November 6, 2015
Late nights studying, overwhelming essays and notes and overly complex mathematical equations are all common place in AP classes. AP courses allow high school students to receive college credits by participating in a college level class. Challenging courses such as AP courses can be beneficial so students can gain experience as to the reality of a college course but should there be a limit to how many AP classes one can take? Anything more than two AP classes a day can become overwhelming and counterproductive to the meaning behind Advanced Placement courses. Too many AP classes can cause a student to become overwhelmed, limit the social life of students and become detrimental to a student’s GPA.
The jump to AP courses can be a steep one. I myself took the major leap last year by taking the AP Psychology course and honestly I struggled from day one. I struggled with the style of note-taking needed, the time consumed and the advanced test at the end of every chapter. All of this struggle and I was enrolled in only one AP class! Although I pulled it together in the end and scored a 5 on my AP exam, it was still a yearlong adjustment. Now imagine if I took the three AP classes I am now currently enrolled in. If I were to take my three AP classes this time last year, I might have suffered a nervous breakdown due to lack of sleep and the outrageously large amount of stress placed on me.
Abraham Maslow was one of the pioneers of the Humanistic perspective in psychology. Maslow’s creation of the ‘Hierarchy of Needs” became the basis for Humanistic beliefs. On this “Hierarchy of Needs”, Maslow says that in order to achieve happiness and self-actualization, we must feel love and acceptance from others. Well I find it unbelievable that a student can feel love and acceptance from our peers if the only place if the only place we see them is when we all are stuck in an uncomfortable, overcrowded classroom. Without any outside association with other students, one may begin to feel isolated and potentially depressed. Those without AP classes can only imagine in horror how terrible it is to be trapped in their house every weekend, stuck doing enough homework to drive Einstein insane. Multiple AP courses can turn a very social, outgoing student into one that never leaves their house. Shatira Williams (’17) agrees with me as I interviewed her on the subject. She says, “I used to be able to go to the movies and do after school activities without having to stress about what homework I still need to do. Now I barely leave the house. So much for high school being the prime of our social lives.”
A students GPA can be their ticket into a good college but a perfect GPA is not enough anymore. In order to get into a competitive college, students are almost required to take AP courses. But if too many AP courses were to lower their cumulative GPA to an unsatisfactory result, colleges can potentially become discourage to accept students. This makes enrolling in multiple AP courses a pointless suicide of a person’s GPA. Brittany Watkins (’17) is a great example of the overall fear of AP classes. Watkins say, “I don’t know if I can handle more than one AP class, my GPA already dropped too much with the one I have now. Honestly I can’t imagine me taking more than that.”
Although AP classes can have benefits, students should be limited to how many they are able to enroll in. One or two AP classes is a good start for first year AP students but never more than that. For the better of student’s academic and social lives, school administrations should place a limit for the amount of AP courses taken in one year.