Which are Better: Honors Vs AP Classes In High School? | Best Guides


If you are a high school student, you are likely to have encountered academic classes such as Honors and AP, but you might still need to know which is better and how they vary.

Because Honors and AP classes are higher-level courses, students can challenge themselves and be the cream of the crop in their school. Yet, the two occasionally diverge in key points, such as the level of complexity, the scope of the topic, etc.

In this article, we will highlight the differences so that you can determine which one is good for you, depending on your academic goals and interests.

Students looking for a challenge should definitely consider Honors/ AP classes. Those just exploring their possibilities for next year may want to read on to find out what is best for them.

What Does High School Honors Entail?

In high school, honors courses are more difficult than regular classes. They cover the same subjects in depth, but with harder material and higher standards for students.

Advantages of Honors

Developing better study habits:

Students can improve their time management and study techniques by taking honors classes, which take more time and effort.

Honors programs offer a more engaging and engaged learning environment, which can help students better prepare for the demanding academics in college.

Enhancing critical thinking abilities:

Honours courses push students to think critically and examine challenging material, improving their problem-solving abilities.

Honors courses and strong scores can demonstrate academic excellence to college admissions personnel, enhancing a student’s chances of admission to a prominent college or university.

Increasing subject-specific knowledge:

Students who take honors classes leave with a deeper comprehension of the material, which will help them do well in more challenging courses.

How Does AP Work?

Advanced Placement (AP) classes are college-level courses taught in high schools. Students who pass the AP exam at the end of the course receive advanced placement or college credit.

What Advantages Come With AP Courses?

Taking AP Courses in high school has the following benefits:

Earning college credit for passing the AP examinations allows students to cut back on the number of college courses to save time and money.

College Admissions: Students who enrol in AP programs show college admissions officers that they are pushing themselves and completing a curriculum. As a result, a student’s college application may become more competitive.

Better academic skills: AP classes are more difficult than standard high school subjects, which can help kids honing their time management, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities, which will serve them well in college and beyond.

GPA Boost: Because AP courses are weighted, they count for more points toward your GPA than other classes. It may raise a students GPA, which is crucial for applying for scholarships and college admissions.

Subject Mastery: AP classes allow students to learn more about and comprehend a particular subject in depth. This can aid students in developing a knowledge base that they can employ in their academic and professional lives.

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Honors Vs AP

Honors programs and Advanced Placement (AP) courses are two popular choices.
While honors vs AP classes offer advanced education, there are notable variations between them in terms of subject matter, degree of difficulty, and potential advantages for college admissions.

To assist students in choosing the type of course to enrol in, we have compared honours vs AP courses in this regard.

Honors Vs AP Which is Harder?

In general, AP courses are more difficult than honors courses. You should be able to manage challenging schoolwork for AP subjects while getting ready for the AP tests.

Which Classes—Honors Vs AP—Are Best for You?

If you’re deciding between honors vs AP classes, first consider your educational objectives.

While you might need to take numerous AP classes to be eligible for some selective universities, taking too many might be overwhelming and may have the opposite effect of what you intended.

If you wish to earn college credit, you might choose AP classes in the topics you are most proficient in while taking honors or regular classes in other subjects.

If you want to attend selective universities, you may need enrolling in many honors vs AP classes to raise your GPA.

What Distinctions Exist Between Honors Vs AP Classes?

Honors courses might be even harder on students than standard courses. Honors courses cover advanced high school material, whereas AP courses simulate college-level material.

Each subject has a different level of difficulty in honors vs AP levels.
You can save time and money in college by understanding the distinction between AP and honors classes. Continue reading to learn how these two classes kinds are different.

Being Able to Receive College Credit

Honors vs AP classes can increase the competitiveness of your college applications, but AP tests come with the added benefit of the opportunity for college credit.

A passing grade of 3 or above on an AP exam can result in college credit for various majors.

Coursework/Curriculum and Length

Honors classes often adhere to a semester-long teacher-designed curriculum. These courses usually provide a more detailed analysis of numerous topics and cover more information than regular classes.

On the other hand, over 1-2 semesters, AP courses adhere to the College Board curriculum.


Specific AP tests are administered on various days in May and June. To avoid cheating, students from several schools take the exam simultaneously.

Honors exams are taken following the schedule established by each school. In addition, the AP exam is standardized, whereas honors exams are not, just like the curriculum.

