Are APs Always the Right Way to Go?

Many students sign up for Advanced Placements before considering what their GPA might look like at the end of the year.


Graphic by Emy Galustyan

AP students often face more homework causing them to be more stressed.

Andy DeGrand, Staff Writer

Advanced Placement is a program created by the College Board that offers college-level curriculum to high school students. AP classes can give college credits to students that do well on the exams in May.
With many students’ having a heavy class-load, homework and tests can get overwhelming rather quickly.
“When two tests overlap at the same time and you’re trying to struggle with both and balance extra- curriculars plus clubs, it can get a little overwhelming,” said junior Nancy Xu.
Xu is currently taking four AP classes. Many students like her agree that some students sign up for AP classes before considering what their GPA might look like.
“There are some people in high level APs that have really bad grades in class because they heard it’d be a certain way and it’s not,” Xu said. “It’s not good. Colleges look at the majority of your classes, but colleges aren’t gonna be impressed with a D in any AP class.”
Many students know that there are a variety of AP classes to choose from. From the AP history classes to the AP math classes, many students also agree that AP classes can take a lot of your time.
“It’s a lot of time consuming work and it does get overwhelming all the time,” junior Katie Austin said.
Although AP classes can get mind-boggling for many students, there are many ways to resolve it.
“It’s important to have a class load that is good for you,” Austin said. “I think that I have a good course load for me personally because if I feel like my course load isn’t challenging, I’ll feel like I’m wasting my time and I don’t think I made it too challenging to the point where I am too stressed. It all can get very stressful at one point or another, especially since it all leads up to one big test.”
There are many different ways to look at AP classes. But for many other students, like junior Arti Phatke, AP classes can be enjoyable.
“It’s definitely stressful, but all of the APs I’m taking are something that I am interested in so it’s also really exciting to learn about all the different topics,” Phatke said. “What I’ve started to notice is that there’s cycles. So there’s always some downtime and then you’re bombarded by a whole bunch of tests because everything falls on the same day.”
Phatke also gave some advice and shared some of the things she had to give up.
“If you just don’t procrastinate and manage your time, then you won’t feel so stressed out,” Phatke said. “Taking AP classes means staying up late at night, waking up early to study, and then studying during the day. I had to give up a lot of stuff like my extracurricular but it’s all about the balance, you just have to know how to manage your time.” This could be helpful advice for students taking multiple AP classes.