Sophomore AP Classes

AP classes are well known at Dimond. Most upperclassmen know how to navigate through the process, but we tend to overlook freshmen. Many of next year’s sophomores want to take AP classes, the only problem is that Dimond’s freshmen have no idea how to sign up for AP classes, or even what classes are available to them. This article aims to explain to freshmen what AP classes are, how to apply for them, and what to expect from the class.

What are Advanced Placement classes?

According to, AP classes are advanced classes that let you earn college credit and study topics more in-depth. The college credit that AP classes provide can be used in the future at college and can potentially help you graduate high school early. The purpose of these tougher classes is to prepare you for university, develop advanced skills, and help boost your GPA.

Of course, there are downsides to taking AP classes. AP classes require a lot of work, and can be harder than other classes. While AP classes can save time in the long run, you may have to do a lot of studying for the intense curriculum. 

Some colleges may not accept high school AP scores as credit towards their school. Instead of having a shorter term or advanced classes at your university of choice, you may have to take the curriculum over. This can be avoided by checking the website of your college of interest for their high school AP course guidelines, or you can visit the College Board website for information on individual schools.

What AP classes are available for Dimond sophomores?

Dimond High School’s website says that only AP Environmental Science and AP World History are available to sophomores. It is possible to take more or different AP classes based on your skill and learning levels, but you should talk to your counselor on a case-by-case basis. I enlisted the help of Counselor Hallis for most of the information here.

AP World History, should you take it, will be your history/social science class. There are no prerequisites for this class, anyone can take it. The College Board website states that this AP class focuses on modern world history, c. 1200 CE to the present. You will be studying cultural, political, and social developments through historical evidence and visual sources.

Instead of taking the place of a core class, AP Environmental Science takes the place of an elective as an additional science class. This could pose a problem for some people, but if you want to take AP Environmental Science in a later year, you can. AP Environmental Science is available to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, but you are required to have taken biology before taking AP Environmental Science. Whenever you take this class, you can expect to study environmental problems and the natural world. The College Board AP Environmental Science textbook contains units on ecosystems, biodiversity, energy resources and pollution.

How do I sign up for AP classes?

If you’ve chosen which AP classes you want to take next year, you want to talk to your counselor. Start by checking with your counselor to make sure you have taken the required classes, especially for AP Environmental Science. Course selection for Freshmen is in early March, so you have time to think about it if you haven’t decided yet.

Don’t worry if you haven’t decided on the path you want to take, your Dimond counselor can help you decide or you can try filling out College Board’s AP Conversation Starter. The PDF download contains quick questions about your subject interests that can help you and your counselor decide what AP classes are right for you.

End of year AP exams

AP exams are a big topic of question and can seem very daunting. The exams generally take place in May before the school year ends and after you have taken the AP course. This is the same as a final or midterm for most classes, the only major differences are that you have to pay to take the exam, and that the exam can be much longer than a regular final. College Board states that final exams are 2-3 hours long, they consist of multiple choice questions and written response questions. If you take the exam, you can generally expect to pay around $96 depending on administration costs. If you want to take AP classes but need help with exam funding, be sure to talk to your counselor.

AP classes are a great opportunity that Dimond offers, but they are a large time commitment. Being ready for the class and consistently talking to your counselor or a teacher is important. Check out the official College Board website to learn more.