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Problem Level

Honors and AP classes can both be challenging for students. In comparison to standard courses, honors classes might be even harder on students.

Honors classes cover advanced high school material, whereas AP classes simulate college-level material.

Each subject has a different level of difficulty in honors and AP levels. AP Physics 1, AP World History, and AP English Literature are some of the AP courses and tests that are the most challenging.

Class Accessibility

Honors classes may be more accessible than AP subjects because they are offered, in high schools at every grade level.

Most AP courses only provide one level and accept students in grades 10 through 12. This may make them more challenging to enroll in, especially for year-long classes.

Also, remember that you are not required to enroll in an AP course to take an AP exam; you may study the content independently if you feel capable, though this can be difficult for many students.

Each subject has a different level of difficulty in honors and vs levels. AP Physics 1, AP World History, and AP English Literature are some of the AP courses and tests that are the most challenging.


Again, this varies by institution, but typically, AP courses are weighted one extra point (so an A would be a 5.0 or a 4.0 scale), but honors courses are either not weighted at all or are weighted an extra half-point (so an A equals a 4.5).


While both course categories are rigorous, AP courses are frequently more challenging.

This is why the majority of students take them in their junior or senior year of high school, although it is not uncommon for freshmen and sophomores to take some APs, too.

How Do Honors vs AP Classes Affect Your Chances of Attending College?

Your likelihood of being admitted to prestigious colleges will undoubtedly increase if you are willing and able to take on a problematic, advanced curriculum.

Universities will anticipate seeing a lot of honors and AP classes on your transcript.

Keep in mind, however, that you may not be penalized if your school does not offer advanced courses because you will be evaluated based on the curriculum.

Are you unsure how much attending advanced courses may affect your chances of success? The free chance calculator on CollegeVine can estimate your odds of admission based on the difficulty of your course load.

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Do Colleges Prefer Honors Vs AP?

More Honors vs AP coursework will never harm your college applications. But it varies depending on the program you wish to enroll in:

Take honors vs AP Biology and Chemistry if you plan to pursue a medical career.

The best engineering courses are honors vs AP Calculus and Statistics.
The best idea is to take honors or AP Computer Science if you plan to major in software engineering.

In light of this, consider your goals in addition to those of colleges.
The admissions officials will want you to attend their school if you have a clear goal for your study, are devoted to achieving it, and can demonstrate this in your application.

Try to secure a volunteer position, internship, or co-op in a field connected you intend to study.

Your application will be strengthened, for demonstrate a genuine interest in learning more about your profession.

In all this, motivation is a lot stronger indicator of success than a handful of classes at the upper level – not just in college, but in life.

What are Honors Classes in High School?

The many high school courses that, are thought to be more difficult academically are known as honors courses.

Honors students often gain greater academic recognition, which they can utilize to their advantage when applying for scholarships and getting into their desired colleges.

When viewed historically, honors coursework meant challenging college-preparatory courses designed for students who excelled in academics or were moving at a rapid pace.

Today, any student who receives a teacher recommendation or maintains an average grade of B or above in a comparable class is eligible to enroll in honors classes.

The word honors course has no official definition. Depending on the school you attend, honors courses may differ substantially in terms of their quality, design, and content.

Honors vs Regular Classes in High School

What Do High School Honors Courses Entail?

Honors classes cover the same or a similar amount of content as regular classes, but they go deeper and offer a greater perspective on the topics at hand.

More difficult subject means more time studying, more effort for project works, and harder assessments.

Benefits of Taking Honors Classes in High School

A significant number of honors and AP courses may assist you persuade admission officers that you can handle demanding course load if your objective is to attend a top-tier college.

You will be more equipped for college-level study as a result.

In a conventional WGPA (weighted) system, honors classes also raise the GPA (Grade Point Average).

In a standard class, an A is worth 4.0, and a B is worth 3.0. The weighted system takes the difficulty and intensity of classes you attend, whereas a conventional A is 4.0 and a B is 3.0.

A GPA of 4.5 assigned to an A in an Honors course, 3.5 to a B, and so on.
The finest students have GPAs of 4.0 or above because they enroll in numerous AP and honors classes, which raise their GPAs.

The final recommendation is to take honors classes if you are a solid student (As and Bs) and find lower-level courses.

