What to do if you didn’t get into an AP class

So you wanted to be placed into an AP class next year (like Bio, US history or English) but you didn’t get the class.  What should you do about it?

First, here’s what you shouldn’t do.  Don’t send your parents in to fight with your counselor or otherwise put pressure on the school to let you into the class.  Unless you were the rare victim of a scheduling snafu or other mix-up, the reality is that there is room for only so many chairs in a classroom.  If you didn’t make the cut, it’s unfortunate, but it’s not a miscarriage of justice.

Here are a few productive ways you could channel that energy into the non-AP class.  You don’t have to do all of them–any combination would show that just because you’re not in AP doesn’t mean you aren’t a hard-working and engaged student.

1. Set a goal to be the highest achieving student in the course.  Ever earned an A+ before?  Here’s the perfect time to do it.

2. Participate in class regularly.  Put your hand up, ask questions, and contribute to the class discussion.

3.  If there are any papers, oral reports or other projects outside of tests and homework, make yours memorable.  Do something that the teacher will tell future classes about.

4.  If you really love the subject, don’t let the learning be limited to class time.  Ask your teacher how you could learn more through outside reading or additional coursework.

5.  And if you really want to show that you should have been in the AP class, take the class at a local community college and then take the AP test.  Make sure your counselor knows you’re doing it so he or she can tell the colleges you apply to how far out of your way you went to get the AP curriculum.  Even if you didn’t pass the test, you’d still look pretty gutsy for taking a shot at it without actually having taken the official AP course.