AP Classes: To Take or Not to Take?

COurtesy of Google Images

COurtesy of Google Images

Caroline Albacete ‘17, Assistant Editor

     As junior year comes rolling around, many OCHS students are struck with sudden doubt as they stare at their course loads. Why, they think to themselves, did I decide to take AP classes? It was, no doubt, a rash choice made at the end of sophomore year. But back then, they didn’t know what they were signing up for. So what are AP classes? Why should you, or shouldn’t you, take them? What exactly is the big deal?

     AP stands simply for Advanced Placement. AP classes are courses offered to juniors and seniors here at OCHS, but the courses have all of their content decided  by the dreadful College Board, not the Oakland Administration. The College Board assigns all teachers across the U.S. a certain curriculum, and come May, any student who is taking an AP course must be tested on the information taught in the AP course. The rewards of taking an AP course are not always easily apparent, especially in the middle of the first quarter when the workload feels overwhelming.

     However, AP classes do come with advantages. If you are willing to work hard throughout the year, when you take the AP test in May, you can receive a score ranging from 1 – 5. If you manage to score a four or five, most colleges will give you credit for that course and you won’t have to take it in college, which opens up your time in a busy college schedule that can be used for other classes or even get more time on a study abroad trip. Some colleges will even award you credit for a score of three. Be warned, though: a score of one or two on the AP test means that no college credit is awarded. So it all depends on how much you want to work, if you are willing to put in hard effort, you will be rewarded. Good Luck!

     For anyone interested in taking AP classes, Oakland Catholic has many classes available across all subjects. Currently, Oakland offers several AP courses, including: AP Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP US History (fondly abbreviated as “APUSH” by Mrs. Fratto’s students), AP Human Geography (deceptively called “AP HUG”), AP Calculus, AP Calculus II, AP Biology, AP Psychology, and a variety of AP language courses.

     Ultimately, whether or not you want to take any AP classes depends entirely on you – how much free time you have, how much effort you’re willing to put into the class(es), and how interested you are in a subject. I would not recommend taking an AP class unless you have some interest in the subject, otherwise you might hate the class and the subject material. If you are willing enough to take on an AP class or two, Oakland Catholic has a large number of fantastic teachers and eager students willing to accompany you on your journey through the APs. But make no mistake, AP classes are not for the faint of heart. They’re demanding, time-consuming, and require a dedicated interest – but if you’re prepared, you can get a great experience from them, and hopefully, a few college credits.