2016-05-14 / The Bullhorn

Why AP?

By Delaney Sullivan
Bullhorn Editor

May is the prime time for students in advanced placement (AP) classes to take their exams, which are given nationwide.

The AP curriculum consists of high school courses that are equivalent to undergraduate college courses.

Students who take an AP exam can earn credits and accelerated placement in college. AP classes have been offered at Roxboro Community School (RCS) for 10 years.

When asked why she takes AP courses, veteran and current student of AP Kailey Oakley said, “They’ll prepare me for college, I can gain college credit if I pass the exams, and they challenge me academically.”

Oakley has taken AP U.S. history, AP psychology, AP world history, AP English language and composition, and AP human geography. Next year, her senior year, she plans to take AP environmental science, AP calculus, and AP English literature and composition.

First year AP student Dustin Humphries, who took AP psychology, said, “AP psychology has definitely benefited me. I have changed my study habits based on psychological principles and have seen how psychology is apparent in everyday life. Psychology is ubiquitous.”

Dr. Melissa Bartlett, an English III and AP English language and composition teacher at RCS, said, “I would advise students contemplating enrolling in AP English language and composition to prepare to write, write, write and to really learn English grammar, sentence structure, and prose composition.”

There is no doubt that taking an AP class is stressful, especially as exams rapidly approach.

Senior Autumn Butler gave the tip, “Don’t wait until the last minute to study. Don’t cram the night before the test. Plan ahead. Not doing so can be detrimental.”

The exams started on May 2 and ended yesterday, Friday, May 13. Over 30 AP exams were given this year.

Wanda Ball, English IV and AP English literature and composition teacher, said, “To be successful in AP English courses or any AP courses, in fact, students must be excellent readers. AP course exams require students to write sophisticated analytical essays within a 40-minute timed session, responding to reading which students have not studied in class. While many students excel on writing and discussion on texts which are studied in class, AP writing and reading require students to tackle brand new information where there is no teacher to provide guidance.

“These AP students must have the skills, confidence, and initiative to operate independently in responding to new tasks and texts.”

Ball has been teaching at RCS since 2006 and teaching AP since 2007.

“From my experience, just because a student makes good grades in an honors class, that is not an indicator he or she will be as successful in an AP class,” she added.

Adam Ramsey, a RCS senior, has taken AP English language and composition, AP English literature and composition, AP calculus, AP world history, AP statistics, and AP psychology.

“I really feel that taking AP classes has not only challenged me academically, but has also introduced me to a group of people who truly care about their studies,” said Ramsey. “Taking AP classes has fostered a sense of independence that I will carry with me to college.”

Not only are AP courses offered on campus, but the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) offers AP classes that RCS doesn’t offer in-house.

Roxboro Community High School Principal Darkarai Bryant, said, “AP courses, whether taken locally within our building or virtually, are a great way for high school students to gain exposure to the rigor of college level courses. We are fortunate at RCS, that even though we are a relatively small high school, [we are able] to offer a variety of AP opportunities on-site and supplemented by the NCVPS.

“Encouraging all our students to challenge themselves academically is the major part of what RCS is all about, and the AP course of study is a resource we use to accomplish that task.”

RCS students are grateful to all the teachers who help to make the AP courses possible and for encouraging students to discover their full potential.

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