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Should I take a heavy load my Senior year?

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Thursday, July 24th, 2008 in Q&As

I’m a high school junior who is entering senior year pretty soon. I applied for many AP courses and happened to get into all of them. All together, there are four AP courses. My school goes by a six-class day. One of the classes lasts two whole classes. I guess I thought I wasn’t trying hard enough during the previous years and decided that senior year would be the one. Am I setting myself up for disaster here? I fear that with so much work, I’ll hardly get any time to relax.

AP Classes are a lot like college classes, depending on your college- so welcome to a more college-like schedule. Admittedly, having these courses every day is going to be rough (presumably you can handle it), but this isn’t too foreign to what you may experience in a full blown college- so don’t worry about it.

Basically, in your senior year, you have a choice- waste your time messing around with “Senior Events”, or study your rear off. I think the latter (what you seem to be doing) is going to do you better (some of those may transfer to your college and place you out of some basic requirements)- so in the long run, you’ll be better off.

Still, do keep in mind that you’ll be sacrificing a bit of your free time in your senior year, so be prepared to not be able to do some things. If you feel like you’ll want extra time to goof off with typical highschool stuff (senior yearbooks, whatever), then drop a class. Otherwise, stick with them- it will be excellent practice for college, and you’ll be ahead of the game down the road.

6 Responses to Should I take a heavy load my Senior year?

  1. Mikey says:

    While it is possible to balance all your AP classes AND have time for extracurricular (I knew a girl who had 5 AP classes, was president of her class, was part of the school senate, and played sports!), you should know that it is NOT recommended and this girl had the determination of a god. The recommended amount of AP classes is usually 3 and while a lot of AP classes LOOK good, they mean nothing if you can’t keep up a good mark in all and it’d be horrible for you not to not participate in any school activity and have shitty grades. Colleges also look at your leadership skills, your values, and your capability based on your school work AND your extracurricular work.

    Good luck, and don’t overwork yourself to the point where you don’t have time for activities or even a hobby.

  2. Algernon Moncrief says:

    At my school, the majority of the students take 1 AP in 9th; 2 in 10th; 4 in 11th; and slack off in 12th. I personally am electing to only take 3 in 11th but I know students who have taken 6/6 periods as AP courses and survived no problem. It’s really up to how much you want to be studying on a daily basis; or how much you are willing to cram in the 50-so days before the tests.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As anyone with real AP class experience can tell you, AP is easier than regular classes by several orders of magnitude. Since everything is studying and preparation for the AP tests, there isn’t that much work. Generally nobody does anything resembling work until the month before the AP test, when a mad scramble to read the material occurs.

  4. Burdock says:

    I agree with the answer that APs are a lot like college classes and do help in the long run. Then again, you do sacrifice a bit in terms of having extra free time. Personally, my senior year I took 5 AP classes (which included 6 exams) and a slack class (looking back on ROTC). Honestly, most of the class was preparing for the exam and I breezed through with just reading text books until the few weeks before the exam. I ended up passing all exams for the 7 APs I took (four 5s, one 4, and three 3s)and looking back, was able to attend a lot of school events, party on occasion, and still have fun with friends. A close friend of mine took 7 APs junior year, plans to take 7 her senior year and is involved in several extra curricular activities. Again, it all depends on how much you’re willing to sacrifice for success sometime down the road.

  5. Mikey says:

    I’d have to disagree with the Anonymous who says AP classes are preparation for the test. Of course, it depends on which teachers you get and how they plan on teaching the class but my experience was different. For my AP classes, the teacher taught us and it definitely didn’t feel like cramming for the AP exam, it felt like a course where it was pretty enjoyable to learn, though, pretty demanding. AP Government had us doing weekly presentations, a huge amount of debates, and reading. AP English had us writing 2-3 essays a week, always revising each other’s works. AP History had us working on projects and researching, and of course our tests were DBQs, but it never felt, in any of these classes, like our main purpose was to cram for the AP exam. Only in the 2-3 weeks before the test did we truly have study sessions, and we all did fine, with a couple of us getting 5s. Of course, your AP class is dependent on the teacher but anyone with real AP experience can tell you, it is a bit of work, way more than regular, especially if you take more.

  6. Cameron_chrysler@yahoo.com says:

    I had the same question. All I did to correct it was do my homework or assignments a quick as possible. I have 4 AP and have almost the time I get home till i go to bed to play. My AP English course is by far the hardest. I have to read almost a book a week. (Boring as hell books too.)

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