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Students Choose Between AP and DE Course

Graphic depicting the decision many students have to make when scheduling classes. Graphic provided by Nicholas Buchanan.

Every year when students choose their classes they most likely are also taking an Advanced Placement class. If they are not enrolled in an AP class they might have opted to take a Dual Enrollment class through a local college. Both of these classes are known to be difficult and carry a heavy workload. This often leads to students becoming stressed as they are trying to balance their schedule both inside and outside of school and on top of this they are taking a college level course in high school.

Another stressor in these classes is the desire to do well, many students are accustomed to earning high grades in all of their classes but this is generally not the case with AP and DE classes for no other reason than it takes time to adjust to the new level of work required within these classes. 

In the past couple of years there have been more students taking several AP or DE classes. Occasionally there are sophomores who take up to four AP classes. This can partially be attributed to new classes being developed. For example, just this year College Board is offering a new math class, AP Pre-Calculus. There can be downsides other than the workload that comes along with these classes. For example, many colleges will likely not accept an AP Precalculus credit because it is such a new class and is not considered to be a college level math course. 

AP classes not only cause additional stress for students but can create an unnecessary amount of competition between students. If one student sees their friends taking a class they do not want to feel like they are falling behind so they will take the same class in an attempt to keep up with everyone else. This competitiveness often arises from the belief that if students are not taking the most rigorous classes then they will have a lesser chance of getting into a college they want to go to. When thinking about this, many people often forget that an A in a lower level class is going to look much better than a lower grade that comes from a high level class. 

I believe that it is important for students to not feel pressured into rushing into higher level courses like AP and DE classes because this will only set them up for failure. Even though this type of learning environment would prove to be more beneficial to everyone this most likely will never be the case because there will always be the pressure of keeping up with classmates and the fear of falling behind.

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About the Contributor
Nicholas Buchanan
Nicholas Buchanan, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Nicholas Buchanan, and I am a sophomore at Freedom High School. This is my first year in Journalism. I enjoy playing baseball and football. I am looking forward to covering the football and basketball games this year.