Students enroll in AP courses for college credit

Junior Sam Lonneman walks into Travis Fink’s 8th hour AP Calculus class, Lonneman’s 5th AP class of the day. Over 4 million high school students in the United States take an AP class every year, spread out across 38 courses.

At Har-Ber hundreds of students are enrolled across over 20 AP classes offered. Some students are very serious about AP classes, with some students taking up to five courses. Sophomore Owen Collins is currently taking two AP classes (AP World History and AP Biology), and he took one as a freshman. Owen doesn’t think AP classes are hard or stressful.

“They aren’t stressful because they’re not hard,” Collins said. He agrees a student would enjoy an AP class more if they’re interested with the material, but the teacher can also have a tremendous impact on the student’s performance in class.

“My favorite AP class was AP Human Geography because Mr. Pittman was awesome,” Collins said. He is also involved in extracurricular activities like band, quiz bowl, and boy scouts, but he says these activities don’t interfere with his classes. Sam is currently enrolled in five AP classes (AP Chemistry, AP Physics (Mechanics), AP Calculus, AP US History, and AP Computer Science). Unlike Collins, Lonneman thinks there is stress involved with AP classes.

“I think they’re stressful because you have to remember everything you learned throughout the year for the final exam,” Lonneman said. Lonneman is also involved in band, but thinks the five AP classes don’t interfere with band.

“I just find a routine” he said. Senior Rob Mason is currently taking four AP classes, and he took five as a junior. His grand total of AP classes including this year adds up to 10. Mason feels the stress of AP classes.

“There’s so much work, memorizing, and I lose sleep,” Mason said. Mason is very involved outside of class, specifically in quiz bowl, choir, and he works with his church.

“Managing AP classes and these activities is difficult,” Mason said.

Mason also believes the teacher is very critical in your performance in class.

“My favorite AP class was AP US History, because I enjoyed the material and Mr. Stewart was a great teacher,” he said.

Mason ended up with a five on the AP exam. Despite all of the negatives Mason faces, he believes the benefits outweigh those problems. In fact, Collins, Lonneman and Mason agree AP classes are more difficult than regular classes.

“I take them for college credit,” Lonneman said, “and I feel like if I didn’t take them, I wouldn’t be doing as much as I could.”