Are 6 AP Classes Competitive Enough?

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to pine for compliments. If I were trying to get compliments I would be a lot less subtle, but that’s besides the point.

For me, this is a legitimate question I ask myself frequently. I live in a fairly competitive area, so the number of AP classes my school offers (25+) can seem like a blessing and an curse at the same time. I am blessed to have opportunities other children can only imagine and to be able to choose from a wide variety of classes. At the same time, I feel cursed. For example, if my school only provided five AP classes a student could take all five and that would easily be considered the “most challenging” schedule the school could offer. In my case, it’s harder to decipher what the “most challenging” schedule would be because of “easy” AP classes and “hard” AP classes… You would be surprised by how many of my school conversations go like this.

Person: Hey Laura!
Me: Hello person I’ve never talked before in my life. What do you want from me? Hey, what’s up?
Person: What AP classes are you taking next year?
Me: Oh… Comparative, BC Calc, Lit, Stat, and Environmental Science (APES)
Person: You’re taking APES? That’s so easy! Why not AP Physics or AP Bio?
Me: Are my other AP classes now worth monopoly money because I’m taking an easier science class this year? I took AP Chem and Physics HN last year, so I kind of want to take a breather from a stressful science. Plus, I’m not interested in a field where I’ll need AP Physics and I don’t think I would be able to juggle AP Bio and comparative with my busy schedule.
Person: I COMPLETELY understand! I’m also super busy, but I’m taking AP Bio and AP Chem.
Me: Ok. That’s cool. *shuffles away awkwardly*

Also, while I was in line to get my schedule, a girl I’ve known since middle school walked up to me and asked:

Girl 1: Hey! How many AP classes are you taking this year?
Me: Err five AP classes or 6 if you count comparative as two because it has two exams
Girl 1: Oh ok so five *nods in approval* a pretty average amount of AP classes

My schedule is average? Does that mean I’m average? No, I am not average. And it troubles me that taking 5 AP classes has now become average, which segues to my next point. Too many unqualified people are taking AP classes.


After getting my schedule, one of my best friends and I went to get some froyo!

To be clear, I am not bothered by people who have to work harder than me to get a good grade. I have the greatest respect towards these people. It’s the people who aren’t naturally gifted and cheat who I have a problem with. And what bothers me the most isn’t that they’re getting the same grade as me (although it’s a close second), but the fact that they are ruining the learning experience for all of my classes.

In a perfect class there is a constant flow of new ideas being shared. Everyone is working to their fullest potential and are intrinsically motivated to learn just for the sake of learning. I can only imagine of such a beautiful learning experience because it’s been drilled into everyone, including myself, for years that “getting the grade” is more important than pretty much anything. Who cares what you learn as long as you get into college right? Wrong, it’s all so wrong.

I didn’t intend for this to be such a long post, but this conversation spurred me to write.

Girl 2: Ugh I hate that I have human anatomy first!
Me: Why? That’s so good!
Girl 2: … Because I won’t know what’s on the test.
Me: *tries to keep a straight face* B-but it’s a regular class… At least it’s not an AP.
Girl 2: *grumble* that’s true

On that note, I hope everyone who’s going back to school or have already gone back to school will be conscientious of their actions and make smart decisions (myself included). I go back on September 3rd, time to figure out how to be somewhat socially acceptable again.



3 thoughts on “Are 6 AP Classes Competitive Enough?

  1. Opinionated Man says:

    Ugh… I just got a flashback to my own highschool days. Have fun with all that homework! You know the funny part is that when I got to college, back in 2000, I learned that the AP courses I took were actually harder than most college courses. Especially considering AP courses are intended to be the equal to intro courses. Have fun with it all and good luck! -OM

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