What is AP Really Like?

What is AP Really Like?

Elise Klint

Recently in our Lakota district, the standards for being able to enroll in AP classes have changed. Now, anyone who would like to take an AP course can sign up, regardless of experience with honors classes and test scores. So, now that anyone can enroll in AP classes, what exactly are they? And how different are they from regular courses? 


As someone who has taken five different AP courses throughout high school, I can assure students that every course lies on a spectrum. Some are definitely more challenging than others, but all of them are still quite different from your regular CP class. There is typically much more material to cover,  which forces the class to move at a faster pace. Additionally, in AP courses you aren’t able to simply forget all of the information you learned after a unit test. You must be able to retain the information you have learned throughout the whole year in order to pass the AP exam in May. Passing the AP exam at the end of the year can be extremely beneficial, as it can save you a lot of time and money in college, depending on how many courses you take and pass in high school. If passing the test is a goal of yours, it will require much more time and effort since you have to constantly review a year’s worth of material to be ready for the exam. Essentially, if you score well enough on the end of year AP test (usually a score of 3-5) you can be given some sort of college credit at any university in the country.


Because some AP courses can be so strenuous, many teachers aren’t happy with the fact that any student can take an AP class even if they aren’t qualified. However, the Lakota Administration argues that it is the teacher’s job and duty to teach students how to handle AP classes and prepare them for the test in May. But if a student has no strong motive to succeed in a high-level class, but enrolls in it anyway, what can the teacher really do?


Overall, from my personal experience with AP classes, I advise to only take an AP class if you have a strong work ethic, have the right test scores or at least decent ones, and most importantly, if you’re truly willing and motivated to devote extra time to the class. If you think that you may have the qualifications to take an AP class, ask your current teacher of the related subject to see if they think you would succeed. It’s true, some AP classes are easier than others. But no matter the course, they all still end with the exam in May which will be of no benefit if you don’t take the class seriously.