College bound students are always looking for a leg up on the competition. One of the most popular ways to do that is through AP classes. AP or advanced placement classes are classes that can be taken during high school that can be counted at most colleges for college credit. The great thing about AP classes is that they boost your GPA by giving you an extra letter grade worth of credit. Colleges also look for students who take AP classes to see if they are challenging themselves academically.
Taking AP classes does have a serious downside, however. Because they are supposed to be teaching college level material, they are much harder classes, often with more homework or more material covered in less time than a standard class. Taking too many AP classes can really be the downfall of an overachiever, getting swamped with work and unable to catch up. Taking too many AP classes and either doing poorly or dropping out of classes will look worse on a college application, making the classes counterproductive.
The best thing to do is to find the right balance of classes so that you will be challenged but not overwhelmed. This balance will let you look your best on your applications by challenging yourself without going overboard.