story by Maddie Mason, Eddie Bates and Rebekah Street

Advance placement exams are right around the corner, and although it may cause stress, lack of sleep and requires a lot of cups of coffee, it means that the students in AP classes must study and prepare for their exams to the best of their ability. These classes are rigorous and are created to not only challenge the students but help them excel as well.

“The level of instruction is much higher for AP classes with more lessons on critical thinking, synthetic thought and making deeper connections to history, art, other literature or science,” AP English teacher and former AP testing coordinator Joe Landreneau said.

But with these harder lesson plans and college level curriculum, goes one thing that students miss the most of: time.

“Some classes I have to put on the back burner just so I can catch up in the more necessary AP classes,” Charlton said.

Junior Avery Allen, however, does not mind the challenge that an AP course presents.

“I feel like AP tests-at least the ones I’ve taken-are fairly challenging, which is their purpose,” Avery said. “They’re a lot more stressful because I’m shooting for college credit.”

Yep, that coveted (and expensive) college credit. The main reason for taking on the heavy workload that comes, just for the opportunity of getting a free college credit.

Unfortunately, you can get all 100’s in the class but still not receive the college credit. The only thing that grants it is that you still need to pass an AP exam, a test which combines all the curriculum from the year and ultimately decides if you need to repeat the class in college.

“[On test day] I just trying to relax,” senior Rose Steptoe said. “I try not to study too much because I feel like that makes my nerves worse the morning of.”

Although a lot of stress and effort gets put in, according to junior Lauren Jones, it is all worth it.

“It gets [students] in the habit of having a large workload,” Lauren said. “I think AP courses better students for college.”

Avery is also happy that she took the courses.

“I believe AP classes are designed for those who can handle rigorous courses, fast pace and a lot of information in whatever subject that may be,” Avery said. “It’s a great opportunity for students to discover the learning style that fits them best.”

Rose, who has taken 12 AP courses since her start at Dutch Fork, also recommends the classes to other students.

“I would recommend taking what you’re interested in,” Rose said. “But at the same time, don’t let people pressure you into taking AP exams you don’t feel comfortable in, If you aren’t good at math, you don’t have to take AP stat or AP calculus.”

Charlton says that the AP courses aren’t really that bad, they just “require really fast memorization”. He even recommends that rising freshman take it.

“I would take it because you might do well, get college credit for it,” Charlton said. “And if you don’t it really won’t hurt your grade because it gets weighted anyway.”