How Many AP Courses Are Too Many?

January 25th, 2012

Stressful AP courses – a push for a cap
By Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle
Perfect isn’t good enough when it comes to getting into some of the country’s top colleges. Last year, the average grade point average of an accepted freshman applicant at UCLA was 4.34 – well above the former gold-standard 4.0 for straight A’s. The only way to push past a 4.0 and compete for a spot at Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley or UCLA is to take Advanced Placement courses, college-level classes that offer a grade-point premium, which typically increases a grade by an entire point, making, say, a B look like an A on a transcript. Over the past decade, students increasingly have loaded up on those classes, sometimes juggling so many that they have little time for anything besides academics. With four or more hours a day of homework, even sleep is often an afterthought.