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All About AP Classes

Studying Tips, Recommendations, and Reasons to Take AP Classes

Advanced Placement, or AP, classes are one of the best methods to challenge yourself while simultaneously saving yourself money in high school. By enrolling in these courses, not only do you delve deeper into subjects you’re passionate about, but you can earn college credit at schools across the nation by passing the final exams.

However, deciding if AP classes are right for you can be a challenging decision. Furthermore, as we approach May, studying for these exams may seem overwhelming. As a senior who has taken 10 AP courses over the years, here is everything I believe you should know about AP.

Why You Should Do AP

  • Expansion and Depth of Knowledge: In comparison to standard courses, AP classes move at a faster pace, covering significantly more information. The courses go deep into real-life applications, origins, and more. Simply, you will expand your knowledge of a subject by taking the AP version.
  • Opportunity to Find New Passions: Because AP classes cover so much more information, you may become interested in a subject you didn’t expect. For example, taking AP Spanish helped me realize I want to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country to experience the culture and native language.
  • College Credits: Earning credit for college courses is the most concrete and material reason to take AP classes. If you earn a 3 or higher on the final exam, hundreds of schools nationwide will count that class as a free college credit, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.
  • Growth from Challenge: Lastly, AP classes will challenge you and help you to grow. Not only will you most likely learn proper study and time management habits, you will gain experience facing difficulties and overcoming them.

Class Recommendations

If you’ve decided to take on the challenge and enroll in an AP course, you may struggle deciding which class to sign up for. Here are my top 4 recommendations:

  • Language and Composition: If I had to recommend only one class to every RAHS student, it would be APLAC. A class mainly for juniors, this course teaches students writing, comprehension, analysis, and discussion skills that are useful for the rest of high school, college, and life.
  • World History: In AP World History, sophomores can learn valuable skills on note-taking, reading, and writing. The course covers political, cultural, and social history from all over the world starting in 1200.
  • Calculus AB/BC: For juniors and seniors who want a challenge in mathematics, AP Calculus provides just that. Senior Marie Lohr suggested the class and said, “it does a good job preparing you for more rigorous college work.”
  • Spanish: If you’re already enrolled in Spanish 1 to 4, consider continuing on and taking AP Spanish. Not only will your language skills immensely improve through daily practice, giving you benefits from knowing a second language, you get the opportunity to learn lots about Hispanic cultures worldwide.

Studying Tips

In order to earn college credit, you will want to study well in order to pass the exam. The following are a few suggestions to help you succeed:

  • Start Early: AP exams cover material from the entire year, so procrastination and cramming information won’t be very effective. Even if you spend 10 minutes a day reviewing content starting over spring break, you will be much better off for the exam.
  • Princeton Prep Books: There are countless outside resources to help you study for the tests but I personally recommend The Princeton Review books which you can find on Amazon or at your local Barnes and Noble. They include multiple practice tests and do a good job summarizing material.
  • Practice Problems/Exams: Instead of rereading notes, consider doing practice problems. By answering more multiple choice questions and writing free response questions, you start to get a feel for how the exam is structured and will feel much more comfortable on exam day.

Details for 2024 AP Exams

The 2024 AP exams will take place over two weeks, from May 6-10 to May 13-17. Your test will either be at 8 am or 12 pm. Check out AP Central’s website for more details.

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Amelie Nickel
Amelie Nickel, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Amelie, I'm a senior at RAHS and this is my first year on the newspaper. I run cross country and track, and when I'm not running I love to listen to music, watch soccer, and read! I’m looking forward to writing op-eds and contributing RAHS sports news to The Ville!

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