Have you heard of the term AP? AP stands for Advanced Placement which is a program in the United States and Canada created by the college board to give opportunities to high school students who often tend to learn at a college level.

There are definitely a variety of subjects for students to be involved in. So, if one student is not very knowledgeable in math, but very excelled in history, they might want that opportunity to take AP History.

Many different courses are represented for AP students. Different subjects include AP Arts, English, History, Science, Math, and World Languages. Here at Prairie, we don’t provide AP Arts classes, but we do have others subjects. When registering, those are listed on the Prairie Website for easy access year round for your preparation of each year or semester.

For most high level colleges, having at least 5 AP classes on their transcript coming in is ideal. With this, a B in an AP course is worth more than an A in a lesser course. Therefore, The Deans at colleges prefer to accept students who are involved with AP courses because they can end up helping your grade if you take the time.

Not only can AP courses help your transcript, they can also help you save time and money. They can help with scholarships and give you a better reputation going into the college.

Even though these courses can help with college, students tend to have more stress on their plate when involved with the higher level classes. This involves more study time, textbook reading, and practicing for exams which are college level exams.

A junior at Prairie High School, Ashtyn Martin who is in both AP Chemistry and AP US History this year, stated that, “reading chapters take a lot of time. A chapter is about 30 pages- maybe an hour and a half a week. With AP Chemistry, homework sheets are assigned about twice a week and a sheet would take 20 minutes tops.” Now, obviously not everyone will take more than one AP class, but that shows how much work is involved with taking two of them.

With the many pros that come with taking AP classes, there are definitely also some cons that come with taking them as well. These courses are very challenging and give students more of a chance to struggle.

Martin explained that in AP US History, you “read a chapter per week, quizzes each week over the chapter, PowerPoints covering the chapter, unit tests covering four chapter, essays and DBQ’s.” So, to some people, that might sound too stressful.

When having harder courses on your schedule, this leads to more focus on the harder courses rather than the simpler ones, so then that results in falling behind in the other courses chosen to take at the same time. This might not always be the case, but unless study time is a must for you, that could happen.

High school isn’t exactly meant to stress people out, so if you feel as if the standards, textbooks and exams are a right fit for you, by all means, take the course.

Martin explained, “AP US History grades on a point scale while some other AP classes such as AP Language and Comp grade Standards Based.” So, if standards based grading is not something you enjoy within normal core classes, it might be better to consider the classes Ashtyn takes. Although, if you’re already stressed, these courses might not be the best decision or even cross your mind.

If you would like to sign up for AP Classes, visit Family Connections on the Prairie Website and select one for your class choice or email your counselor.

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One comment

  1. Ashley,
    You have done a great job with this article. I appreciate the student perspective you included with the peer interview. The discussion on the benefits of AP courses is an ongoing topic among students and you present helpful information to contribute to the discussion. This piece is well organized and informative–keep up the good work!

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