The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

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The Efficacy of AP Courses

The true usefulness of AP classes is of popular debate for Glenbard South students.  Source: College Board
The true usefulness of AP classes is of popular debate for Glenbard South students. Source: College Board

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered at over 23,000 high schools. AP classes give students the opportunity to earn college credit, thus saving money (not to mention, AP courses give students a leg up in the college admissions process). But are they really helpful in preparing a student for college?

College courses are undeniably harder than high school classes. AP courses allow students to better prepare for the material presented to them in college because they are fast-paced, cover more information than a regular high school class, and require more independent studying. Getting a taste of a college-level curriculum as a high school student could help moderate the transition into college.

Although AP courses can be extremely useful in easing a student into college, Emily Puchalski, a senior at Glenbard South, argues that some whole-year AP courses are only a semester of an introductory college class. “In my experiences sitting in on college classes, they are much more independent and student initiative based,” she said. Ultimately, Puchalski believes that AP classes are a good step in the right direction for preparation, but the structure of both classes are not the same.

Not only are AP courses beneficial for getting comfortable with the rigorous structure of college classes, they also assist students in developing crucial time management skills. AP students will often find themselves having to juggle multiple assignments, projects and exams. This is valuable in college, where you have even less time to work on homework.

“In college, students must learn how to balance their coursework, possibly a part-time job and potentially internships,” notes Sarah Block, an AP Human Geography teacher at Glenbard South. She believes that aspects of AP classes aid in learning advantageous time management skills, such as reading the course book and prepping for newly introduced vocabulary content on a weekly basis.

AP classes are favorable from a financial standpoint as well. An AP exam typically costs $95 per test, which is much less than the college course it represents. Getting a 3 or higher on these exams gives a student college credit, which in the long run will lower their college tuition fee. Furthermore, AP classes help free up space in college if a student receives the credits. By taking an AP class, it is possible to withdraw out of a required introductory college course.

Brynn Robbins, a Glenbard South graduate who now attends University of Tennessee, has taken a plethora of AP courses and can confidently say that her credit hours have freed up a lot of time for her. “My AP Lang and dual credit English have allowed me to fully waive out of English this semester,” she mentions.

All in all, AP courses are an important tool for college preparation. They offer plenty of major factors found in college classes. Don’t miss out on the benefits of AP classes!

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Augusta Leimonas
Augusta Leimonas, Opinions Writer
My name is Augusta Leimonas and I am a sophomore at Glenbard South. I enjoy playing tennis in and out of school. In my free time, I like to spend time outside with my family and hang out with my friends.

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