Yes, I know this article is just a glorified listicle. But I had a really busy week at school today, and I needed to write something that didn't take much brainpower (but should still be pretty entertaining). So you get to watch as I rank the 11 APs I've taken (or will take) into a tier list with some commentary.
Such an easy AP — and is surprisingly applicable to the real world. It's really valuable to have a solid foundation for statistics, even if you end up in a completely different career position. Plus, you get 2.25 minutes per MCQ, which makes the exam super easy.
AP Calculus BC
Universities love to see a student take AP Calculus. And besides, it's one of the coolest-sounding APs ever. Calculus is not incredibly difficult — as long as you have a solid foundation in high school math, calculus is actually reasonable in terms of conceptual content and overall difficulty.
AP Computer Science A
The course is super easy if you've done any sort of coding. Java is an easy-to-learn language, and there's isn't much memorization required. The key to this course is to code as much possible because it's the best way to internalize the course content.
AP Calculus AB
Just as cool as AP Calculus BC. Except for the fact that BC only has 2 extra units, and even if you don't know those 2 units, you get an AB subscore if you take the BC test. So that knocks Calc AB down to A-Tier.
AP Physics 1
The concepts in AP Physics 1 are so incredibly cool and easily applied to real life. There is practically no memorization: just do enough problems and you're good to go. But the FRQs are pain, so A-Tier.
One of the most interesting AP classes I've ever taken. It's heavily math-based and the FRQs are easy. Unfortunately, I don't think it ranks highly on course rigor (ie. universities won't find it impressive).
Somewhat interesting & applicable to real life, but tons of memorization. I think the exam is really easy though. But again, this is a very easy class, so universities don't find it very impressive.
AP Physics 2
Not many colleges offer credit for it. Plus, its units are more disconnected & less conceptually cool than AP Physics 1. And it's really hard to find good resources, as less than 20k students take the AP Physics 2 exam per year (as opposed to ~400k/year for more popular exams like AP Stats and AP World History).
I haven't taken the exam for AP Bio, but I've heard it's quite difficult — and as a math guy, I typically find the sciences to be harder than math. There are so many biological processes and facts I have to learn and remember. But I will grant that it's very cool to understand how biology works because it's so applicable to real life.
AP Language & Composition
The MCQ (multiple-choice section) is just like the SAT reading passages, which is great because if you've taken the SAT, you barely have to do any prep. But the FRQs are three essays that you have to write in 2 hours. The hand cramps and writing fatigue is so real and I did not like this exam.
This exam was pure cancer for me, and it appears to be pure cancer for everyone else too. There are seven FRQs, and the MCQs are so hard, and everything about the exam (even though I took it online) was terrible. I do not recommend AP Chem, even though the course was fine-ish.