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Honors Vs AP GPA

Weight in GPA

AP classes frequently add 1 point to your GPA, whereas honors courses typically add 0.5 points. In other words, an honors class would enhance a 3.5 GPA to a 4.0, and an AP class would raise it to a 4.5.

Pros and Cons of Honors Classes in High School


#1. An improvement in Grade Point Average (GPA)

A grade of 97% or higher in an honors course is regarded as an H, which is the letter after an A on the scale of grades. It is simpler to improve your GPA overall with an H than an A because it boosts it by 1.0.

Getting an H is advantageous since it improves your GPA. A good grade helps you with the Caliper Assessment Preparation Course and raises your self-esteem because it shows you worked hard to earn it.

#2. Improves Academic Performance:

Colleges view students who sign up for additional honors vs AP courses as motivated to put up the time and effort required to do well in a difficult courses, so enhancing their academic abilities.

If your transcript demonstrates that you took several honors classes, you will stand out from your peers who did not take as many Honors vs AP classes.

#3. Good Friends:

Being in Honors vs AP classes places you in the company of others who share your enthusiasm for learning and achievement.

You will be able to concentrate better on your studies since you will be with other kids who are sincere about their academics and motivated to do well in school.

#4. Excellence:

Colleges place a lot of emphasis on recruiting students who take honors courses. It proves a dedicated student who can withstand the difficulties of college life.

#5. Better ACT and SAT Results:

The abbreviation used is SAT, or Standardized Aptitude Test. After graduating from high school, students must pass this exam, particularly in the United States and Canada.

However, ACT is in the majority of American schools. Most schools accept this test because it is international.

You have influence and can choose from different colleges if you have high ACT scores.
Honors students typically see an uptick in their ACT or SAT scores.

#6. University Readiness:

The level of difficulty in this college class is faster than in the early classes. You will not be left behind when your colleagues struggle through their first year of college because you will be better prepared for what to expect in college classes (college preparedness).

#7. Credit for college is offered:

You will have one fewer class to complete and less money to spend in college if you receive a 3, 4, or 5 on the honors exam to receive college credit.

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#1. Much Homework

Due to the quantity of content they cover, honors programs need more work than regular classes.

Some evenings, when there are only two classes, you would go home and complete five hours of homework.

Being a slacker and lazy student in an honors class is not acceptable. Doing your homework will prevent you from falling behind in class.

#2. Overwhelming Calendar

You will be involved in extracurricular activities and honors classes during the school year, making it difficult to find time for anything else.

It might be difficult to be forced to rush home after practice or a game to complete homework and occasionally stay up late.

If you are struggling in school, enrolling in honors programs might not be the best choice.

Do not enroll in honors classes if you anticipate having trouble keeping up with the work.

#3. Very Tough Exam

Because the test is harder in honors classes than in regular classes, you should study more. Preparing for honors examinations requires a lot of time if you want an outstanding grade.

Frequently Asked Questions About Honors Vs AP

Is advanced the same as honors?

Advanced and Honors are essentially equivalent terms. Term usage varies among schools. Some refer to them as honors, while others use the term advanced. Honors and advanced courses go along more quickly and offer far more in-depth instruction and activities than regular on-level classes, but they are much simpler than AP classes.

How many AP classes at Harvard should I enroll in?

For Advanced Standing, incoming students who have completed AP examinations require 32 credits.

What is the AP grade point average?

AP classes are on a 5.0 scale rather than the conventional 4.0 scale, where an A is equivalent to 5.0 instead of 4.0 and a B is comparable to 4.0 instead of 3.0. This implies that kids who enroll in AP classes may end up with a GPA higher than 4.0, which could distinguish them when submitting college applications.

Why are AP classes important, and what are they?

The College Board runs the Advanced Placement program, which offers college-level courses. High schools provide these more challenging classes to obtain college credits. Every AP course has a significant test designed to prepare students.

In Summary of Honors Vs AP

Honors vs AP classes allow students to stretch themselves academically and for college-level work.

Even while they are often less demanding than honors vs AP classes, honors classes nonetheless present a greater degree of challenge than regular classes.

AP courses needs a lot of time and work, but they can earn students college credit and show college admissions officers how capable a student is academically.

The choice between honors vs AP courses ultimately comes down to the academic objectives, interests, and skills.


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