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Are AP classes even really worth it?

Are AP classes even really worth it?

Every May, students across the nation take their AP exams with the hope that these tests will help get them into elite colleges and help them get college credit. But are AP courses even worth the workload, and are they really the best option for a student seeking higher education classes in high school?

A massive amount of the SHS population are currently in AP classes. In a survey of 24 students in the student body, nearly 88% of students were currently in an AP class.

With AP classes a higher level of work is expected. AP U.S. History teacher Jane Langston agrees with this sentiment.

“Because of the pace of the class [AP classes], [students] have to be doing something outside of the classroom–that’s a big change coming from regular World History or CCP World History,” Langston said.

In the survey, a third of students said that the workload of AP classes wasn’t worth it. The workload of AP classes can be excessive especially if you’re going from taking regular level classes.

Sophomore Hermes Pan recently went from honors and regular level classes to taking AP classes this past year.

“It’s [the workload] quite massive, but I think it’s manageable depending on how you schedule your own time and manage your own responsibility,” Pan said.

When taking AP classes not only do you have to worry about the added workload, you also have to worry about the multi-hour tests administered in May. These tests determine whether you receive college credit for the class or not, making some people wary of taking them.

Another path to getting college credit while in high school is College Credit Plus (CCP) classes. These allow students to take college classes while in high school directly from Ohio colleges themselves. Many people opt to take these classes instead of AP ones as College Credit in most cases does not completely rely on one final exam.

Sophomore Marion Francis-Sable believes that CCP classes are a more viable option for seeking higher education while in high school.

“You can easily get a year of college done and save a lot of money,” Francis-Sable said.

CCP classes also allow you to take classes from many different colleges, not just from the College Board like AP classes. CCP classes don’t have all positives though, most of the time students take classes from community colleges which sometimes have an even easier workload than the regular level classes available at SHS.

This may be seen as a plus for a majority of students, but they won’t help prepare students as much for courses at universities after high school. If your goal of taking CCP or AP classes is to get a jump start in preparedness, AP classes are a lot more beneficial. There’s no point in taking CCP classes if they won’t fully prepare you for what comes after high school.

AP classes are very rigorous and for good reason– they were designed to challenge students with the workload of a college class while in high school so that they excel in their classes at college.

“I think taking an AP class teaches you so much more than just what the content of the course is–it is exposing you to what college level demands might be which translates to what is your work ethic, study ethic, study skills and stuff like that,” Langston said.

While AP classes can be extremely stressful at times, I think they are extremely beneficial for any student seeking higher education. When I took my first AP class last year, I wasn’t very aware of how to study and how to manage my time effectively. Taking AP World taught me how to study, how to take good notes and how to develop a study schedule.

Throughout high school, everybody should try to take at least one AP or one CCP class because they teach you so much. They introduce you to what higher education might look like and how to really succeed in more demanding atmospheres.

I think AP classes are better for convenience as you can take them straight out of your high school, you don’t need to commute and sign up for a different school to take them. As AP classes tend to be rigorous as well, they can be better as preparation for college.

“There’s a variety of options out there for students, CCP classes, AP classes,” Langston said. “I think having so much variety of ways to get your requirements done in the way that you want to do it really allows students more empowerment than in any other time.”

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