Advanced placement classes are designed to challenge students looking to prepare for college by offering rigorous classes not found in regular high school courses. So, are they worth it?
According to Stanford news, it is believed that AP classes do help students in college, but claiming it as the only way to succeed is impractical. Students are often conflicted in whether or not they should include AP in their schedules. Kayhi Juniors Jared Valentine and Kaelyn Caliente are one of the many students taking AP classes.
THE CASE FOR AP CLASSES
AP classes improve problem solving, critical thinking and enforce expectations students will face in future encounters.
“It’s important to set yourself apart from people,” said Valentine. “AP classes show that you’re willing to push beyond the regular student.”
He said that being accountable for yourself by pushing outside of the box for personal growth and development, will benefit you now, so you won’t have to pay the price later. He learned to manage his procrastination and alleviate the stress of being a perfectionist.
“The class acquires a lot of homework and will power,” said Valentine.” Being perfect in that class is unrealistic”
Students who excel in a subject, may take the class and obtain a new strength. With high expectations, students are pushed outside their comfort zones. Being exposed to difficulty prepares the young adult for real life situations, helping them be aware of their abilities and put potential towards their skills.
“I gained more confidence in public speaking,” Caliente said. “And made me more outspoken as a person.”
Through these challenges Caliente is learning more about herself, and growing to be a stronger willed person. AP classes push her to come forward, and take charge, forming her character to be bold and determined.
“It makes me want to take the initiative,” Caliente said.
Students should take pride and ownership in their hard work and diligence. Taking AP classes is a great accomplishment that colleges look for. This shows the kids willing to put in the extra work, making it easier for colleges to want to invest scholarships to them. Getting a B in AP looks better than getting an A in a regular class.
A class may focus on a certain topic, but students are using different tools to expand their knowledge. Valentine and Caliente are one of the many who are growing closer to their goals by taking advantage of these opportunities.
THE CASE AGAINST
It is important for students to know their limits and understand their interests. Brooke Donald writes for the Stanford News to show what happens behind the scenes of AP. She asked Stanford graduate Denise Pope to go in depth on the cause and effects of taking AP in high school. Pope said AP classes are useful to students interested in a certain topic, but students being pushed into AP will have a harder time engaging. Forcing more work in a subject can cause stress rather than gaining knowledge.
“It may be more harmful than helpful,” Pope said.
It is highly suggested that students should not waste their time worrying about AP classes, but rather focus on investing in things that are important to them. Not that challenging yourself is a bad thing, in fact students need to experiment outside their comfort zones; but if it’s too much to handle and over your head, then think about the real reason why you are doing it.
It is taken for granted the amount of pressure and workload that comes along with it. Putting yourself in a position that requires more effort can oftentimes be overwhelming. That is why students should consider all possibilities and factors that will conflict with their learning. Such as schedule, skill, and work habits. Students who take a longer time studying or involved in sports and other activities, will have harder time balancing life and meeting expectations. Teachers give difficult assignments and assume the work to be done on their deadlines.
AP classes benefit students who are advanced and ready, but most often then not, students will end up retaking the class in college.