As most have you have probably heard, AP Capstone is a new form of high school diploma offered by to college board to high school graduates a step up above the rest. You take and pass a total of six advanced placement classes over the course of your high school career which is an enormous workload, too much for many. So in this article, we discuss if it is worth it shoot for an AP Capstone diploma.

The Cons

The graphic consists of a vertical column with multiple rows of text. The column is broken into three main sections. The top section has the heading AP Seminar. Under this heading are two rows of text, as follows: Year 1; Earn score of 3 or higher. The middle section has the heading AP Research. Under this heading are two rows of text as follows: Year 2; Earn score of 3 or higher. The bottom section consists of the heading 4 AP Exams. Underneath the heading is the following text: Throughout High School; Earn score of 3 or higher. Along the left side of the vertical column is a bracket labeled AP Capstone Diploma. The bracket includes all three sections of the vertical column. Along the right side of the column is a bracket labeled AP Seminar and Research Certificate. This bracket includes only the AP Seminar and AP Research sections of the column.
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First, we should discuss why AP capstone may not be worth it. Well first of all 6 AP classes is a significant workload for a high school student. On average a high school student has 17.5 hours of homework each week in a survey conducted by University of Phoenix College of Education, February 25, 2014, but on average each AP classes assigns 3-5 hours of homework each week. In fact, there is a useful website that can help you determine your AP workload at AP Course Time Commitment. Though some AP classes may be far more difficult than others and some students may be slower this amount of work can add up. If you do wish to complete six AP classes in the span of three years since as a Frontier student no AP classes are available freshman year. Typically students take 1 AP class Sophomore year, but it is possible to take 2 or even 3 though this is not advisable for a Sophomore. Then depending on how many AP classes were taken Sophomore year a Frontier student would need to take 2 to 3 AP classes Junior and Senior years. If planned correctly and if the workload is handled efficiently a well-prepared student could handle the workload without too much issue. Managing your workload will be essential to completing AP capstone and a failure to do so on a more strenuous year with maybe 2 to 3 AP classes will most likely lead to difficulties for an underprepared student.

Another thing to be wary for is your AP exams. For those of you who don’t know, Not only are these exams timed with the time allotted ranging from an hour and thirty minutes to three hours and thirty minutes according to but to take the exam it will cost you $94 and if you are on financial aid $62. These exams are quite difficult as well even for a well-prepared student, and if you are underprepared there is a decent chance you will not score well. In order to pass an exam you need to score a 3 out of 5 possible points and this will not only count towards your AP capstone diploma but give you the credits for the classes.

An Edge

So now let’s get to the question we are all asking, why would you even do this? The goal of an AP Capstone diploma is to put you ahead of other high school graduates, giving you an edge many others won’t have. Paraclete High from Lancaster California talks about AP Capstone and the edge it gives over other graduates. On top of that AP Capstone requires you to take AP Seminar and AP Research. These two classes are designed to prepare you for college, giving you a skill set for a college-bound student

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AP Seminar

In this class you’ll learn how to look at information from many perspectives, you “investigate real-world topics of your choosing from multiple perspectives, which often are different of competing” as quoted from the college board. The key skills taught in the class will with no doubt be useful in a college career. There is a full AP seminar overview on

AP Research

This is the second class of AP Capstone and for sure the name says it all. In AP Research you will develop key skills in research and analyzing information, and equip you with the skills you need for a successful college career. Over the course of the class you “design, plan, and conduct a year-long, research-based investigation to address a research question of interest to you.” as quoted from the college board. Both AP Seminar and AP Research will undoubtedly well prepare you for college. A full course overview is offered on


In short, is AP Capstone worth it? Well, the answer is not as clear cut as you may hope because it really comes down to your academic ability. If you are ready for the workload then there is no reason you should not do AP Capstone since not only will AP Seminar and AP Research will prepare you for college, but the AP Capstone diploma will give you an edge above other high school graduates. This workload should not be underestimated however, because passing a total of six AP classes is no small feat. If you cannot handle the workload it is not worth it to put that level of pressure on yourself. Failing the classes becomes a massive waste of money and falling behind in such strenuous classes can prove stressful. In short AP Capstone is 100% worth it for those who know the can do it, but for those who may struggle it will be a bumpy road.

Article written by Sophmore James Leclerc of Frontier Regional on April,24th 2019 in conjunction of the Social Media class. Article was edited by Iain Spearance on April,24th 2019. The content of this article does not reflect the official opinion of Frontier Regional School. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author.”