Advanced classes, are they right for you?


Sharria Hudson

Students in Stephanie Reynolds AP Environmental Science class participate in a dirt lab.

As you registered for your classes for this year and next you might have felt a push to take an advanced or college-level class.

“They can help train students for college,” Alexis Smith, junior, said.

And a lot of your friends might already be enrolled in at least one.

“There are about 1,500-1,600 students in advanced classes and 1,050 students in one or more AP/IB class,” Christine Fougerousse, advanced academics coordinator, said.

So is an advanced class right for you?

You should first make sure that you are prepared enough for these classes.

“You will take risks on more rigorous lessons,” Kristin Crocker, English teacher, said.

And you must be sure to have the correct attitude because horseplay will not be tolerated.

“I’m not sure everyone in high school is mature enough for them,” Mike Roark, science teacher, said. “Most [students] shouldn’t because they can’t handle that responsibility.” 

But there are great benefits to taking advanced classes.

“You get more knowledge based on the fact that you get more work and you better understand the subject,” Trinity Russell, sophomore, said.

Additionally, taking AP classes in high school which could prepare you for college.

“The difference in rigor in high school and college is large,” Roark said. “It is best to push yourself by taking more difficult classes as a way to prepare.”

Many students do succeed in these classes but there are some signs that show one could be struggling. 

“One indication is grades but they also tend to avoid eye contact and avoid looking at you,” Roark said. “You can tell they are overwhelmed with the situation by their body language.”

But don’t fret too much if you don’t think you aren’t smart enough.

“There are different definitions of smart,” Crocker said. “You can’t say one is smarter than the other, not based on intelligence alone.”

In short, it is a good idea to take advantage of advanced classes while you have the support of the AHS faculty.

“It’s a great idea for every student to try at least one advanced class,” Crocker said. “It gives them an idea of college and it challenges them.”