AP Classes and Tests: Should They Qualify as College Courses?

“If you’re being told that AP is a college course, you’re being told things that are not true,” says Douglas Taylor who chairs the university of Virginia biology department. AP is simply the fancy abbreviation for advanced placement college courses. Truly, AP classes will never be equivalent of the college curriculum no matter how rigorous they are. It is like limits in Calculus; AP classes are always approaching a certain level of higher academics, but never achieving that level. As the college becomes more competitive and the acceptance to the college becomes more brutal, the AP courses become more popular among the high school students hoping to get an edge over admissions. AP program is created to offer ambitious students a chance to learn college courses in advance; however, the purpose is turning to the other side of the aisle. Under the surface level of thinking, AP is merely the best-know filigree for the college application.

Students who want their transcript to seem outstanding pack all kinds of APs on their limited academic plates. Schools easily offer more AP classes to satisfy their high ranking thirst. The purpose pf AP begins to be twisted invisibly in consequence of such selfish actions. “We have to pick up our pace. We need to cover all the stuff before the May exam.” Most AP instructors often lament to students as they flip a page on the calendar. In an amount of time, teachers must choose either breadth or depth. They most likely would like to choose breadth over depth, because their ultimate aim is to attain the highest possible grade on the AP examinations. Consequently, during the long-term preparation, students woefully give up their creative minds and thorough understanding of the subject. The aim of AP class is no longer to stretch the students’ academic pursuit which is the deeper understanding of phenomenon. Rather, it is the long tunnel to the 5 points.

I believe students who are currently taking AP classes are dreaming constantly to get 5 points on the destiny-test, not because the grade is the representation of miserable efforts, it is because the college is glad to see that on the transcript. Realistically, high school students are not working for their present life. Instead, their ceaseless hardworking is the preparation for our future. Thus, the first step is to decorate their college application with the attractive filigree-5 points on their AP examinations. Here is one example of one confused student.

“As a 10th-grader, Todd Rosenbaum, now a junior at the University of Virginia, took a biology course, but he crammed so successfully for AP exam that he earned a 5. That score allowed the high school valedictorian to skip introductory biology at the university, but he found himself woefully unprepared for an upper-level course. ‘Pretty much as soon as I got in, I realized that there was no way I’d survive,’ says Rosenbaum.” (Time magazine)

Consequently, he withdrew from his college course. It lets us wonder if getting the perfect score on the test is equivalent of absorbing the real college course thoroughly. Obviously, there’s always a great difference between them. Passing the test is merely a tool to skip the class in college. When you are taking higher-level class in college, you may realize that you’re suddenly surrounded by unexpected difficulties because the time since high school may cause you forget the fundamentals that you were supposed to have learned before. In conclusion, AP classes do no really prepare you for college, but instead only prepare you for the AP examination.

Therefore, the school should develop student a deeper understanding of the subject so that students are more prepared for the classes that follow in college. Teachers should less focus on AP exams, more on deep understanding. The purpose of AP classes ought to rebuild in our minds. It is to build a good enough foundation for the college courses, not to hit on the 5-point target.

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