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AP classes gain popularity, students

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Advanced Placement classes seem to be getting more popular over the
years, and it is not hard to see why. Not only do they provide high
school students with a way to get noticed by colleges, they allow them
to explore subject areas more deeply and push themselves.
“I took an AP class because I wanted to challenge myself and I was
eager to see if I could do it,” says Natalie Accardi, a senior at
Stratford High.
AP classes often tend to be taken more by upperclassmen due to their
level of difficulty and time-consuming schedules. To get into an AP
class, teacher recommendations, high grades, and experience in other
classes may be needed also making it harder for underclassmen to take
them. Even if a student is qualified to take an AP class, constraints
such as the number of AP classes a school offers, the number of
teachers available to teach AP, and more can be issues.
“There are some AP classes that require prerequisites, like for AP
Government and Politics, you have to have taken a certain number of
history classes,” says Jordan Kovacs, a senior at Shelton High School.
“In order to get into the class, you need to fill out a form signed
by a current teacher who teaches that subject, and then your guidance
counselor will approve your application or reject it. Most students
get approved as long as class size is not an issue.”
Once a student gets into an AP class, they must deal with the work it
entails. Teens may find it hard to squeeze in the additional time to
deal with these AP classes with sports, afterschool clubs, and more.
“For the most part, the AP workload was harder than my other classes,”
says Natalie Kais, a senior at Fairfield Warde. “In total, I spend
about four hours a night on AP work.”
Some students in the Northeast feel they are at a disadvantage by
schools in the Midwest and other areas starting in August and ending
in May. These students feel they have less time to study the material
before the AP exams in May. Others believe the timing of the school
year in the Northeast is actually a better plan to prepare for the
exams.
“In my point of view, we have less time to forget the material from
the beginning of the year,” says Samantha Beck, a junior at Stratford
High.
AP exams can be intimidating for students, since they can be used for
college credit and can cover a large span of material. Some schools
force students to take AP exams, while some allow their students to
choose.
“I plan to take AP exams, though they are not required by my school,”
says Maggie DeCapua, a junior at Stratford High.
AP classes can make students stand out in their college applications
and provide a challenge for them. Although schools can be selective
about which students take AP classes, teens who make it in may wish to
take the AP exam and allot extra time for their AP classes. For the
hardworking teenager, AP classes are another way for them to display
their talent.

Written by Esha Deshmukh, of Milford, a junior at Jonathan Law High School

Categories: General