Is AP really as easy as one, two, three?


A student working on a lab experiment.

Joy Greco, Staff Reporter

AP classes are directed towards students who are ready to learn and have that drive to work hard as they learn new things about a subject.

These higher level classes are intended for students who want to take a class that will not only teach them an in depth perspective on a subject, but also prep them for for college.

“I wanted it to challenge me and push me to my limits with what I’m capable of doing. I also took AP classes because it shows me what a college course is really like,” said Raymond Greco. He is enrolled in AP Calculus AB, AP Physics, and he has taken AP Computer Science and AP Literature/Composition.

The students enrolled in AP classes are self motivated and love to learn new things.

“You need to be self motivated- at least for the AP class you’re taking. I think a certain level of interest is really important in that area. I think you need to be willing to put in time outside of school,” said Sandy Czajka, who teaches AP Computer Science principles, AP Computer Science A, and has taught AP Statistics.

“AP classes are designed for anybody pretty much that has the drive to take on the challenge of taking a college level course. I think it could be open to anyone who has the drive and is willing to but in the effort and the hours,” said Juan Tinoco, the teacher of AP Spanish Literature and has taught AP Spanish Language.

Along with these academic characteristics of an AP student, most of the student’s personalities are well respected by their peers and teachers.

“All of them have the same want to be in the class and all of them have a very strong passion to challenge themselves. They are all very hardworking,” said Madelyn Hopek who is enrolled in AP Spanish and Culture, AP Studio Art, AP Calculus AB, AP Statistics, and AP Language/Composition.

Because these students are so hardworking and ready to learn, they are expected to complete the actual tasks at hand. The material is tougher and teachers have little mercy when it comes to homework.

“The workload was much more difficult than regular classes, and I had to commit a lot more time outside of school for it,” said Greco.

These advanced classes are more challenging and have quite a bit more homework and other projects. This is because the more difficult material must all be covered in one year due to college regulations.

“One thing that some people don’t realize is that, with AP courses, we have to submit a syllabus to be audited by the college board and it has to be approved. We have to teach everything on that syllabus. We have to guarantee that we will cover all of the topics,” said Czajka.

Due to the fact that this is a college level class, there are many benefits for the students who do well in the class.

“You take a class and it lasts a whole year. In May, you take, usually, a three hour exam. You receive a score from one to five- one being “not qualified,” you won’t get the credit, and five being “extremely well qualified,” meaning that colleges will award you credit,” said Tinoco.

That being said, college credit is extremely useful in terms of getting ahead in college.

“If you score high enough on the AP exam, some schools will either give you credit for that course, some will give you elective credits, but still have you take the course. That can potentially get you ahead because you’ll have some credits finished before you even leave high school for college,” said Czajka.

Although AP classes seem difficult and time consuming, teachers believe it is well worth it in the end due to the preparation and experience one gets from the AP courses.

“I think the thing AP classes help students with is to start getting at least a preview of the level of difficulty of introductory college courses, and it’s nice to at least have an idea of what you are going to be expected to learn in college. We meet five days a week, while colleges meet maybe only two or three,” said Czajka.

So yes, AP classes are certainly not a walk in the park. However, many students are glad that they took a risk and succeeded in a college level class.

“Yes, I would say it’s worth it. You learn more than any other type of class and you can also get college credit, which could save a lot of money. It prepares you for college in a slower paced environment,” said Evan Jones who is enrolled in AP Computer Science Principles, AP Language/Composition, AP Calculus AB, and AP Chemistry.