Dear Freshman, Should You Take AP World Next Year?

Abby Bozek

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With recommendation day coming up, and students being required to choose their classes for next year, stress burns through the student body. Which classes do I take? What’s too many? What’s not enough? The stress is primarily present around existing, and incoming, upperclassmen – as there are so many different options of courses to take as well as loads of new courses being introduced to us. For current freshman (incoming sophomores), their only real choice is whether or not to take AP World (the only AP class offered to sophomores). As a current sophomore, who is taking AP World, maybe my words can help with whether or not to take this class. 

 

What you’ve heard is true — it’s a hard class. With notes on-top of notes on-top of notes, nine pages of notes with one night to complete them seem like nothing to me at this point half-way through the year. For the first time in your long school career, you are no longer dependent on your teacher. This class takes a lot of outside, independent work and requires a level of motivation to be able to complete an hour or two of notes in one night. With projects and writings, there is a new level of expectation. The work that you would turn into an honors class would not be accepted in an AP course. It’s an AP course, and although you will be a sophomore the teachers expect you to treat it as such. You can no longer just do a simple google slides for projects anymore as that demonstrates a lack of creativity, and say goodbye to group grades on projects. It truly requires a next level individual to go from all R/H classes to taking this AP. 

 

As well as this, balancing your extracurriculars and an AP course is not an easy task. Personally I have 2-2.5 hours of ballet 4-5 times a week. Some days, just like a few days ago for me, I am unable to make it to ballet due to the amount of notes I had to take for AP World (there simply isn’t enough time in the day). This only makes me fear Jr. year more as I plan to take four AP classes. Not only this, but while experiencing your first ever AP course you have to remember not to forget about your other classes. You have other subject areas that you have to master, other classes that you have tests, quizzes, homework, projects etc. in. Planning is key when you want to take any AP. 

 

Despite all of these things, the teacher you get truly makes an impact on your experience in the class (as in any class). Personally, I have Mrs Charles and she could not be more amazing. She understands that this is your first AP, and before throwing you into the deep end by assigning you DBQs, SAQs, and loads of tests she lets you dip your toe in the water with take home SAQs, take home tests, group tests, class tests, and tests where the answer is given to multiple choice questions and you have to answer the question of why. This allows for you to have a better time adjusting, and I don’t think I’d have the grade I have in her class if I had any other teacher. 

 

 Yet, as I am now half-way through the year, I realize that all of this is applicable for ANY AP course that you would take. Ever. All require independent, outside work and a level of motivation that is not present in R/H classes. 

 

As I, a sophomore, make my course selections for next year and realize the amount of AP classes I want to take, I am truly grateful and happy that I decided to take AP World. Being able to experience and understand the amount of work that goes into an AP class before jumping into the deep end with Jr. year is truly a gift. Because of this, if you are a person who is willing to put in the work I would truly recommend taking this course. Just like my teacher did with tests, taking this course allows you to walk into the “pool” of APs before just jumping into the deep end.