Can Advanced Placement courses be easy?

AP courses at McLean that students consider to be less difficult

Jessie Friedman, Reporter

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There’s no shortage of available AP classes offered at McLean, and students often feel pressured by their peers and mentors to sign up for as many as they can handle. Because of this, students often sign up for what they consider “easy AP classes” so they can get the college credit without putting in as much work.  Two AP classes that many students at McLean consider to be easy are AP Psychology and AP Environmental Science.

According to the College Board, “the purpose of the AP course in Psychology is to introduce the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals”. Although there are no required prerequisites for the course, students are advised to be “willing to accept the challenge of a rigorous academic curriculum”.

Most AP courses require extensive reading and the use of a college level textbook, and AP Psychology is no exception. However, it is not difficult to succeed in AP Psychology if a student participates and takes thorough notes. This earns AP Psychology the reputation as an easy AP class.

“What makes (AP Psychology) difficult is the intensity of the notes. You have to make sure you get every small, important detail down from the book,” junior Reagan Lumme said.

The college board states that “the goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world.”

The course is focused on the sociological standpoint rather than the lab science component, which is why it earns the reputation as an easy AP course. However, the class is heavy on textbook reading and tests can be difficult.

“Compared to some of my other AP classes the workload for AP Environmental Science isn’t bad,” senior Kaylin Harrington said.

Although there is nothing wrong with taking these courses, students should be aware that taking AP courses simply for the credit is never a good idea. Students should sign up for AP subjects they are truly interested in, and therefore are willing to put the necessary effort into.

What do you consider to be the easiest AP class at McLean?

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