Are AP classes death to a GK?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Are AP classes death to a GK?
Sat, 09-03-2011 - 6:27pm

Weedosmom's question about differentiating humanities classes got me thinking. I know that AP classes have a set national curriculum and therefore must be somewhat formulaic, but are they so formulaic they will cause my kid to slip back into school-hating mode? DD just transferred to a tiny Christian high school for mental health reasons, and is in

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 09-04-2011 - 3:51am

I personally loved my AP classes but that was also 20 years age. DD is just stepping into them this year but is looking forward to them. I don't think AP classes are formulaic as a rule though I don't doubt there are teachers that take that route. I'm guessing much depends on the subject too.

The complaints I most often hear from high schoolers is in the work load. AP's are homework heavy.... lots and lots of written work. DD's summer assignments for AP were hefty. Taking several in a year can be challenging not neccessarily in ones ability to learn the material but just making time to complete all the work and still have a life. Juniors in our area

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Sun, 09-04-2011 - 11:20am

They don't have to be too formulaic.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Sun, 09-04-2011 - 5:56pm

This school definitely seems more flexible and more tuned into individual needs. When she went for orientation, almost every teacher she met commented on her admission essay, which made her feel good that they'd actually read it!

She has had a couple of asssignments for AP classes, all reading. By contrast, the school she just left gave her 5 written assignments for AP Chem alone, all due in July, after school let out at the end of June. She was so burned out by that point that she decided to apply to this new school at the beginning of July. So she's had to scramble to get the summer work done, but it wasn't terrible.

And ITA that the standards for AP English are low. Years ago, I took the test and scored a 4, even though I'd never taken an AP class and hadn't read some of the literature referenced on the exam.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 12:26pm

My sense of that is that the standards for AP English are mighty low because just about every kid taking the exam, whether language or literature, got a 4 or 5. All our girls could take those tests in middle school and get 5s.

That may be true at your school, but it's definitely not the case nationwide -

In 2010, 31.5% got 4s or 5s. (10.7% got 5s) on the English Language test

In Literature, the percentage was even lower-

8.1% got a 5, and 19.1% got a 4.

If your girls were able to take those tests in middle school and get 5s, they are in a very select group (not suprising, since you're on this board ;)) but still, you should view that as an accomplishment, since only about 10% of high school kids got 5s on those tests!

My dd18 loved, loved, loved her AP classes, especially APUSH and AP Euro. She is taking two 300-level honors courses this fall in writing and polysci and she feels that those courses are what prepared her to do well.