Northwest Horizons

Advanced placement requires “advanced” planning

A collection of AP class preparation books are placed side by side.

A collection of AP class preparation books are placed side by side. "Baron's" is a popular company that makes AP prep books.

A collection of AP class preparation books are placed side by side. "Baron's" is a popular company that makes AP prep books.

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Offering dozens of AP class options in addition to Honors and CP courses, Northwest is a high school which provides many resources from which students can create their year-long schedule.

With registration coming up soon, and events such as Curriculum Night looming in the future, Northwest students, who will be rising sophomores, juniors or seniors, must begin thinking about their course selections.

“AP classes cover a lot more content, and students are forced to do more work outside of class by themselves instead of being handheld in class,” junior Samantha Gillis said.

Other students feel similarly about the sometimes significantly faster pace on which AP classes are forced to run.

“The tests [in AP classes are different], and the teachers already expect you to know a lot and will definitely go faster,” junior Phoebe Martin said.

The swiftness with which AP teachers must conduct their class can be largely contributed to the set curriculum that must be completed before exam day.

Occurring during the month of May, AP exams for Northwest students usually consists of tests in the mornings and afternoons during a 2 week period.

Due to the time limit stipulated by the AP testing organization, College board, some current AP students caution those looking to take AP courses to carefully analyze their commitment.

“It depends on [the individual’s] work ethic,” Gillis said. “If you’re willing to work hard and put in time and effort, then yes, you should [sign up for an AP class].”

Although the decision of whether or not to engage in an AP course can seem difficult to make, current AP students stress the importance of AP classes on academic growth and advise potential students to analyze the advantages carefully.

“I wish I knew how important AP classes would be starting freshman year,” senior Samuel Revak said. “[Students should] try at least one [AP class] probably sophomore or junior year. Just try it out and see if you enjoy it because then you still have the opportunity to take more if you want to.”

Despite the challenges that AP classes can cause students to face, the benefits can be well worth the effort.

“It’s more about analyzing things than just pure memorization,” Revak said. “It is a good application of the skills you learn.”

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Advanced placement requires “advanced” planning