Do easy AP classes sophomore year set false expectations junior year?


Sera Mugeta

Class in session for a typical South school day.

Sera Mugeta, Staff Writer

During the end of your freshman year at South high, you’ll most likely find yourself talking about signing up for classes you’ll take next year, your sophomore year. Usually, teachers will encourage certain students to take an advancement placement class, known as an AP class,  if you did well in their class and they think you can exceed more than a regular non-AP class. But the choice is ultimately up to you if you want to take the class. For South students however, it’s required that you take AP US History or AP Humanities for liberal students as a class to graduate, and only an AP version of the class is offered at South.

An AP class ultimately differs from other classes in terms of the workload and the pace of the class. Students are pushed harder and work through the course much faster than a traditional class. AP classes also prepare students more for college which is why AP classes are favored on college applications. But to some students, certain AP classes at South don’t meet the expectations that they thought an AP class was going to be, more discussions and assignments, or they assumed that all AP classes were set up that certain way and were totally surprised junior year.

“The AP class I took last year was definitely easier than I expected,” junior Ruby Dennis expresses when talking about an AP class she took sophomore year.

“We didn’t have strict grading like my other non-AP classes and it was more slow paced. Going into Junior year the course itself wasn’t harder, but the homework and daily work was” Dennis continues. “I think that a person who takes this AP class sophomore year is set up with a false expectation of what an AP class really was and will deal with more adjusting junior year.”

These classes also create false expectations found somewhere else other than when you’re in  junior year. AP testing.

Though you’re always encouraged to gradually study for AP tests throughout the year, if you’re passing your class with flying colors it’s easy to just assume that you know all that you need to know and you shouldn’t study as much. So, you might find yourself confused when you’re skimming over the AP test not knowing a sufficient amount of information to pass the test because the amount you studied wasn’t enough. If you’re like me you’ll definitely end up hating your score and how you wasted forty dollars on not getting any college credit .

Although you’re always encouraged to study outside of class it’s harder to study such a broad topic like U.S History which covers hundreds of years and wars or Humanities.

Though many people believe that some AP classes available to sophomores set up false expectations, others disagree to that idea.

“I think they’re both equally hard,” senior Maa’chareal Williams says when comparing the AP class she took last year and her current AP lit class. “Maybe the workload is more but I still had to work a lot in both those classes.”

And while students do believe that their AP class sophomore year was easier than their current AP class or classes they have right now, many aren’t going to go to the staff or teachers to expand on it. When you have an easy class, whether it be AP or not, it means less homework and more free time to do other things than stress about that certain class. Classes like these probably won’t come around again so you tend to bask in the freedom and don’t say anything about it so the next group of students can enjoy it. This means that the easy AP class stays until someone else decides to say something about it.

So ultimately It really depends on what AP classes you have sophomore year and how well you can push yourself outside the limits when you feel you’re not being challenged, but it’s not hard to hear in the halls how a lot of South students believed that their sophomore AP class didn’t reach their expectations of what a college level course should be. But as long as you pass the class that’s all that seems to really matter.