AP: Is it for you?

why-take-ap-logoIshan Negi ‘18
EE Staff Writer

Jessica Parillo ‘18
EE Senior Opinions Editor

With course selection day arriving Wednesday of this week, many students are excited to choose their classes for the upcoming year. Trumbull High offers a wide variety of courses of all levels, from culinary to calculus. Yet with so many options, how can a student decide which class is a good fit for them? No fear, THS Eagle’s Eye is here!

One option many students consider is enrolling in an AP course. Rising juniors especially are looking into this level class, as they have much more flexibility with their schedule in the upcoming year. However, when deciding whether an AP is right for you, one must take multiple factors into consideration.

“Students who’ve already decided they’re AP bound start prepping themselves in respect to their work ethic and ability,” says AP Biology teacher Mr. Winters. “People committing to AP should think in the mindset that ‘I’m going to do my very best.’”

If you are an experienced AP student, you already understand the workload and the immense amount of effort that must be put in. Students must prepare themselves for excessive homework and a higher level of independency in learning the material. Additionally, a healthy balance of academics, extracurricular activities, and social life is key to success in both the AP and real world. It would be most unfortunate, as many former AP students have experienced, to tip that balance and spiral downwards.

“The workload can be at times overwhelming and stressful, so it’s that much more important to manage your time,” says sophomore student Vittorio Colicci, currently enrolled in both AP US History and AP Biology. “My advice is that people should make sure they understand what they’re getting into before taking an AP class so that they don’t find themselves sinking.”

How can you manage your time? Some tips include keeping a daily planner of activities and assignments, prioritizing work, and making sure that you don’t spread yourself too thin by committing to too many things at once.

But what truly makes you feel ready for an AP? Unfortunately, there is no one clear cut way to prepare for a course of such rigor; though, by juggling multiple honors classes one can gauge the difficulty associated with taking such a course. To truly judge the demands typical of an AP course, students should reflect on their achievement with handling their current workload. Additionally, students are encouraged to pursue AP classes in subject areas of which they are passionate about.

For many, the pros of AP outweigh the cons. AP students will learn to manage their time and balance work, values that will be beneficial throughout their high school career and beyond in college.

“Some pros are that AP classes kind of force you to improve your study habits, so you can succeed, while also providing you with a more in depth understanding of different subjects,” Colicci continued.

Additionally, ECE classes allow students to graduate high school with a small amount of college credits. This is a major draw for those looking to get ahead with an early college experience. The real benefit of an AP class is that students can gain skills necessary for a successful future.

“When you take an AP course you put yourself outside your comfort zone.  Often in the beginning the struggle is real, grades often don’t meet your standards and it hurts,” says AP US History teacher Ms. Kremzar.  “But once you realize that with every struggle comes growth, and you begin to master new skills, you begin to think differently about how you learn and discover. You most definitely leave AP a more mature student than the day you entered.”

All in all, the debate of whether to take an AP or not all comes down to the student’s decision. The inumerous preferences and factors that must be considered do not nearly encompass the magnitude of what would be undertaken when experiencing the difficulty of an AP curriculum.

“When you walk into an AP course you should treat it as you have just walked into your first class in college,” says Ms. Kremzar, “You must own your successes and failures and continuously strive to be and do your best, whatever that means to YOU, but never defend a minimal effort.”

 

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