Students Make Course Decisions for the Upcoming School Year
With about half of the 2022-2023 school year completed, NHS counselors are going to start scheduling for the 2023-2024 school year. On top of elective choices students also have to consider taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Just like an honors course, AP courses also offer a weighted GPA but they also can offer college credits that can help defray tuition costs for students attending college in the future.
A google form is required to be filled out for each requested AP course. A student’s first and last name, grade, counselor, and the student’s expectations for the course are all required parts of the form. It also requires a parent or guardian’s and the student’s electronic signature. Once the form is filled out a student has to set up a meeting with both their current teacher and the AP teacher of a specific subject and gain both teachers’ signatures. AP forms have to be in by March 11, 2023, but it is suggested by counselors that they be in earlier. AP courses will not be able to be added to a student’s schedule after September 16, 2023.
AP exams are given in May and have a fee of approximately $100 but students with a financial need are eligible for a free or reduced rate. A student can take an AP class in all four core subjects and any AP elective course as well. AP courses tend to be more writing-based than general education courses.
AP courses not only offer college credit but also challenge students academically. Alicia Michalek, an AP US History teacher said, “Teaching an AP course is different from a regular course because you’re teaching the material that College Board requires from their curriculum, not Nutley’s curriculum. AP courses require students to learn specific skills that they will then apply when taking an AP Exam at the end of the course.” AP US history, for example, requires students to be able to work on readings and questions at home while other work is being done in class.
As March approaches sophomores and juniors have to consider what courses they’d like to take. Many students who are interested in AP courses express concern about the amount of work and intensity of the course. Sophomore Isabella Dimasi said, “I’m concerned that I'm going to have too much work and that I won’t be able to keep my grades up.”.
Junior Kaan Aydin currently takes AP Biology, AP Language & Composition, and AP Spanish. He likes the challenge and rigor of the courses; however, he dislikes studying late at night. “I'm still considering, but I'm thinking of Chemistry, Calc AB, AP LIT, and APUSH next year,” he said, “but my main worry is having my GPA drop because of them."