Rest versus rigor: the AP option

Hailey Weiner

More stories from Hailey Weiner


With rigorous tests and late nights of homework already overwhelming the majority of Etowah students, opting into an Advanced Placement (AP) class is a controversial choice for those who value a good night’s sleep. Many AP students have found that choosing demanding classes is rewarding, even if they require determination, focus and many after hours of schoolwork. 

Some things I like about the [AP] class are the important skills I learn (The class is a lot of work, and you have to do your work or else you’ll get behind, but that [has] helped me stop procrastinating,” Carter Mason, sophomore, said. 

 From the moment students arrive at Eagle Mountainmany begin to plan their desired pathway to prepare for college. When filling out applications, havinseveral AP courses listed on a high school transcript can help increase the likelihood of colleges, universities, and scholarships recognizing a student’s commitment to rigorous courses. 

I picked the AP class because I thought it would look good for college and on my resume when I apply, Avery Hamlin, freshman, said. 

Even though honors classes come with their own challenges, students eager for a more thorough and detailed course opt to take AP classes and hope to receive an experience that allows for an easier transition to the time-consuming college work. 

I personally struggle with [incorporating] studying and homework into my already busy schedule, but I took AP classes to challenge myself and prepare myself for college classes,” Campbell Munsey, junior, said. 

 Despite movies’ portrayal of high school as a time for singing and dancing, in the real world, students spend countless hours navigating the trials of AP workWith regular school assignments on top of AP homework, they have difficultkeeping up with their grades and overall learning. 

Sometimes I struggle to pay attention in my AP classes, and there is a lot of stressful homework that I cannot always finish, Jacob Stein, senior, said. 

Consistent A’s and high-test scores ensure a strong transcript, but the end-of-semester AP exam is the deciding factor determining whether college credit is awarded or if one merely completed a high school courseWith high-ranking universities growing more selective, if students do not pass the AP exam with at least a four out of five on the scoring scale, they may struggle to receive credit for the class and often feel that their efforts put into the course were worthless. 

The thing I don’t like about AP classes is the stress around AP exams trying to do your best on them. AP courses are definitely a lot of work, but they’re worth it when you can get college credit,” Nina Valesco, senior, said. 

 Most colleges and universities find that a high number of AP classes represent a strong and dedicated student who stands out among fellow classmates. The extensive workload and a singular test deciding students success in the class places overwhelming pressure on students; however, with the right mindset and a dedication to achievement, they can not only pass the class, but receive credit and get ahead in their college careers.