The Benefits of AP Classes

by Nurene Canawati

      Every school year, juniors and seniors take Advanced Placement (AP) courses to better themselves in work ethics and their college admission prospects. There are currently 27 AP classes offered here at Ayala. Whether you take CP or honors courses during your freshman or sophomore year, there are prerequisites to get into an AP class based on your current grade. A student needs to get an A in CP classes or an A or B in Honors classes in order to be allowed to take an AP class junior or senior year.

      If a student is in an AP class during junior year, the student is encouraged to get an A in order to continue to take any AP classes senior year.

      “It’s harder to take multiple AP classes in your junior than your senior because your junior year is the hardest year in high school,”said Mr. Ryan Bell, the school counselor. 

      Mr. Bell often motivates his students as school counselor by saying, “Never give up on your own academics in school.”

      The school counselors at Ayala are expecting all students to have their grades up by the end of the school year, so they can potentially sign up to take an AP class during their junior or senior year. 

      It also depends where the student wants to go in college, the intended major, and the reasoning behind wanting to take multiple AP classes in school.

      Junior Cayce John is currently taking 3 AP classes right now. Her favorite subject in AP is currently history. She is also currently taking AP English 11 (called 11 AP) and it’s very easy for her because she had the same English teacher, Mrs. Laura Grissom, who helps her with her essays and guides her to become better in writing essays.

      On her motivation for working hard in her AP classes, John said, “I want to challenge myself in AP so it would be easier for me in college.”     

      This school year, it’s Mrs. Grissom's first time teaching 12th grade AP English Literature at Ayala. She enjoys teaching AP English to her seniors. AP English Language for 11th grade is more focused on analysis of nonfiction and critiquing essays than AP English Literature for 12th grade because 12 AP is more focused on the imaginative literature in fiction.

      Mrs. Grissom has taught 11 AP and 10 Honors for about 20 years at Ayala. Mrs. Grissom doesn’t necessarily expect a student taking an AP English class to get an easy A or also to be perfect in AP in junior and senior year. She expects the student to better themselves and to improve their analysis and writing skills over time. She hopes that students do all their work to better their curiosity as they are in the class learning everyday in an AP class.

      Mrs. Grissom often uses the Henry David Thoreau quote to inspire her AP junior and senior students: “Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”