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The AP trap, challenging the status quo


In this modern school environment, where life is constantly moving at 100 miles per hour, there is no time to think at all. Students are told to work, work, work. Take the hardest classes and supposedly, we should see results. We have become mindless drones, taking in meaningless information, turning in homework and taking tests. Individual thinking has been erased by the school system and AP classes are a symptom of it.

This is not to say that taking AP classes is an inherently “bad” thing to do. Rather, the culture that AP classes are built around is what is truly “bad” for the student. The school system asks for students to take as many AP classes as possible and in return, we are told that our college of choice will beckon for our presence. Unfortunately, this is simply not the truth.

As students fill their schedules up top to bottom with APs, they sacrifice their most valuable asset: their time. It is no secret that AP classes are an extra workload. Although one or maybe two AP classes are a manageable feat to take on, many students are taking three or four AP classes.

Instead of being a way to enhance your learning and achieve a college credit in a topic that you excel at and are interested in, AP classes have become an empty gesture of misinterpreted social status. Students will take on as many AP classes as their schedule allows and will end up spending hours upon hours of time late into the night working on those classes even if they are not interested in the subject matter; simply because they are told that it is the only route to success.

In this way, the school system fails. Instead of prioritizing taking classes that you find interesting, whether that be an elective class or just a different class that isn’t taught as an AP, the school system prioritizes excessive AP classes. We are no longer preparing ourselves in a way that best suits our interests and our future, but in a way that we are told “looks” better to colleges.

As a result, students are not taught how to think critically and analytically by taking specialized classes of their choice, but they are taught how to cram information and work late hours into the night on numerous different assignments. Creativity is being subjugated by rigid routine. We are not being raised as the next generation of free thinkers, but the next generation of employees. AP classes are not worth the sleepless nights and burdensome lectures if you are not interested in the subject matter. One should only take an AP class if that subject were to be interesting, and should prioritize taking classes that interest you and stimulate your mind, AP or not.

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