To Stay or Not to Stay: Debunking the Stigma Behind Dropping AP Classes

Ryan McKean, Senior Multimedia Editor

For many, taking an Advanced Placement class is incredibly challenging as hearing the words “Advancement Placement” scares people. Knowing that one is going to be placed in a college-level class while still being in high school takes guts, and the College Board themselves ensures that each AP class a student participates in will be challenging. 

 The College Board offers 38 AP courses; all, depending on the school, are offered to freshmen in high school to seniors. 

In the past, the College Board has prevented students from taking AP classes until their senior year of high school, with some schools not allowing students to take these classes at all. Since then, the rules have changed; now students can take as many AP courses as their schools provide and allow. However, taking multiple AP classes requires a certain type of grit; this is where some of the students decide to stick with it or drop AP classes that no longer suit them. 

Some of the AP classes’ exam dates overlap, meaning that a student could take more than one AP exam on the same day— one reason students contemplate if dropping a course is worth it. 

Another reason why students drop AP courses is not because of the course outline or the teacher, but the workload that follows. Because an AP class follows the structure of a college course, the workload of an AP course is similar to that of a college curriculum. Consequently, students become overwhelmed and then debate dropping the class. They soon realize prioritizing their mental health is more important than a flashy resume loaded with AP classes. 

Many students believe that once they drop an AP course, they lessen their chances of getting into a better college, or that their GPA has fewer chances of increasing. Some individuals perceive it as a lack of academic ability on the part of the student; however, this is not always the case—students must prioritize their mental health first over a college-level course.

As a student myself, prioritizing my academic schedule has taken some time, but I have learned that it should not matter what other people think if I drop an AP course. Do whatever it takes to make sure that your academic experience –especially in high school – is one that you will enjoy.