AP tests are becoming more popular academic option

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Advanced Placement class participation has more than doubled at De Pere High School in the past five years.

Back in 2011-12, DPHS students took 138 AP tests, with 10.0 percent of students taking at least one. In the 2015-16 school year, 433 tests were taken, with 21.4 percent of students participating.

Here are a few stories about Advanced Placement classes at De Pere HS. You can link to our school’s results here

Microeconomics or Macroeconomics?

By Jared Ramirez

De Pere High School offers a plethora of Advanced Placement courses for the student body to enroll in. Two of these courses are AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics. Both of these courses are taught by Mr. Dessart, who gave some insight as to what is studied in each course.

Mr. Dessart briefly explained the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics.

“Microeconomics is the study of individual choices and about your own individual participation the economy,” replied Dessart. “Macroeconomics is the study of how the government is involved in the economy. For example, in micro, we might study a question of why you went to a basketball game, whereas in macro, we might be studying why the government decided to cut taxes.”

After this dialogue, I then asked if there was a difference in coursework or academic rigor between the courses, to which he replied, “No, they are exactly the same.”

So, if you are looking to learn more about how you as an individual can participate in and affect the economy, AP Microeconomics might be better suited for you. But, if you are more interested in the global economic scale and how governments work with economics, then AP Macroeconomics might be where you’d want to go.

In 2015-16, 66 students took the AP Micro test, and 89.4 percent scored 3 or higher. In that same year, 17 students took the AP Macro test, and 82.4 percent scored 3 or higher.

Opinion: Best part of AP classes is the challenge

By Blake Lepel

Are Advanced Placement classes beneficial? Is the long and stressful grind to AP testing really worth it?

Well, it depends on what you’re interested in.

Advanced Placement classes are created to give high school students the ability to participate in a college-level course and complete a test that, if passed, grants actual college credits.

Yet, taking an AP class doesn’t mean you’re smarter or academically better than any other student; it instead is a chance to challenge yourself.

By challenging yourself, the goal is to learn more than you would in an ordinary course, and to be better prepared for the college lifestyle, but this isn’t always the case.

Some AP classes can actually be more harmful to take than beneficial, especially if it drags down your GPA or is too mentally exhausting. If that’s the case then either AP classes aren’t for you or you need to choose a class in a subject you excel in.

And that’s another negative of AP classes: Taking courses that don’t benefit you are a waste of time and money, and your time could be spent learning something new. For instance, if someone is set on becoming a math major, then they probably shouldn’t take AP Art for the sake of taking an AP class.

Another negative of taking AP classes is the lack of time to study what’s important to you versus what’s important to the college board, especially in the AP history courses. It’s very arguable about whether you learn more in AP history than a non-AP history course, as the AP class goes so fast to prepare for the test that most subjects can’t be studied for more than a couple days.

Overall the decision is up to the individual need of each student. Taking one AP class for a student’s  field of interest is always recommended.

Opinion: AP classes certainly are not for everyone

By Elizabeth Kindt

I don’t take AP classes because I prefer to do the bare minimum in school.

I’m only taking two years of Spanish so I can get into college. When checking my math grade, the only time I’m concerned is if I’m not passing; if I am passing, which would be 60 percent or higher, then I do not care.

Unless I care about the class, chances are that I won’t be trying that hard in the class.

School has become about passing, not learning and actually enjoying the content. Sure, one could say that in order to pass, we have to learn, but, if we are just memorizing information and regurgitating it back when taking a test, can that really be considered learning?

Throughout my entire school career, the thought of “It’s only blank amount of months/days/years” has been pounded into my head. It is the idea that school is just about getting things over with.

I don’t want to live my life like that, waiting for something to end just so another thing that I don’t want to do can start after taking a brief, lackluster break.

Back to the AP classes. I want to enjoy my life, not constantly stress out over school, something that I don’t completely care for in the first place. Why would I choose to waste my time on something that I don’t care about?

It kills my soul to say such cynical things about learning, because I love learning!

I love reading, writing, and listening to lectures on things that I’m interested in and/or care about. Taking an AP class on something I’m interested in, like English/language arts or history, seems like a fantastic idea! But school isn’t my entire life, and I don’t want it to be.

I want to learn, but I don’t want the stress that comes with AP classes. That’s my dilemma.


1 Comment

One Response to “AP tests are becoming more popular academic option”

  1. Mrs. Sickler on December 11th, 2017 9:19 am

    Thank you for writing about AP courses! For a future issue you may want to write about TC (transcripted credit) college credit courses, and the difference between these and AP courses. Everyone should read your articles before deciding what classes to take next year.


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