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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Taking AP classes helps students down the road
    College Board and their signature AP exams(

    The month of May wraps up college board AP exams, which measures a student’s knowledge over the past year of college-level curriculum.  Many high school students take these classes to get college credits and challenge themselves with these advanced placement classes.  These classes and exams require a large amount of studying preparation and focus.  So why do students put themselves through this Advanced curriculum?

    Students like to be challenged and reap the benefits of enhancing their high school learning experience and college preparedness.  AP exams are the perfect groundwork for students to try advanced new classes and help guide them through their future course selection in college.

    “The great thing about the AP courses is that even if you don’t get the course credit from your results on the exam, you are set up beautifully if you then take that course in college. I have had more than my share of students who did not do so great in my AP Stats class but went on and aced that same course in college. These courses, just like the whole curriculum at Gonzaga, are not the ends to themselves. They are stepping stones to a future that can move in whatever direction you want it to take,” said Mr. Paul Buckley, mathematics department chair and college board AP exam grader.

    Large group of students taking an exam as we all would with AP exams (

    As Mr. Buckley points out, there are far more benefits to AP classes than just the credit. However, the credits given from these classes should be incentive enough to take them. Because these classes are college courses, they count as the credits for those classes students will have to take during their four years in college, so by taking more AP classes in high school, it should take fewer required classes to graduate college.

    A nearby school in the DMV, Saint Anselm’s High School, requires all students to take base AP classes, meaning freshmen and seniors alike have to take AP exams at the end of the year.  An alum of the school, Lucas Oblaender went to this high school, and due to the accumulation of credits, he only had to take two and a half years of required courses.

    “It made life so much more easier,” Oblaender said.

    This allows students to go beyond the typical college life, explore programs, study abroad or find new ways to invent themselves as early adults. 

    “I would say that taking an AP course helps prepare students for the rigor of college courses. I recently read an article by Jay Matthews of The Washington Post, and he cites some CollegeBoard research that shows that students who take AP Courses AND the AP exams tend to fare better academically in college,”  said Ms. Maureen McLaughlin, guidance counselor.

    Some may think CollegeBoard is a scam with the fees and regulations, but while it may not seem worth it at the time to take these exams and take these AP classes, it’s worth it for a student’s future. 

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