So much stock is placed in AP classes, but how important are they?


Cultivating next year’s schedule has been nothing but a burden, adding extensive pressure on myself for the impending future.

“You don’t take APUSH? You’re not in Algebra 2?” Conversations leading with such questions swell in the hallways, infiltrating FHC. Students question and judge one another for the course load they have taken on, and stereotypes are created just based on the course schedule that one has assembled. 

Each year, towards the beginning of second semester as the year finds itself nearing a close, the counselors come and give their annual spiel on course schedules for the upcoming year.

While discussing these is truly an act of preparation and importance, my brain permeates with the overflow of decisions that are now upon me. My mind twists as I decide how important Advanced Placement classes (APs) truly are to my success in the future.

I usually tend to enjoy an academic challenge. I do believe that testing the brain to appropriate limits is necessary to grow as a student. However, I find myself put in a difficult place when I am choosing classes. 

I usually tend to enjoy an academic challenge. I do believe that testing the brain to appropriate limits is necessary to grow as a student.”

Option A: take the most challenging classes I can. The consequences: balancing a strenuous schedule with sports, mental stress, and choosing classes based on the title as opposed to interest in the topic.

Option B: take some difficult classes but leave room in my schedule for classes that I have an interest in taking or that aren’t as challenging. Consequences: less preparation nearing college, and what will people perceive about me if my class selection is weak?

For many students, AP classes are the height of academic success. However, do all students have an equal opportunity to participate in this preparation boost? Ranging from ninety-six to one hundred forty-four dollars, not all students have the financial means to support these tests. While APs may help some students, they may serve as a disadvantage for others. 

It is widespread knowledge that AP classes can help you get into college and make schooling easier once you are there. Nonetheless, it is not a necessity for attending college. An AP can help you stand out among various applicants. AP classes supply you with credits in entering college, only if you pass the exam. Yet, is passing the exam the pattern?

The ten most challenging AP courses have around a fifty to sixty percent pass rate. Now while those are the most challenging, many of which are those whose titles regularly circulate the halls within my school: US History, World History, and Environmental Science to name a few. 

In constructing next year’s schedule, I will continue to be tasked with choosing what is more important: my interests or a chance of a college credit.

It is important to access what classes you find important. Knowing what interests you and what classes you find value in shouldn’t conflict with how you choose classing. If the college of your choice doesn’t accept a class as an AP, or the credits, so be it.