Is College Harder Than AP High School Classes?

High school and college classes are known to be very different, and college classes are often harder than most high school classes. However, many high school students take AP high school classes, which are harder than other high school classes. Is college harder than AP high school classes?

Most students find that AP high school classes are just as challenging as a typical college class. AP high school classes are meant to prepare high school students for future college classes, and as such, they match the difficulty level. However, since high school classes generally meet more frequently than college courses, students have less to learn in each session.

AP high school classes are not made to be harder than college classes, but there are a few differences between them. More information about the differences and difficulties between AP high school and college classes is below.

Are College Classes Harder than AP High School Classes?

College classes are harder than AP high school classes because the curriculum is more advanced, especially when a college student starts attending 200-400 level classes, which are much harder than AP high school classes. (The higher the lever, the harder the class.) AP classes are not meant to be harder than college classes. Instead, they are meant to prepare high school students for their future college classes.

Some AP classes are as hard as college classes, but most students find them easier because they are introductory classes and the teachers know that they are not teaching college students, and their students need to adjust to the speed and intensity of the class and curriculum.

AP classes move faster than other high school classes, but what AP teachers teach in one school year amounts to about 1 semester of a 100 level college class. AP classes also meet every day, while college classes only meet a few times every week, so there is less time to go over the material. This means college classes are harder than AP high school classes. (Source)

However, AP classes allow high school students to earn college credit if they pass the AP exam. However, this puts a lot of stress on these students. College classes are less stressful in this way because your future doesn’t rely on what grade you get on one test. Instead, you have assignments, tests, and quizzes that make up your grade, so you have time to improve your grade if you aren’t happy with it. (Source)

Sometimes, college students find that their AP high school classes were harder than their current classes, but that typically only happens while they are taking 100 level classes. It sometimes happens because they didn’t get along or understand what their AP high school teacher was teaching, and their college professor teaches in a different way that better suits their learning style. (Source)

Sometimes, AP high school classes will use college textbooks to teach the curriculum. However, you likely won’t see the textbook you used in your AP high school class used at your college. The textbook used in classes varies depending on the professor and the requirements of the college.

Differences Between College and AP High School Classes

There are a few key differences between AP high school and college classes. The main difference is how often the two types of classes meet. College classes meet 2-3 times per week, while AP classes meet 5 times per week. Sometimes, AP classes only meet 3 times per week, but that is difficult to do because of how the class schedule at most high schools works.

However, while attending college classes you have more time to do the homework and review the curriculum taught in the last class than AP high school students do. Oftentimes, AP teachers assign their students homework to do every night. College professors can do so, but they understand that you have other classes that also assign homework to you, so they often choose not to. (Source)

High school students are only allowed to take 2 AP classes at a time. Sometimes, a student is allowed to take 3 at one time, but that rarely happens. This is because teachers and administrators don’t want their students to become extremely overwhelmed. Meanwhile, college students take up to 7 classes at a time depending on their schedule and the number of credits they want to take.

AP high school students have more teacher support than college students. That’s not to say that college professors don’t support their students or allow them to ask questions, but high school teachers have more time to meet with students both in class and afterward. Some college professors teach classes with 100+ students, while high school teachers have multiple classes of 25-35 students.

Will AP High School Classes Make College Easier?

AP high school classes will make 100 level introductory college classes slightly easier, but an AP student likely won’t have to take many of these classes as you learned the curriculum in your AP classes unless you didn’t pass the AP exam or the college you are attending didn’t accept your transferred credits. AP classes can help you get used to the pace of college classes, but AP classes move slightly slower than college classes, and you will have to adjust to other things that will change when you go to college, like your schedule.

However, AP high school classes are meant to make college classes slightly easier because high school AP students have had time to adjust slightly to a change in curriculum pace. Most of the time, it does prepare these students for college, but they will still have to get used to changes in pace and environment when they start attending college classes.

Overall, AP high school and college classes are quite different. However, AP classes are extremely helpful if you plan on going to college after you graduate high school. Your AP classes will be harder than your other high school classes, and it is extremely stressful to take such an important test at the end of the school year, but it will be worth it in the end.