The past few years have allowed me the privilege of working with many talented students who are on a great trajectory for college through AP courses in high school. Simultaneously, I have tutored students who ended up in AP courses and were not adequately prepped and prepared for what would be expected of them during the school year. AP courses are to be enjoyed and valued as any college course.
In the first instance above, my tutoring was helping students develop quality arguments surrounding history issues, exploring literary styles and analyzing the author's work and developing concise answers to biology explorations. In the second case, I actually had to help students learn to study (the 'extra' work which is not assigned homework) and develop writing which demonstrated collegiate level thinking.
In order for more students to excel in AP coursework as well as enjoying the class during the academic year, they need to be prepared for the work load. This preparation includes appropriate study habits which would be expected of a college student (using more sources than a mere text book, organizing notes, group study, etc.).
I encourage parents to adequately prepare their student/young adult for the opportunity of AP courses by providing opportunities to practice writing and study habits over the summer prior to taking the class. This preparation work avoids additional stress during the academic year and allows students to make a more active decision in choosing the demands which will be placed on them by AP coursework, often averting a great deal of resentment!
Tutoring is not merely for when a student is struggling and under stress/pressure. Tutoring is a gift one gives a student to help them gear up for the challenges and opportunities ahead. In addition, AP coursework is a great way for students to start thinking in depth about their future pursuits and essay writing for the SAT/ACT.