Speeding up future education


Sarah Bernick

With the AP exam just months away, Joseph Flahrety’s AP US History class finishes a period test. “The hardest part about taking the period tests is remembering what we learned and then applying it to the multiple choice questions. However, you learn from mistakes and then you know what to study next time,” sophomore Abbie Hambleton said.

Sarah Bernick, Managing Editor

Some students fear college, and some people are ecstatic to obtain new information on their road to success. Taking an AP class can help assist with either scenario, raising expectations and receiving a jump start on future education.

High schools across the country started offering Advanced Placement (AP) classes in the 1950’s according to Prep Scholar. AP classes were created by the College Board to offer students in high school the chance to receive early college credit. The final exam is scored on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being the lowest possible score and 5 being the highest.  All AP classes at West last 3 terms, except for AP Human Geography. This may sound like an edge up from regular classes, however, students must be reminded that these are college level classes, which can often bring stress to students. Although these classes may seem frightening, Junior Renee Cascade brings a different outlook on the class.  

“AP classes are more challenging and I personally think that they are more fun,” Casad said. “I feel like you’re also able to learn more topics considering there are 3 terms instead of 2.”  

These classes can bring excitement for students and teachers alike. 

“My favorite part about teaching AP calculus is the level of challenge for myself because not only do I have to go back and remember everything, but I have to know it inside and out,” math teacher Lindsey Gosse said. 

While teachers may enjoy the extra difficulty these classes are primarily for students. Receiving credit does not just benefit the student’s skills, it also helps with expenses. 

 “You can get college credit so it’s definitely cheaper to take the classes in highschool than it is in college, while also making the transition to college easier,” Gosse said.

There are no specific requirements for a student to take an AP class, but certain traits may enable students to do better in class and on the exam.

“I recommend taking an AP class, but I think people who have a lot of work ethics and aren’t afraid to actually try would benefit more from an AP class than those who don’t care that much about school.  junior Makenzie Christner said. 

The typical grading system requires at least a 90% to get an A. However, since AP classes are graded as college level classes, the system is slightly shifted.

“The grading system is basically the same except students get a little lee-way on the percentage because 85% and above is an A. This helps ease up the high expectations and does not make students as afraid. Most students end up with A’s and B’s, I have little C’s. The students work hard and follow through very nicely because they want to be here and they want to learn,” English teacher Patricia Sheehey said.

The 2020 AP exams at West will take place from May 4 through May 15. Teachers are preparing their students for the exams, with students’ hopes of receiving a 3, 4, or 5, in order to receive college credit for the exam. 

 “I think everybody has strengths so some might take AP English, and some might take an AP Science class, but all students have the ability to take AP classes and all students should strive to take them,” Gosse said.