Senior Advice for Choosing AP Courses

Ramya Rao, Features Editor

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Ward Melville offers a wide variety of AP courses, but as a result of scheduling policies such as mandatory lunch and the limit of 9 periods, students are forced to choose between classes. Many feel unsure about what to take and what to drop as rumors fly around the school about what classes are easier or more fun. Is AP Chemistry more difficult than AP Biology? Is it better to continue with a music class or switch over to a different elective? Seniors have their own advice to give indecisive underclassmen.

One major conflict which arises for juniors is whether to choose AP Chemistry or AP Biology. Most AP science students take Physics in their junior year, and are left with a choice of AP Biology or AP Chemistry in the fall. “I really wasn’t sure whether to pick Chemistry or Biology. I’ve heard a lot about Biology being harder and I don’t know which class I would be better suited for since I’m definitely interested in both subjects,” said junior Dafni Frohman.

Dan Yu, a senior taking AP Biology provided advise on the issue: “The class is extremely relaxed, and is taught like a college course. If memorization is your strong suit, then take AP Bio.”

Twelfth grader Harrison Li commented, “AP Chem is taught by probably the chillest teacher in the school, Dr. Brendel, yet somehow you still learn a lot!”

Senior Eric Zhang advised, “If you’re looking to major in math or science, go for AP Calc BC, Physics, and Chemistry, since that’ll make up the basis for what you’ll be learning in the future.”

Other students are faced with the conflict of whether to take a music course or turn to a different elective.

“I was conflicted whether to take AP Music Theory or Principles of Engineering. Both were interesting classes to me and I was looking forward to each. However, due to the not-so-mandatory mandatory lunch, I was forced to choose. I ended up sticking with Music Theory because it was something I was less familiar with,” commented Gary Ge over his scheduling conflicts.

However, the greatest conflict for juniors this year seemed to be over what history course to take.

“I was extremely unsure about whether to take AP Comparative or AP US. I’ve heard from a lot of people that Comparative is easier but I don’t know whether that’s the best reason for choosing a class. You never know what teacher you could get next year, or how the course might change,” said junior Erin O’Connell.

The major factor in deciding between courses for students is finding out where students’ interests lie. They shouldn’t take a class just because friends are taking it or because of rumors that it’s an easier course, but should  design schedules which expand their knowledge and explore their interests.

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