Advanced Placement Classes Are Extremely Challenging, But Often Worth the Hard Work

by Alyiah Jackson

AP classes seem to cause students to feel too overwhelmed and they may not be able to handle the coursework. Butif you are willing to put in various amounts of time and effort, then you may do well. Here are some pros and cons of taking an AP class.

Pros: [1]

Impress the Admission Officers- Academic Records are what colleges consider by. Academic Rigor is a way for students to prove to admission officers that you can handle a college curriculum and are able to handle challenging course work.

Merit Aid- A student’s GPA and test scores are what is used to determine the amount of aid and possible scholarship money that the student earns.

Developing Strong Academic Skills- Taking AP classes while still in high school prepares the student for college since they are known to be very academically challenging. If a student is able to handle the work, then they will be most likely ready for college.

Saving Time and Money- If you choose to take an AP class, and get a score of a four or five, some colleges will award you with college credit. With that college credit, it saves you time in the long run. You will not be needed to take the course and the college and the student can focus on other classes and electives that can help them lead to their desired career.  

Major Selection- AP classes can help narrow down the list of classes that students want to explore, depending on whether they like them or not.

Cons: [2]

Workload- The workload is different for every student. High workload means long hours and consuming too much time for the student to participate in any other activities or classes that interest him/her.

“I wouldn’t take any AP classes because I feel that workload is much harder and I feel I wouldn’t excel in that class,” commented senior Brian Raimundez

College Credit- Not all colleges accept college credit. So, all that hard work and dedication into that AP class and the college of your choice not expecting or accepting it, can cause some stress and “this class isn’t even required, so why should I even do the work” feeling.  

AP exam- If you are a person who suffers from test anxiety or doesn’t test well, you might want to think before enrolling in an AP course. You will be tested frequently throughout the course, but whether or not you earn college credit will be based on if you can pass the AP exam. No matter the subject, all AP tests are long and draining. If testing isn’t your strong suit, you might want to consider an alternate route for earning college credit.

Cost- In order to receive college credit you have to take and pass the AP exam which costs $91 per exam. Some financial help is available to families with financial need. Depending on how many exams you take, this can become a financial burden.

“At first, I wasn’t going to apply to take the AP Exam because of how expensive it was, but Mrs. Larkin in the front office told me that I qualified for it to be paid for, which was really nice,” said senior Jacqueline Jimenez

“I’d rather take a 101 class than an AP class,” said senior Madison Sloniker.

Whether AP classes are for you or not, there are plenty of other ways to earn college credit. There are IB and 101 classes that are also available, and may be easier than the AP classes. No matter which method is chosen, prepare yourself for that class so you will be prepared in college.


[1] https://www.collegeraptor.com/college-guide/articles/pros-cons-taking-ap-classes-high-school

[2] http://occupytheory.org/list-of-pros-and-cons-of-ap-classes/