AP classes are a difficult endeavor but ultimately benefit students’ academic careers


Millie Alt

A group of AP seminar students standing in the class.

When you think of an AP class, you’re probably overwhelmed with imagery of insurmountable stress and studying. However, for senior Aden Pomeroy, a certain AP class brings fond memories of working and learning.

“My favorite [AP class] was Seminar because of the freedom to write about any topic you want,” Aden said, “as well as all of the strategies on how to do research. The group projects in that class were the most fun I’ve ever had working on a book project.”

Aden is appreciative of the uncommon flexibility in what they can write and research in AP Seminar, but not every individual who has been in the class feels the same way.

Each student is different, and not everyone finds the freedom they’re presented with as riveting as Aden does. For example, Junior Charlie Afman found that the intense workload of the class outweighs the benefits of the freedom.

“My least favorite [AP class] would be Seminar,” Charlie said, “only because the course [content] is relatively new [to me]. Also, the amount of writing in such a short [amount of time] can be very stressful.”

It is not an unknown fact that AP classes are a lot of work, and the quantity of work is so immense that it basically defines the classes themselves. Charlie not only considers AP Seminar to have a substantial amount of work, but also feels that every AP class is made more strenuous because of the amount of effort that they take.

“I think the schedule they demand of you [is the most challenging part of AP classes],” Charlie said. “The entire purpose is to challenge the students and prepare them at a college level for the exam, but having to take multiple back-to-back [exams] can be exhausting.”

Another student whose opinion is synonymous with Charlie’s is Aden, who finds the work to be far more demanding than regular classes. Students who partake in AP classes need to dedicate a lot of time to studying and learning the material.

“The hardest part of AP classes is the workload,” Aden said. “You have more homework to do than in a regular class, and you really have to put your head down and study for hours and hours.”

To accomplish this, students need impressive study skills and determination to succeed, as the work is constant. Junior Lucy Wu also agrees that the day-to-day work is the most difficult thing to adapt to. 

In addition to all the extensive learning done throughout the year, the class seems to become even more of a struggle as students and teachers inch closer and closer to the end-of-year AP exam.

“I think the most challenging parts of AP classes are the daily workload,” Lucy said, “as well as the stress of the AP exams at the end of the year. I hate how much pressure is put on one test, and I feel that teaching toward the test gets so excessive sometimes.”

Despite the effort needed and challenges presented to students in these classes, there are times when it pays off. Lucy recalls enjoying her time in AP Chemistry and would take it again, regardless of the complexities and hardships she experienced.

There was so much new material and it was so difficult to understand at times, but I learned a ton and I loved the people in it.

— Lucy Wu

“My favorite AP class I’ve taken is definitely AP Chemistry,” Lucy said. “There was so much new material and it was so difficult to understand at times, but I learned a ton and I loved the people in it. Although the AP Chemistry exam remains the worst test I’ve ever taken, I would take the class again in a heartbeat.”

Although the favorite classes of these students differ, their opinions on the hardest parts and on the best parts tend to be the same.

A common principle amongst AP class takers seems to be that even with the laborious assignments and complex concepts, in the long run, these classes are still worth it.

“Definitely try as many [AP classes] as you can,” Charlie said. “While they may be challenging and at times make you question why you took them, the benefits far outweigh any workload. By getting a head start on so many college classes, you can help advance your knowledge at a fraction of the price.”

Whether students take AP classes for college credit, to learn something new, or to prepare themselves for the future, these classes are beneficial and important assets to have in their schedule.

The biggest tip I have is to start early and take a lot of [AP classes],” Aden said. “The earlier you prepare yourself for the amount of work it takes, the more ready you are to handle taking four or five in one year. You also have a great opportunity to earn college credit for free essentially, so obviously, it’s going to be hard work, and you just have to stick with it and know that it’s all for a better future for yourself.”