The OHS Press

Are AP classes really worth their bad rep?

Abhi Brar

Sophie Alegi, Staff Reporter

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Advanced placement classes. Those very words strike dread into the hearts of students throughout the school. And the most notorious of the APs seem to be the history APs, bemoaned and complained about by many, torn down and dismissed as classes to avoid at all costs. This notoriety is because more students take history APs than other AP classes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that history APs are the hardest. Either way, people should stop ragging on history APs.

Making these AP history classes sound so horrible deters bright students from taking an enriching course that provides important knowledge and challenges. As a frightened freshman, I really wanted to take AP World, but the horror stories that percolated through the school hallways from the sophomores frightened me to my bones. How could I excel in a class that was striking down so many smart people in the grade above me? I quailed at the numerous recollections passed on to me of failed quizzes, ruined GPAs, and nights spent crying over work. I was very anxious about the prospect of taking a class that was maligned for its difficulty. I would not have taken AP World had it not been for my science teacher, who noticed the AP World course slot on my course sign up sheet, smiled and said, “That will be a good fit for you.” Because of those words from a teacher I admired and respected, my resolve and confidence strengthened and I took the class. AP World remains my favorite course to date.

“[AP World] was a difficult course for me, so I understand why kids are complaining,” Reina Brodeur (11) said. “It had a lot of material you had to understand very thoroughly, [but] it is undeserving of the complaints many people give.”

“We knew about all our quizzes months in advance, we had the whole year’s schedule given to us,” Brodeur said. “A lot of my own issues and problems came from myself and procrastinating on assignments.”

Kelly Yan (10) is currently taking the course.

“It is a lot of work and [that can be] annoying sometimes, but you chose to take the class, and ultimately you have to put the time and work in.”

It is perfectly legitimate to find the workload of an AP class unpleasant, but it is important to keep the volume of criticism in perspective. The classes are challenging, yes. The classes require a lot of work and time, yes. But APs are college level classes that are designed to provide a challenge to their students and prepare them for college. History buff or not, knowing how to handle a challenging and work-heavy class is an important life skill and will definitely help you in college.

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Are AP classes really worth their bad rep?