Advanced Placement classes. A major stress factor for many high school students. For the student wishing to receive those six points for their GPA, they are a huge deal. Students have started seeing AP classes as a necessary requirement, cramming numerous difficult classes into their schedule, hoping to improve their GPA and embellish their college resume.
The question remains though: Are taking a lot of AP classes a good choice?
Many people buy into the race for the highest grade point average, but that dream often clouds their vision. Receiving an “B” or “C” in an AP class weighs the same as an “A” in a regular or honors class. However, regular and honors classes can be much less stressful. It is important for students to remember to take AP classes for the challenge and knowledge, not the GPA boost.
There is another problem with AP classes, the all-important failure factor. Many AP classes are filled with tests that seem almost impossible to pass.
Evan Riley, junior, said, “It stinks. In some classes it can get to the point where if I get a D on a test it is something to celebrate. On our first test this semester in AP Environmental Science the highest grade on a test was a 79.”
According to students, these failures are not due to a lack of studying. Many students report that no matter how much they study, in certain classes it is just impossible to get a good grade on tests.
“It is getting to the point where I don’t even think I need to study anymore because I will just fail anyway,” said Riley.
Dr. Stone, Leesville’s AP Environment Science teacher, said, “It is a college course, and you are receiving college credit for it. In the science classes, they are satisfying the requirements, as it should.”
“The classes have to be hard, otherwise they would not be AP classes. But when it gets to the point when everyone is failing and the teacher is saying ‘This is what I expected,’ I think that is a little unfair,” said Rebecca Hawthorne, junior.
At Leesville, advanced placement teachers have lofty expectations for their students. They want to teach their students the curriculum and then some if they have the time to ensure that the students learn the most that they possibly can.
Stone said, “The students have to mature enough to handle the open ended questions and hard work load.”
Many students believe that AP classes are too hard. However, it is a college level class. To juniors and seniors in high school, they are supposed to be challenging.
Scott Kreis, junior, said, “I don’t think AP classes are too hard; they are suppose to be. It is just something I have accepted that I have to do for college.”
It is important to be well rounded as well as book smart. Clubs, sports, extracurricular activities are all possible ways to have fun while beefing up that college application.
As AP classes are becoming more necessary to stand out to colleges,students are overloading themselves with work. It is important to keep in mind your limits though; we are just kids, after all.