Should I push my son to take AP classes to better his chances of getting into college?
Applying for college has become a highly competitive and often anxiety-ridden process. Advanced placement (AP) classes can give your son a head start as well as expose him to the more rigorous academics he will be confronted with in a college curriculum. However, it is important to be sure that your son can cope with the workload. If you push him into something he's not ready for or not equipped to handle, the results could be counter-productive. Talk to the teachers in each of the classes you are considering in order to gauge his abilities and work habits. And, of course, ask your son and make sure he is part of the decision.
If everyone (teachers, counselors, you and your son) is in agreement, then it's time to enroll. If, however, the decision is the opposite, don't panic. Your son can still improve his college prospects by hitting the books hard and getting good grades in non-AP courses, volunteering or getting involved in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs and student government. Scoring well on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT will also go a long way in opening doors to a variety of opportunities for higher education.
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