Why seniors shouldn’t limit the APs they take


Senyi Yang

Although AP testing is at the end of the school year, their benefits outweigh the harms for many seniors who take them.

Senyi Yang, AVtv Editor-in-Chief

The decision of how rigorous your senior year classes should be has long been in debate. Some argue that it’s important to maintain how difficult your senior year is compared to other years, while others say that because senior year isn’t considered in admission, it shouldn’t matter as much.

“Colleges look a lot at how rigorous each year as compared to the last, so I had to take a couple of APs to balance my junior year out to maintain how they evaluated my transcript,” said Ajay Immadi (‘22).

Another benefit of AP courses is that scoring high on the AP exam can lead to colleges allowing you to bypass certain general education courses. This can set you on a faster track, and frees up schedule space in college for electives.

While this may seem difficult, AP courses are designed to prepare you specifically for the exam, leading to a pretty high pass rate for most of the school.

“I’m a little bit hopeful that because I took the Calc AP test this year I’ll be able to take fewer calc courses in college since it’s easier in high school than college. It also wasn’t too much work to take the test,” said Evan Kent (‘22).

The caveat here is that you must be aware of your own capabilities as a student. Instead of having a hard limit, seniors might want to try more elective APs which may be more interesting to them and thus easier to stay motivated.

With fewer core curriculum classes required, senior year could be a great way to explore a potential future career path via an AP class.

Furthermore, with the ability to take 5 periods senior year, you could take a “less rigorous” AP course via an online alternative.

“We finished all of the Calculus BC and AP Psych content like a month ago, so I’ve had a lot of time to study for my other classes, especially the ones that I have to pass to graduate,” said Kiana Lum (‘22).

Because AP Exams are in early May, instruction for AP classes essentially ends by April. Usually, AP classes also take finals before the usual finals week, giving students a less frantic last week of school.

Especially for seniors, this could be a major benefit as they may not have many finals and will have a significantly more relaxed last month of the school year where there isn’t a lot of motivation to study.

Ultimately, APs aren’t for everybody. Each person can decide on their own whether or not pushing themselves for senior year is for them. However, some APs are easier than others, and almost all of them will give some sort of college credit. Why not try it out?