For Nerdfighters who have taken Advanced Placement (AP) classes to discuss their experiences and scores, and for Nerdfighters who are considering AP courses to pose any questions or concerns they have about what to expect. :)
I only took two AP courses throughout my entire high school career: AP Human Geography (which my entire freshman class was forced into) and AP Literature & Composition (which I took voluntarily my senior year).
I found Human Geography to be frightfully dull -- so much to memorize, so little to actually learn. I didn't care a damn about it, so I didn't try and ended up with B's and C's in the class and a 2 on the exam. (If you are unaware, exam scores range from 1 to 5 with 5 being "extremely well qualified" and 1 indicating no qualification whatsoever.)
AP Literature, on the other hand, was by far the class for me. We read short stories, essays, poems, and novels with actual intellectual content!!! Twilight was never once a subject, except when discussing the differences between literary fiction and commercial fiction. I got top marks on all my essays and a 5 five on the exam. :)
If you have no interest in the subject of an AP class you're considering, you probably shouldn't take it. Yes, it will boost your GPA if you pass, but if you don't... I wouldn't approach AP Calculus without a flamethrower and a biohazard suit. Rule of thumb, if it's a class you think you'd have trouble in at the normal level, don't take AP. Challenging yourself is all well and good as long as you're not beating your head against your desk mid-semester, praying for a way out.
I took APUSH and got a 5. I loved the class and the exam wasn't as bad as I was fretting.
I took AP Lit and Comp my senior year because I thought I was going to major in English during college, then I realized halfway through the course that I wanted nothing to do with it and sort of gave up. I ended up with a three on the exam (enough to waive my freshman WRA's so fine with me!), partially due to the fact that I had given up and partially due to the fact that I'd had a water polo game the previous night in what had to be the most chlorinated pool I had ever swam in and the chlorine destroyed my eyes. I had to take drops into the exam.
I really wanted to take WHAP but at my school it was only open to sophomores and they started teaching it my junior year.
I took APUSH last year (it's offered for sophomores at my school), and it was nightmarish. I don't think it was a good choice for me, because I'm more of a math/science person. (I got a 2 on the exam.) Now, as a junior, I'm taking AP Bio because I, my parents, and my teacher all know that I'm capable of passing it if I'm willing to put the effort in. Still, it doesn't make me especially happy.