As the time to sign up for classes approaches, students question what their ideal schedule would be. Leesville offers many different levels and subjects, but the workload students are able to take on is the main deciding factor.
Taking an academic, honors, or AP level of a class can make a class much harder and pile on the workload. The extra effort is worth it to some students; higher grades in higher level classes can boost GPAs.
Everyone responds differently to classes, but asking others about what the class was like is a popular method of deciding what to take. If most students think a class is hard, it will probably be hard for the average student.
All grade levels are able to take AP classes, but juniors and seniors mainly utilize them. The advanced curriculum can be very beneficial when it comes to applying to colleges and looking for other opportunities to excel within the school system.
All of the speculation around what a class involves and the skill level that is needed has led to one clear overarching question: What is the hardest class at Leesville?
Students submitted what they thought was the hardest class in a survey. The class said to be the hardest by Leesville student’s personal experience is AP Calculus. AP Chemistry, AP United States History, and AP Environmental Science are the three runner ups in the most difficult classes category.
AP Calculus, referred to by many as AP Calc, is usually taken by juniors and seniors. AP Calc acts as a follow up class to Pre-Calculus. AP Calc teaches students many specific math topics unique to its class and oftentimes covers topics that are beneficial in many college majors. Rianna Gillies, a junior at Leesville, chose to take AP Calc to benefit her future. “I like math, and I want to get into college, so I figured having a harder math class on my transcript would be beneficial,” said Gillies.
AP Chemistry, referred to as AP Chem, is a class for seniors and a few juniors. Academic or Honors Chemistry is a required class in order to graduate, often taken by sophomores and juniors. Students can choose to take the next level after completing a lower level of Chemistry in advance. AP Chem is a great class for students looking to get a degree or pursue a career within the science realm—it’s a step above any other Chemistry class Leesville offers. Anna Socha, a junior at Leesville, took AP Chem to step out of her comfort zone. “I wanted to take AP Chem because I wanted to challenge myself. I did well in Chemistry Honors, so I wanted to see if I could potentially major in Chemistry.
AP United States History, referred to as APUSH, is usually taken by juniors following the AP History track. The majority of the students in APUSH took AP World History and AP Government in their previous school years, but the school does not require those classes in order to take APUSH. APUSH covers all of the United States history—it’s beneficial to people going into history majors and careers and teaches students things they should know about the country they are living in. Lindsey Groom, a junior at Leesville, didn’t originally decide to take APUSH, but spontaneously signed up for it.
AP Environmental Science, referred to as APES, is usually taken by juniors and seniors. The lower level version of APES is Earth and Environmental Science, offered in Academic and Honors levels and usually taken by freshman or juniors. APES is a class preparing students for the future—addressing environmental problems that need to be solved and critical thinking to come up with solutions to the generation that will one day be in charge of action taken on our planet. Maddie Worth, a junior at Leesville, took APES because of what she had heard from other students. “I chose to take APES because other students said Environmental Science Honors was easy and I wanted something more challenging that could boost my GPA.”
Being in these harder classes for a whole semester, students often change their opinion on the courses. Going in originally for a challenge, students generally regret their choice being in the class.
Gillies has a more positive outlook on being in AP Calc. “I [regret taking AP Calc] sometimes, for example when I get like a 50 on a quiz, but overall I’m glad I’m taking it because I do enjoy the topic overall,” she said.
Socha is still on the fence with her decision. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t [take AP Chem] because it is a difficult class and I spend a lot of my time on Chem, but I think all the hard work pays off and I learned a lot of really cool stuff,” she said.
Groom regrets her choice to take APUSH. “[APUSH] is the only low grade I have.This APUSH grade goes up a little bit and goes back down, it gets me mad and impatient,” she said.
Worth is happy with her experience in APES: “I don’t wish I had taken a lower level [of Environmental Science] because I feel like I’ve learned a lot more than I would’ve and I met a lot of cool people.”
As a final note after fully experiencing Leesville’s hardest classes, these students have a clear opinion on if they would recommend the class to other students.
“I would only recommend [AP Calc] if the student got above an A in Pre-Calc, as it is very difficult and demanding and fast paced,” Gillies said.
“I personally think [AP Chem] is worth all the work because after the hard work there is a lot of satisfaction in getting the grade you want,” Socha said.
“I would recommend [APUSH] for those who have a lot of time to do the work because sometimes I do homework that takes me an hour and a half. It just depends on the type of person,” Groom said.
“I would recommend [APES] because it’s been a really enjoyable class for me, but if the average students wants to boost their GPA they have to work really hard to get an A,” Worth said.