Are AP Classes Worth the Stress?

Jenna Cottone, Staff Writer

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Is your schedule jam-packed with AP courses, drowning you in endless work and testing?

If your answer is “yes,” you are most certainly not alone, as over 1.24 million other high school students struggle with the same issue, according to recent studies. That’s 38.9% of the entire US public high school class, a statistic in which the College Board prides itself, being that they administer the tests. Not to mention students tend to take multiple advanced courses, explaining the 4.22 million AP tests administered in 2018. Each year these numbers escalate with more and more students scrambling to get that weighted average and college credit. 

While it is important for teens to challenge themselves, they must also be careful not to overload their schedules. Students often are pressured to take as many APs as possible to prove themselves, but fail to consider their limits. Stress in small doses is healthy, but too much is sure to be harmful. 

Although there are understandable reasons APs are appealing to high schoolers, there are frankly better options that are often overlooked. A popular argument is that there is only the need to pay for workbooks and exams at the end of the year, drastically cheaper than the corresponding course one could take in college. In addition, “Advanced Placements” are desirable on a high school transcript  and “look good for colleges.” However, it is crucial that people understand that whether one receives the credit is solely reliant upon one exam. Colleges may accept a score of three out of five or higher, but a four or five is often necessary depending on the course, college, and major. 

Luckily, other equally rigorous courses are offered at high schools through some universities. Farmingdale students are particularly fortunate to be offered a variety of college courses, including but not limited to: Government, Economics, Calculus, and Forensics. These are notably from schools ranging from LIU to Syracuse University. Better yet, receiving the credit is dependent upon the actual class grade, not a single test at the end of the year.

All in all, AP courses are overrated and should not be expected among high schoolers. College courses are far more dependable, practical, and beneficial in the long run. Nonetheless, such decisions ultimately are up to the students, what their goals are, and what they are willing to put into (and what they want to get out of) the class.