AP(eek) into High School English

AP(eek) into High School English

Maya Radcliffe (12th), Reporter

For high school seniors, the months usually filled with the eagerness and joy that accompanies the holidays bring something more worrisome, the race to complete college applications before the deadline. Facing tremendous stress begs the students to question, “Am I ready for this?”

In an effort to prepare these students for the next step in their lives, many high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes that are modeled to resemble the more strenuous collegiate courses. At the end of the school year, the College Board provides AP tests for the courses, allowing students the opportunity to earn college credit in high school. These are graded on a scale of one to five, with anything from a three or higher being considered a passing score.

However, these tests are not reserved solely for AP takers, both students who have completed an AP course and those who completed a regular course have the option of taking the AP test.

So, if students who choose not to participate in an AP course can still earn the same benefits as those who do participate, how different are these AP courses from the general ones?

As English is a requisite in all levels of education, it is a popular option for students interested in AP. In Turlock, California, Pitman High School offers either regular or Honors English to the ninth and tenth graders, regular or AP English for eleventh graders, and ERWC or AP English for the twelfth graders.

High school senior at Pitman Ella Morgan has stuck to the general English courses throughout her high school years and feels that as English is one of her favorite subjects, and all of her teachers have been helpful, she is ready for the necessary post-secondary work.

“I like how much we have to write and analyze texts. What’s great about the class is that you actually feel like you’re learning something rather than just sitting there and looking into space. Most of the time English isn’t super hard there’s just a lot of work so as long as you stay on top of it it’s nothing to really worry about.”

Kayla Bennett, also a Pitman senior, took the other route in her English classes, and has remained in Honors and AP courses in high school.

“To be completely honest, I don’t feel like I have ever been challenged in any of my AP English classes in the past years. I don’t feel that I have been properly prepared for college, even though the purpose of the class is to prepare and challenge the student. I do feel, however, that some of my teachers have helped me improve my writing and analyzing skills.”

It seems that just as nearly everything in life, success depends on the individual. While some high schoolers will thrive in the “more rigorous” AP classes, others will prosper in the general courses. In any case, the teacher and the student’s drive play a pivotal role in the preparation for higher education, probably far more than the title placed on the class.