To AP or Not to AP

Sriya Pallapothu

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It’s a new year. That means new year’s resolutions, and new goals and standards to meet. It also means that it’s time to pick out new courses for the next year of our education. 

Guidance counselors are coming to English classes in order to help students pick out courses for next year that they like and are interested in. For certain grades, there are advanced courses that are available in which you can earn college credit. One such course for 9th and 10th graders is AP Euro. 

AP stands for “advanced placement”, and these courses are more rigorous and difficult than regular regents courses. These courses are much harder than regular courses, so the grade you earn in an AP class will be multiplied by 1.06 to account for the increased difficulty level. However, the only way to earn college credit is to take and pass the AP exam in May.

I have heard many students ask the question “Should I take AP Euro next year?” and honestly, it depends on the student. 

To well in AP Euro you first have to keep up with the homework. There is usually one section of the book you have to read per day, as well as completing the corresponding packet pages. If you don’t keep up with your homework, you will fall behind in the class, and it can be extremely difficult to catch up. Another reason why it’s so important to do your homework is that there is usually at least one quiz during each unit based upon the homework, so it’s sort of like a “homework check.” 

Personally, in my opinion, the hardest part of AP Euro are the tests, because they account for the majority of your grade. In order to do well on these tests, you have to be able to understand and analyze different documents and sources. Not everything on the test comes from the book because many questions are often based upon documents, which may take the form of written sources, and occasionally pictures. 

AP Euro is a hard course, but the content in the course is actually quite interesting. We have all suffered through boring history classes before, but AP Euro is not one of them. Another thing about the course is that there are opportunities for extra credit, which is nice because they can boost your grade.

Overall, I would recommend this course to people who keep up with their homework and who are willing to study a lot for the tests. Commitment to this course is very important, especially because studying for the tests can be very time consuming. Doing extra credit only and not studying will not result in a good grade. For people who often fall behind in homework and don’t take the time to study, this class might be very difficult as not doing the homework will result in you falling behind, and studying for tests are important because the tests compose the majority of your grade.