What are AP Classes? Here’s the Scoop

What are AP Classes? Heres the Scoop

Erin McCarthy, Staff Writer

Many students take vigorous classes in high school, for the experience or the potential credit they could earn in a college class. Advanced placement classes, or AP classes, are often offered to upperclassmen, as they are known for a heavier workload and test cumulatively on everything learned at the end of the year. The tests are graded on a scale from 0-5, and a score of 3 is considered passing for most universities. At Waltham High School, there are many different AP courses offered ranging from the arts to MESH subjects. With the stress and heavy workload it bears, would students and teachers recommend taking an AP course? 

“I would recommend taking an AP class because it can prepare you for college classes,” said WHS senior Madelin Cox. With the environment being very similar to one at the college level, you can learn study skills and strategies that you can carry with you in the future. 

The difference between a standard curriculum class and an AP class can be found in the workload. Take AP Psychology, for example, it differentiates from the honors psychology class in many ways. I personally take AP Psychology, where we often have continuous work packets for each unit, and then are quizzed on the content. Although we are gaining the same information, they are presented in different formats. 

“We have quizzes and tests but not packets, they are much more spread out. We also do a lot of mini-projects,” explained WHS senior Natalie Moncousky who takes honors psychology.

For teachers, there are noticeable differences as well. I talked to Ms. Green, who teaches history and psychology (both standard and AP). “There is an obvious difference in the workload between honors and AP because of the rules and regulations. However, I do see a difference in the motivation levels of AP students. They are very driven.” 

Senior and BSU c0-president Felicha Nicolas has taken a total of seven APs in her career at Waltham High School. She said she enjoyed AP Psychology, AP Government, and AP United States History. “I enjoy the social sciences because we learn concepts that can be applied to real life.”

Overall, all subjects have concepts that will be important and will apply to students in the future (whether that be college or the real world)! This experience is a great opportunity that Waltham High School offers to their students!