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Students benefit From AP courses

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Studying all night for an AP US History test, Sara Vander Ploeg was up until four in the morning working to prepare for the exam.

“It was really stressful. I was exhausted in the morning,” said junior Sara Vander Ploeg.

It can feel like it is too hard for AP students to manage everything between these rigorous classes, extracurriculars, sports, and relaxation.

“Sometimes it feels like there is not enough time to balance everything,” Vander Ploeg said.

Generally, AP classes require more time of their students, and a higher level of thinking.

AP classes require more time outside of school to read, do projects and homework. AP classes often times move at a faster pace and require higher level thinking,” said counselor Megan Stenberg.

But if they are so difficult, why would students take them? There must be some benefits, right?

“I think AP classes have positive benefits. There is very clear correlation between kids who take AP and kids who succeed in college,” said AP US History teacher Tim Sermak.

There is also other benefits to taking AP classes. Students can learn to manage time well and essentially practice for what their classes will be like once they graduate and move on to university. Colleges also like to see the challenging classes in a student’s transcript.

“AP classes are difficult, but it is nice because it helps me learn how to manage this workload between a busy schedule,” Vander Ploeg said.

But it does not only provide benefits in high school, AP classes can also help in college too. Some students can enter university as a sophomore, or even a junior due to their high amount of AP credit they gain from doing well on the AP test in the spring.

Student have the opportunity to potentially earn college credit. This is beneficial because it can decrease college costs,” Stenberg said.

However, taking too many AP courses can lead to struggles for students. It can overwhelm and overstress students who just want a GPA boost.

“An AP course is a college level course…. and it’s difficult for students to manage multiple college level courses on a high school schedule,” Sermak said.

Students need to be prepared to put more work, time and energy into their AP classes.

In order to be successful in AP classes, students must be organized, have good communication with their teacher, be able to manage their time and willing to work outside of school,” Stenberg said.

If a student does not feel ready for an AP class, they should not be encouraged to take one.

“We should encourage our students to live a balanced and healthy life,” Sermak said.

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Students benefit From AP courses