Student Perceptions Differ on AP Classes

AP Classes are challenging classes that are offered to students in high schools.

They are equivalent to college courses, which prepare high school students for the workload that they are going to receive if they decide to further their education after high school.

At the end of the year, the AP students have a chance to show off their knowledge on the topic on the AP exams, which are given out every year in May throughout the country.

The exams themselves are graded on a one through five scale, five being the best score.

The exams do not only get to show the student what they know, but they also reward college credits, which can save the student thousands of dollars when entering college.

Dimond Senior Evan Macato, who is currently taking three AP classes said, “I want to challenge myself in AP classes. They help prepare me for college and the opportunity to earn college credits is an opportunity worth taking.”

But in order to receive the college credit, many colleges like UAA, for example, often require a minimum score of three on the exam to qualify.

Students who take multiple AP classes have to study multiple subjects for the different exams they are taking and can take up many hours out of their day preparing for the exam they only have one chance at taking.

Macato said, “I usually take six hours to complete all my homework, and four hours of the six is spent on my AP homework.”

Because of the difficulty and the heavy workload from AP classes, people may decide to opt out of taking AP classes and wait until they themselves are in college.

Dimond Senior Jaidyn Makos, who decided on taking no AP Classes this year, said, “I did consider taking AP classes… I thought it might be better to take an actual college course online.”

Another reason for people to opt out of taking AP classes senior year is the idea of having their senior year as an easy one.

“I do believe that the desire for an easy senior year played a major role in my decision,” Makos said onto her reasoning.

That mindset persuades many of the seniors who took AP classes in former years to take none or even just one AP class.

Senior Vanessa Khoune, who took two AP classes last year, said, “I currently only have one AP Class this year, which is Psychology, because I find the topic interesting. But I still want a relatively easy senior year, so I decided on doing late arrival and come in after lunch for fourth period.”

Although trying to have a relatively light workload senior year can be achieved by not taking any AP classes, sometimes the senior’s interest in a certain topic pushes them just enough to enroll in the challenging class, like how Khoune decided on only taking one AP class, along with having late arrival

Dimond Senior Apa’Ula Johnston, who is taking AP Art,said, “I want to enjoy the AP classes so the workload wouldn’t seem so strenuous.”

Johnston, who has taken art all four years of high school, is an example of a student with a genuine interest in the subject pushing herself to take the class.

She said, “I am genuinely interested in AP Art. I’m definitely glad to be taking it now with other like-minded students.”

Students’ genuine interest in the class can truly push the seniors looking for an easy year into taking the difficult class. Senior or not, if the student enjoys the topic being studied, they would be willing to accept the heavy workload coming from the AP class.