Dealing with AP Classes

Johnny Morreale, Staff Writer

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By now, if you are an underclassmen, you’ve chosen all your classes for next year, so barring any unforeseen conflicts, you should know what you’re up against next year. Or not. I definitely didn’t when I signed up to take five AP classes my senior year of high school. I only took three last year, and two of them were history classes, a subject in which I was very well-versed. Now, in February, I have realized just how much I underestimated the amount of work you need to survive these courses. I suspect many of you may be in the same boat. So, without further ado, here are some tips to get you through the year.

 

 

  • It’s an AP class. It’s hard. They don’t call it “Advanced Placement” for nothing. It’s supposed to be difficult. If you didn’t think you would be able to handle it you wouldn’t have signed up for so many classes. There will be sleepless nights. There will be days when you have three tests in a row. There will even probably be tears. Get used to it.
  • Read the book. Look, I get it. A lot of textbooks could rival sleeping pills in their litany of tedious text that eventually transforms into a single blob of undecipherable phrases. But reading the textbook is essential to understanding the subject matter. The same goes for English as well. If you chose to simply Sparknote an assigned reading rather than actually read it, you may be missing a lot.
  • Tutoring isn’t bad. If you don’t understand a lesson, go in before or after school for assistance. A teacher’s job is to help you learn, not to present you with impossible information and let you fail. If you don’t go in for tutoring when you’re struggling with a topic, you’re digging your own grave.
  • Take off periods. Trust me, you’ll need them. With AP classes comes hours upon hours of homework. You will require any extra free time you can get, especially if you decide to get a job next year.
  • Use all available time. Have nothing to do during PIT? Left with some free time at the end of a class? Get homework done. It may not seem like much, but all those extra minutes in the day add up.
  • You can do this. There will be times when it all seems to be too much and you enter a state of general despair. But don’t give up. You’re smart; if you weren’t you wouldn’t have signed up to take so many AP classes.
  • That said, it’s okay to drop out. If you never go to bed before 3 a.m. and you’re still failing several of those classes, then drop them. Sure a AP class looks good on a transcript, but if it’s a detriment rather than a boost to your GPA, then it may be time to consider abandoning them. And don’t listen to what anyone else says; this is about your education, not theirs.

 

 

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