Why Students Choose to Take Advanced Level Classes

Each year, more and more students try to challenge themselves with harder curriculum as more classes become offered to them. Students of Orono High School give us their perspective on why they take advanced classes.

Many students choose to take AP classes to learn the discipline and hard work that comes with college leveled courses.

“I just think it helps you get a foot in the door for college, if you can knock out some of the classes in high school. I think it’s a good opportunity,” Senior Connor Chappell said.

Stress levels are rising as students are pressured by parents, or their own friends, to push themselves to their academic limit.
“My parents kind of expect it [taking AP courses], but they don’t push it. I choose to take them.” Junior Jenna Muth said.

“I think that the drive to just be perfect in every single one of those classes is really, it’s just hard to watch as a teacher and I just think it’s really tough for students to enjoy school,” AP World History teacher Michelle Naylor said. “It makes it hard to not only enjoy those classes but also to retain the information. I hear students say that they feel dumb because they’re not getting the type of grades that they’re used to when really there’s just no room to put that information.”

According to the article “AP Courses as Predictors of College Success”, a study done on a Texas high school, showed that based on overall GPAs, there is no distinction between those who took the AP test and those who did not. Many high school students all over the world are being offered the chance to take AP classes, however, teachers are reporting that students struggle to make it through the content.

“I think it’s a good glimpse into what college is like because there is generally more content than in a regular high school class and in college, they go through things way faster so I think it’s a good idea especially if you are applying to go to college.” AP Chemistry and AP Environmental Sciences teacher Bryce Rasmussen said.

More schools are offering AP classes to high school students and are even starting programs for middle schoolers. These projects focus on lower intensity content and hands-on activities to get them ready for college prep courses.

“Because of the rigor and the classroom environment and the type of thinking you’re doing helps you succeed in college classes so I think, especially if you’re planning on going to a two or four-year post-secondary institution, taking an AP class will help you be a better student in college,” Naylor said.