Home > Curriculum Reform > AP Courses – A Gateway to College? Yeah Right..

AP Courses – A Gateway to College? Yeah Right..

When you first walk into a classroom that states that it is “Advance Placement” you expect it to be a challenging course with much knowledge to gain, however, this is not the case. Take my AP Calculus AB-BC course in high school. Sounds challenging doesn’t it? It is NOT in the least challenging; I pretty much taught the class the one thing we learned. How to take a derivative and that is the easiest concept to get. How did this come about you ask? Well in my opinion AP course curriculum know of days is a joke. A joke that has a terrible punch line, that punch line would be when you get to college and the professors laugh at you because you thought you were prepared enough and you were not! We need to remedy this cause and make AP curriculum more challenging not only for our students now in high school so they may go on but also for our future students who need college preparation classes. Let us be honest for a moment, high school DOES NOT prepare you for college, AP course, I thought, should. They did not, instead I found myself knee deep with C’s being a straight a student, so let us fix the biggest problem with educational AP Courses, AP Course Curriculum.

College is a place to get a higher education and to be stronger in what you thought you were quite weak in. Say for example you are biology major and expect it to be hard, but you find that it was not. Let’s reverse that order, what if you thought it would be easier than high school and that you were prepared and you found that you were struggling. Now you see the true colors here. “All of you are demonstrating that success can spread when standards are raised, not dummied down.” (Ed.Gov) this says it all for me. Standards are not to be dummied down as they were in my course but made higher in order to promote achievement. What schools are doing now of days are dummying down the whole AP system, and making it to where students can succeed and believe that they are ready for college level treatment, when they are, in fact, not! Makes no sense at all.

“A high school curriculum of high academic intensity and quality is the factor that contributes to a student’s likelihood of completing a college degree.” (NewHorizons.ORG) this is a quote that brings up the question: Where is that curriculum you speak of? For one, high schools with the AP courses do NOT have the necessary tools or the power to elaborate college readiness. That is an insult to educational standards as to say such a thing. Now I know what some of you may think about AP courses, they prepare us for college, etc. Take me for example I thought that I was college ready since I took my AP Calculus and AP English courses, I found that I was struggling through so much even though I had those courses and got A’s in all of them, I still was struggling quite a bit.

The bottom line here is that AP curriculum needs to be reworked in all aspects. The humor in this is no longer funny especially in terms of what happens to the students when they reach a college level; it makes relatively no sense what so ever. Making a class then dumbing your standards down in order to meet state regulations is a pitiful way of saying that all AP courses are meant to do is to drive money to the AP testers when students fail. I know of few people in the classes I was in that actually passed the AP exam that gives you college credit. As I have stated before, this is something that is being investigated through statistics from the AP College Board (AP Board) when I look at it from hindsight I can see my education just floating away from me! It makes me quite angry at the moment.

It may be a laughable to some but to me it was a reality. Stop the LAUGHTER! IT is no longer funny if it even was in the first place. It is time for some change to occur it may seem worthwhile to change many different things in the AP curriculum, but our standards must change if our AP curriculum is to change. In terms of our children and where we send them it makes no sense why these things should not change in the least! If the AP Courses we so long to get an A in do not help us then where must we go for assistance? That makes the lower end classes in high schools look like a big joke to many different people, and one of those people is me. For those of you who loved your AP course and it DID in fact help you prepare. By all means let ROWAN COUNTY in on the secret, as it is too easy by our standards now of days.

Please stop the humor, that is enough, it is time for AP courses to LOOK and MAKE students better at what they desire to be better at, and that is learning! We are hindering students from what we ourselves long to do for a living and that are learn. I hope what I have said has touched some part of what you feel as well, have a nice day.

