creator of college counseling programs used by school districts across the U.S. and Fortune 500 companies. He is known for his huge forehead and helping students get into schools that really match their interests. His newest book, Top 100 Answers to Your College Admissions Questions will be released in March 2013.

Danny graduated with Honors from Stanford University and holds a BA in Human Biology with an emphasis in Education. He was named a Merit Teacher for his work at Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles and worked as an educational therapist for K&M Associates in Los Angeles. He is also a member of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC). He has been featured on NPR’s Marketplace, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, Between the Lines on PBS, College Bound Magazine, The Bill Handel Show, and Powernomics. Danny is also a regular contributor to Money 101 on KFWB in Los Angeles.

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