Your student should discuss this with their current teachers and their counselors and HEED THEIR ADVICE!

We strongly encourage you to think fewer, NOT EASIER, classes. Your student’s brain needs an appropriate level of challenge to engage in the materials and learn. Bored minds resist absorbing the material.

Many things matter in this decision. Here’s a partial list of considerations:

  • Your student should always begin with just one Advanced Placement course at a time. AP courses are college-level material taught with the expectation that your student can learn independently, just as a college course demands.
  • Most colleges prefer, rather than taking a large load of classes, that students pursue their special interests. Colleges want proof that your student has the intellectual capacity and study skills to succeed. They also want to know that your student will persevere through tough material. Making a strong showing in these courses is much easier when the student cares about the content.
  • Does your student have adequate time in their schedule for more than one college-level course? Plan your student’s schedule hour-by-hour and include sleep, meals, family responsibilities, clubs, teams, down time, and anything else that takes your student’s time and attention. Does your student have the hours in the day for more than one course? It’s much better to take fewer AP courses and ensure the highest possible grade. (See the counseling department’s tool: Course Planning for Balance.)
  • Students should ask current teachers about their study skills and for an opinion about their capacity to succeed. Teachers have insight into how much support the student required to master the current material. That translates to the student’s capacity to transition to independent learning and college material. The teacher can help your student estimate the study time they will need to invest in each AP course.
The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.