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Categories: Curriculum Reform
  1. Keily Thornsbury
    December 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. I thought my AP classes in high school were going to prepare me for my first year of college, however those titles doesn’t prepare you for a darn thing. An AP course looks nice on college and university applications, but doesn’t prove anything; it less fools the schools. However, at my school we didn’t learn anything in those classes, they never challenged us; college is a real eye opener to nothing of what we thought we were going into. Colleges expect you to know more than the average students because they see that you’ve took these AP classes, when in reality you might have not learned anything and still passed with a high grade in them. These classes fool you into thinking you’re taking a challenge course, but in reality it’s like every other course in high school, easy!

  2. Jeri Herbig
    December 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I agree with what you say about the AP courses because I know else where around the U.S. there are many schools that lack high education. I do want to say though that the school I graduated from did very well in preparing us students for college. Obviously they can never tell us everything to know, but I feel that most teachers I interacted with strived for the best in the classroom. I unfortunatly did not take the opportunity given to me for AP courses. This being because I recently relized what having an education ment. I can say though that even though I had not been enrolled in AP, the classes down from that were sometimes quite challenging. Many people I knew were in AP though, and I have heard from some of the brightest students in the school how much effort was put into achieving good grades in their classes. Starting this year, the school will be making it possible for some students to graduate with already having an associates degree. Of course though, this will not apply to many students seeing it will be much more tedious and demanding.

  3. Jeri Herbig
    December 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I agree with what you are saying about AP courses because I understand that many schools are not challenging enough. On the other hand though that does not go for all schools. The school I recently graduated from held very high standards. Although I myself did not take the opportunity to be in AP classes, I know many students who did. Some of the brightest students in the school have said that the courses were hard and they had to put forth a lot of time and effort. I feel that my high school does a very decent job seeing that we are as prepared as they can get us for college. This year they also are making it possible for students to graduate with already having an associates degree. Obviously this will not apply to many students seeing that it will be much more tedious, demanding, and will take a lot more effort. I do not know how many students will try to take advantage of that, but I feel it is great that some students will be able to.

  4. Miranda
    December 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I remember taking AP courses back in high school. The thing is that I do not agree with you on how the teacher teaches. My school was not fancy enough to have an advance classes like AP. So, if you wanted to learn more you went through internet. I took AP Environmental Science and it was not a joke compared to your AP Calculus and English. My teacher was a college professor and I learned if you wanted an A then you would have to work for it. Then with being on internet I did have my problems with asking questions on a timely manner. The thing is that I learned how much work I had to put into the class and learned on my own. This has transfer over to my college classes where I prepare before class and study afterwards. Do not give me wrong I think you make good points, but I was taught different when it came to AP.

  5. Junebug
    December 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I agree totally with what you and all commenter’s are saying. I went and graduated from Elliott County high school in hopes to being a vet or vet tech so when I heard that our school was offering an AP Animal Science class I thought what a great way to get one of the classes out of the way. Then reality hit the teacher (which was the AG. teacher at our high school) he gave us a notebook full of outlines with blanks in them in which we would sit and watch movies of an hour a day seven days a week, may I ask exactly how your supposed to learn when all you do is watch, I am more of an active learner. Anyway when report card and progress reports came out I always had an A. Then the day for the test came and everyone in that class even one who was the valedictorian failed, none of us got the college credit, what a waste of time. Not only was that I waste but all of high school really, I have felt as if I am starting completely over.

  6. Brittany
    December 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I agree with what you are saying. When you take AP class’s you think that you are being prepared for college when you really are not. Many applications for these class’s look college like, but when you actually get in the class you really dont learn a thing. I took many honors class’s and one AP class in high school and we would watch movies, and mostly goof around. In the lower level class’s I would learn more than I would in the AP class’s. How is this suppost to help you at all? When you get in college and they see that you have taken a AP class they expect you to already know about the subject and they dont help you as much, but the bad thing about that is when you didnt learn anything in the AP class how are you suppost to keep up in the college class. If I had questions about something I would ask the teacher and they would explain a whole diffrent thing and I still wouldnt know anything about what I was stuck on. I think that AP courses are a good thing to have, but you should learn like you are in a AP course not like you are in a kindergarden class.

  1. December 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm

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