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How useful are AP credits -- really?

creatingcreating Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
edited March 2013 in AP Tests Preparation
Hi, I'm a senior right now taking 6 AP classes and going into engineering next year but unsure where.
I'm for sure taking the tests for calculus, chemistry, and physics but was wondering about the usefulness of getting credit for the other 3 (art history, psychology, and English lit).

I know the policy differs by school, but in general I believe, one would receive some sort of credit for getting decent scores (not a problem as much for me as money is).

But are these credits worth anything, really? They'd be elective credits, I imagine, and for subjects completely unrelated to my major, so do most people actually use them?

One last thing: I got a 5 on English language last year, so would there be any possible benefit in taking lit as well? I'd really like to not take English in college c;

Thanks in advance all. :)
Post edited by creating on

Replies to: How useful are AP credits -- really?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,775 Senior Member
    Really, you have to go to each college you are considering and take a look at its AP credit policies. That is usually not too hard to find on their web sites.

    The humanities and social studies AP tests may give you limited coverage of the humanities and social studies breadth requirements that engineering majors have. Some colleges have different policies of English language and English literature.

    Calculus is generally useful, though if you plan to skip an introductory course as allowed, you may want to review the college's old final exams for the course that you can skip, to make sure that you know everything from the college's point of view. The same goes for physics (or chemistry if you are going into a major requiring more advanced chemistry, like chemical engineering). Note that physics B won't be worth anything for engineering majors, and physics C is more likely to be worth something for mechanics than E&M.

    At a few schools (e.g. some public universities in Texas), AP credits can actually count against you in pushing you closer to the credit unit limitations, so you may want to choose to accept only those which actually fulfill requirements, rather than those which would just give you otherwise-useless free elective units. On the other hand, if this does not apply to where you go, otherwise-useless free elective units are sometimes helpful in increasing your registration priority (by making you a "sophomore" in the second semester of your freshman year, for example).
  • jerrry4445jerrry4445 Registered User Posts: 2,741 Senior Member
    Depends on the college you will go to. Generally most AP credit are useless in regards of getting you out of a specific class or a General Education class. I believe the only AP exams that are worth taking are foreign language in order to fulfill foreign language requirement, AP Calculus to place you ahead of your peers in your math classes, and AP English to fulfill an introductory English class.

    As for the college I go to (a UC school), although my AP credit doesn't fulfill much, the college units I'm given put me at junior standing when I entered as a first-year. The class standing is pretty useful when you need to sign up for classes.
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