Freshmen 101: AP Pros and Cons

Rashi Duttagupta, Staff Writer

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It’s a new school year. Everyone is trying to figure out their classes. Freshmen are scrambling to find the right building. However, most incoming students are unaware of the different classes they are in. Some picked their classes that were way below they’re capability and some chose classes because they’re friends were also enrolled in them. There are some freshman that can take harder classes if they are given the opportunity, such as honors or AP classes.

Jessica Mann, an AP English Literature teacher at Vista del Lago, said, “Some freshmen might be ready for the academic challenge but considering the fact that most freshmen are only 14 years old, they will probably not be developmentally ready for an AP course.”

Vista offers some AP classes available to freshmen. Sabrina Harris, a student enrolled in AP Human Geography, explained why she was taking an AP class in her freshman year.

“My parents wanted me to,” said Harris. However, she enjoys taking the class because of its challenge, but it comes with a lot of responsibility.

Harris invests a lot more work into AP Human Geography compared to others. The expectations are difficult to meet– tests require rigorous amounts of studying and preparation.

On the other hand, ninth grader Madeline Baker, who is also taking  AP Human Geography, says the class is easy but she often has to spend 5-6 hours on homework and projects. She participated in International Night for one of her projects, and she personally enjoyed seeing the different cultures and how people enjoyed them.

However, Baker did mention that she plans on taking at least 12 AP classes in the future and only recommends incoming freshmen to take them “…if you plan on taking AP classes as a sophomore, junior and senior. Otherwise, it’s just pointless. Don’t take them unless you need it or you really really want to.”

Freshman Jonathan Varghese is taking  AP Physics and AP Human Geography. He chose these classes because he wants to boost his overall GPA and hopefully get into a good school. When asked about the responsibilities that come with taking two AP classes in the same term, he responds that he “…has to do a lot of homework and study late nights, but it’s not that hard to keep up as long as your diligent.”

AP classes are beneficial to some, but only if they are looking to pursue harder classes in the future. Taking one or two classes during your freshman year can either help students or push them back. There are other factors to taking an AP class besides the effort. Mental health plays a huge role when taking strenuous classes. Harris confessed that at times she did feel overwhelmed by the workload, and if she had known about the requirements she “probably not have taken the class, just because of the stress that it has given me.”

Regardless of the class that students take, they should be working to their best potential. AP classes are given for students who can handle the challenge.

 

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