Northwest Horizons

AP World’s curriculum change: Changes and continuities for upcoming classes

With+Collegeboard%27s+reformation+of+the+AP+World+curriculum%2C+future+students+will+not+have+to+cover+nearly+as+much+material+as+current+students.
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AP World’s curriculum change: Changes and continuities for upcoming classes

With Collegeboard's reformation of the AP World curriculum, future students will not have to cover nearly as much material as current students.

With Collegeboard's reformation of the AP World curriculum, future students will not have to cover nearly as much material as current students.

With Collegeboard's reformation of the AP World curriculum, future students will not have to cover nearly as much material as current students.

With Collegeboard's reformation of the AP World curriculum, future students will not have to cover nearly as much material as current students.

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With class registration right around the corner, many Northwest students are scrambling to decide on what classes they should take in the upcoming school year. One class that never fails to give students a hard times in terms of their decisions is AP world history, a class notoriously known for its heavy workload and difficulty. But that might all be about to change.

College Board announced that beginning next year, the AP world curriculum will be changing after receiving many complaints from both students and staff regarding the extensive nature of the current course-load. The change will result in the class beginning in 1200 CE rather than in prehistory like the current curriculum.

“We’re going to significantly cutting out much of what the current year’s students did for units one, two and three,” AP world teacher Elizabeth Russell said, “so it should be much less difficult in the beginning of the course.”

Along with the changes, the College Board also announced a new class students could take, “AP world ancient,” which would be a secondary AP world history class that covers all of the material cut from the main curriculum. However, this class will not be offered at Northwest.

“World history ancient will not be offered at our school,” Russell said, “It doesn’t have an AP exam at the end of it and College Board still charges students to take it even without the exam. It does count towards graduation, however.”

The old AP world curriculum took students through 10,000 years of world history over six continents. The new curriculum only mandates 700 years plus some background.

“I’m happy that we’re condensing it down, but I will still be teaching world history almost in its entirety,” Russell said. “Just some things will get a lot more explanation than others. This first year is going to tough, but we’ll all be all right.”

Regarding the changes, mixed reactions from the students have been seen as a result including sophomore Jimin Kim who believes the changes to be slightly detrimental to the class overall.

“I have a lot of mixed opinions about it,” Kim said, “They’re cutting information from the units that we don’t necessarily know anything about and that takes away from the value of the class if not taught. It’s not necessarily world history anymore, but only a fraction of it.”

Kim is a part of the final class under the old AP world curriculum and as he feels fairly frustrated with the changes, he still finds ways to joke about it.

“As an AP world veteran,” Kim said. “I’ve been places in world history and seen grades that they (future world classes) couldn’t possibly even begin to imagine.”

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AP World’s curriculum change: Changes and continuities for upcoming classes