In 2016, it was recorded that approximately 2.6 million students registered to take an Advanced Placement exam. That is around 1300 times more than when the first AP exam was administered.
Students are always posed with the question in high school; is taking an Advanced Placement class worth it? Some may argue that it’s the most beneficial thing you could do with your time in high school, but others argue that the pressure and stress of the class isn’t worth it.
AP classes can be quite a brain draining experience, but might also be the most beneficial.
With Advanced Placement courses labeled as scary, stressful, and intensive, it’s hard to see how any student would willingly want to pursue one of these classes. Surprisingly, the number of students who take the initiative to pursue these classes is rather high.
“The liberation that Advanced Placement classes have is what sort of attracted me. Although we must follow some sort of curriculum, it can be done in different ways and through the teachers choice as to how they want to teach it,” said AP English student, Carlos Gregory, “The potential credits that you get are attractive things to earn once taking an advanced placement class.”
With a similar statement, AP psychology student, Mikaila Tomlinson said, “Not many students have an opportunity to take a psychology class.“ It is important to keep in mind that advanced placement courses are a privilege to those deserving enough and to those who have the grades. This can be a huge attraction to those with above average grades, when thinking about what classes they want to pursue. A huge argument with AP classes, is the how beneficial they truly are once taken in high school. Tomlinson said, “my number one career choice would have to be a physicians assistant, which most of the time requires a psychology class to be taken in college.”
In a scenario like this, students like Tomlinson who already know and have decided the major they want to pursue in college, find great benefit in taking classes that might fall under their respective field. In another view of how beneficial these classes can be, it can be argued that there is no harm in taking a class. “It prepares you for what you could see in college, in terms of the pace and the workload given. The effort you put into the class will determine your grade, but it also show you how prepared you are when given college level work, which I think is the most important part of an AP course,” said Gregory.
Overall, many students taking advanced placement courses can argue that no matter how stressful and intensive the class may be, and it does get very hard sometimes, the benefits of AP classes outweigh the few obstacles you face along the way.
AP courses are common in every high school and is an opportunity that a lot of students are given. Many students enrolled in these courses can say that even though there is a lot of pressure that comes with being in AP classes, there is a huge take away from it all.
Advanced placement courses in high school may be the most stressful thing you sign yourself up for in your high school career. It will almost certainly be the most emotionally, physically, and mentally disturbing thing students endure in their high school career, but it is in fact worth it.
Knowing how to deal with it is the most important thing at the end of the day.
Gregory, being the student taking more than one AP class, said, “These classes can be difficult, but as long as you effectively manage your time, you can get through it. One thing that can be overseen in these types of classes is peer cooperation. Team work can really make the dream work.“
Touching on a very good point, you are not in AP classes alone. You will always have peers that can help you, whether that be with the workload or to manage your stress. Simply communicating with your peers that are also in these high-level courses, can be the difference between a “brain drain” and being efficient in an AP course.