Bynion’s Opinion: Not all AP classes are created equal

Copy Editor Taylor Bynion often finds herself wishing there was a way to overcome life’s daily inconveniences, struggles, and challenges. This column gives her a space to share her feelings on everything from minor annoyances to more prominent issues, and hopefully make some positive changes along the way.


Awfully Painful. That’s what I think AP should stand for.

I love challenging myself by taking higher-level classes, and I love English. Naturally, taking AP English seemed like a great decision when it was time to make my junior year class schedule. Luckily, I was right. I like my teacher, and she has made me love writing even more than I previously did.

My experience, however, is not the same as everyone else’s. I know many people taking an AP class who feel like they aren’t challenged enough, while others are so swamped with work, they can’t even think straight. There doesn’t seem to be any consistent expectation for time and workload among the AP classes, and it often depends not on the course, but on which teacher you get.

Most people take an AP class to help them prepare for college. The general hope is that the credits accumulated from AP courses will transfer to the college of your choice. Ideally, you would not have to take as many college classes and might be able to graduate early.

This, however, is not a reality for most students. Colleges often require that classes related to your major be taken at the college. This means that AP credits in the subject area of your major wouldn’t transfer. Also, other colleges require a certain number of credits be taken at their institution, and AP credits might not be accepted. So, for an AP class that requires a lot of effort, time, and of course studying, is it really worth it?

I think it is worth it, but there should be more guidelines to standardize the workload given in AP classes. The expectations should be consistent among the sections for each subject, even if there are different teachers for that subject. Each AP section should receive the same amount of homework, classwork, and assignments, regardless of subject, so that workload is also consistent. This would ensure that students challenging themselves with AP classes are doing the same amount of work as those in other AP sections and classes.

If the AP classes are made uniform by subject, then all students will learn the same material at the same time. This would eliminate discrepancies between sections of the same level class. Students in one AP class shouldn’t be overwhelmed, while students in another section, just down the hall, enjoy a more stress-free class with a lighter workload.

Even if there are not multiple sections of the same AP class, I still think that the amount of work assigned and the time expectations should be the same across all subjects. The goal of all AP classes is to challenge and prepare students for college, and I think they should do exactly that, by requiring the same amount of work.

Overall, AP classes help students prepare for the work ahead of them in college. If you’re lucky enough for your AP classes to transfer to college credits, it may mean fewer classes in your future college career. With this being said, however, students should not have unhealthy levels of stress because they are taking AP courses. Making all AP courses equal in work and time commitment will help students understand what is expected of them when they register for an AP class.

Taylor Bynion is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and