by Natalie Brennan and Rachel Holtzman
by Natalie Brennan
Without putting a cap on the number of APs one can take, the student can decide themself how many classes they can handle. By creating a limit, the number of external pressures impacting the student’s decision would be significantly reduced without being penalized when applying to colleges.
Admissions officers would put this into consideration when reviewing transcripts, as they receive school profiles with each application explaining offered courses and requirements. A student who is only allowed to take a certain number of AP classes is not going to be held at a disadvantage during the application process because it is something that is out of his or her control.
AP classes are intended to mirror a college curriculum. A student who is taking several AP classes at once will be taking on the equivalent workload of a college student. Instead of spending sufficient time to fully understand and enjoy a subject, students often have to stretch themselves thin.
According to a survey conducted at the Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, OH, 93 percent of surveyed students listed school work as their primary source of stress. Although AP courses are not the only cause of student stress, schools should be making any effort they can to limit contributing factors.
There needs to be a greater push towards taking classes because of a genuine interest in them and a greater focus on students’ mental health.
by Rachel Holtzman
While efforts to decrease student stress should be encouraged, an AP class limit would damage students’ academic standing and lower the quality of the academic environment at WHS.
According to njdoe.org, 50.9 percent of WHS students take at least one AP class during high school, and many take more. These students represent a large pool of those willing and able to shoulder the rigor of college-level work. Instead of encouraging students to take challenging courses, an AP limit would prevent students wishing to learn at a higher level than honors classes could offer.
WHS itself would also suffer from the limit. If students could no longer take the same number of APs, class enrollment would drop, which would make the school unable to offer new courses if the current ones were not full.
If schools place a specified cap on the number of AP courses a student may take, it implies that all students can handle the same amount of work. However, two AP courses, for example, may be too many for one student and too few for another.
Instead, schools should teach and encourage students to know their personal limits and plan their schedules accordingly.
There is no doubt that AP classes create stress for students; however, they are electives, and in order to promote student self- responsibility, the administration should encourage freedom to choose healthy, balanced schedules.