With an increasing number of new technologies and an expanding global population, self-studying is on the rise. Education is no longer confined to just the classroom, and some would argue that the classroom model is outdated and does not meet the intellectual

needs of individuals in such an interconnected society. Being an autodidact, or self-teacher has become increasingly feasible due to MOOCs (massive open online courses), Internet encyclopedias, and more colleges and universities offering courses online.

Learning a new language or obtaining a certificate for career advancement can occur from the comfort of your home, on your own time, and at your own pace.

At low costs, these methods of education are encroaching upon traditional educational institutions. For high school students, self-studying can help improve transcripts.

In the context of Advanced Placement exams, self-learning gives students whose high schools do not offer certain AP courses the opportunity to still take AP exams.

While it is hard work, independently studying for and taking AP exams can allow students to receive college credit before freshman year even begins. Additionally, high school students benefit from self-studying habits to prepare for a more independent learning environment in college. Self-studying for AP exams and taking courses online can help a student’s chances of college admission.

Admissions officers like to see students take initiative and go beyond their high school curriculum by exploring academic interests on their own. If a student takes an AP exam that isn’t offered at their high school and scores a 4 or a 5, that will show how the student has gone above and beyond to learn that subject in depth.

For example, if a student is interested in engineering, but their schools do not offer AP Physics, they can study for and take the AP exam on their own to showcase this specific interest and dedication to colleges.

Online classes, like those offered through edX and other MOOCs, can be added to resumes, and studying for subjects independently can be written about in application essays about how academic interests developed. Self-studying is an excellent way to highlight the personal drive and intellectual curiosity when applying to schools.

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