Advance Placement Classes Benefit’s Outweigh The Risk


Photo By: Aidalice Rodriguez

Mr. Guevara’s World Geography Pre-AP Class

In the midst of a conversation, the topic of AP classes was brought up, with a long exaggerated groan. AP classes seem to have an unpleasant reputation.

Most people believe they are only for the type of students who have a six year streak of straight A’s, or that the teachers will endlessly drown you in homework without any help, or even that the stress that accompanies them is so bone-crippling that it will leave you traumatized.

If you are prepared and well aware of the challenges that come with taking these classes, then these assumptions are false. But, just like with every other rigorous challenge, a large reward is no doubt to be received in the end.

At Judson, a student can choose from a variety of AP core classes and electives including: English, Spanish, English Literature, Spanish Literature, French, German, Human Geography, World History, United States History, United States Government and Politics, Macroeconomics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science A, Computer Science AB, Music Theory, Art History and Studio Art.

The students in AP classes are well aware of the benefits. However, it is clear that for some students, these classes can be discomforting. Most students are not too pleased about the increased schoolwork and pressure to study that comes with taking these classes.

“They overload you with work, knowing that you have other AP classes,” sophomore Margie Gutierrez says, “It’s just too much sometimes.”

While these classes can be somewhat difficult, there is no doubt that the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot and many students recognize this. By taking AP classes, junior Moriah Rubenstein expects “to get college credit, to get the experience of a harder class, and to get extra points on [her] GPA.”.

After hearing about all the benefits that come with taking AP classes, it is impossible to not consider taking them. While in high school, AP classes help students stand out to college admission counselors and will increase a college’s interest in them. They raise their GPA and increase their chances of winning scholarships.

It seems like a no brainer.

Mr. Guevara's World Geography Pre-AP Class
Aidalice Rodriguez
Mr. Guevara’s World Geography Pre-AP Class

By taking these classes a student can expect to develop college level academic skills and great study habits, find out is needed to succeed in college before they apply, and gain the confidence to take on new challenges. Likewise, by passing the AP exam, a student can expect to receive college credits.

All of this allows students to choose a major sooner and skip introductory classes, thus, saving money. With less classes comes with dealing with a minor or another major easier, studying the subjects that interest students earlier, and graduating a semester or even a year sooner than their peers.

Even with all this information, students are still reluctant to take these classes because of all the misconceptions. It is believed AP classes are built for those who are accustomed to getting straight A’s. When in reality, these classes are for anyone who is prepared for the work and motivated to pass the class.

Some students lack enough confidence to believe they will pass the exam and get college credit. However, most colleges will offer credits if a student receives at least a 3 out of 5 on the AP exam – the average score.

Still, some students are worried about being overworked. As time passes, the workload will get easier to deal with and the idea of college classwork will seem like a breeze.

The AP teachers want students to think of benefits of these classes and to let go of all their irrational fears.

“They can broaden their horizons when it comes to studying,” says Monique Jones, an AP/IB World History teacher. “I also believe that students should give themselves a challenge. Colleges are definitely looking for students who have challenged themselves.

A student cannot avoid having to study and do classwork. Therefore, the least a student can do is allow all that work to be a little more worthwhile. If you think that you are ready to take on an exciting new challenge, when it comes time to choose classes, join AP. You will be amazed at what you can achieve.