Students vs. AP Courses

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It’s that time of year again! Well, almost. It’s five months prior to the beginning of the 2016 AP Exams. When students think of AP classes, normally the key points that chime in their brains include college credit, high school transcripts, and the stinger: college.

But what are AP classes really supposed to be about? Collegeboard claims that AP class are utilized to give “you the academic skills you need in college and more time to concentrate on the subjects that interest you.”

In a perfect world, this would be case. Students would only take AP courses in classes that interest them and potentially strike them as a future career choice. However, as like most things, this is not the case.

It seems to be an educational norm in modern society that students tend to take multiple (arguably excessive) amounts of AP courses (along with God-knows how many honors classes) in order to glorify the occulted high school transcript.

And with studies showing that 30-31 percent of teens are depressed and overwhelmed from stress, people are beginning to wonder: Are AP courses really worth the stress?

Unfortunately, just like most things in life, there really is not a definitive answer for this. AP Courses are what you make of them.

The reality is that AP Courses are harsh, quick-paced classes that are made to prepare you for a rigorous test. This test, depending on how you score, can save you a notable amount of money for college.

However, from personal experience, I can say that AP Courses, much like any other class, exposes you to new experiences that will not only prepare you for the dreaded AP Exam and college, but also life in general. AP Courses aren’t merely about the subject that you’re taking (although admittedly, it’s mainly going to be about the subject), they’re about enriching (and in some instances, creating) skills that are valuable in society such as communication, teamwork, and time management.

It is also notable that AP Courses differ from honors classes. Honors classes contain the same curriculum as other classes, but just go in more depth about topics within the curriculum. AP Courses focus on different topics and skills that prepare you for the AP Exam.

This however, is not a ticket claiming that anyone can and should take all AP classes because they teach you life skills. AP classes are stressful and harbor rigorous work that require time and possibly a bit of your sanity. And although I believe that students should only take AP classes for classes that they have an interest in, it is important to weigh the work factor alongside the pros.

The bottom line is that before taking an AP class, you write that course into your sheet of classes for the next year, and you sign up for that class. You choose to take the course, and in some cases, even sign a waiver in order to take the course.

So evidently, if you take fifteen million AP classes, life is probably going to be stressful. And although life is already pretty stressful with only one AP class, it’s about learning and understanding what you as a student can handle to create the best learning environment possible.

 

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