AP Aptitude

The end of the school year is typically defined by spring fever where most students count the days till summer break instead of focusing on their schoolwork. Some students decided to take AP tests for their AP classes and cannot participate in this countdown as they have to rigorously study to be prepared.

Senior Maxx Rathman took the AP tests for calculus, statistics, and government, and he has been preparing for weeks, cramming in little study sessions even when he was busy. Rathman said,  “I’ve been trying to get in as much study time as I could the best few weeks. I worked on the play, and anytime we were breaking, I was watching AP Gov review videos.”

Many students decide to take AP tests in order to gain college credit so they don’t have to take certain classes. While APs are a very popular option to gain college credit, they are not the only ones. College counselor Mr. Fred Baker said, “CLEP tests are another means of opting out of basic level classes in numerous subjects.  In my 23 years in college and high school settings, I have personally never known a student to use CLEP.  However, many colleges offer specific departmental exams to allow you to show proficiency and bypass lower-level classes.  In addition, AP exams and credit hours gained via concurrent/dual enrollment classes are a great way to pick up extra credits needed to graduate.  And a final route to help expedite graduation is to take summer classes at a local/community college.”

One thing that students who take AP classes like Rathman are frustrated by is the fact that the school does not weight GPAs, which counts AP classes the same as regular classes, even though they are more difficult. “It is kind of annoying that Catholic High doesn’t weight my AP classes in my GPA any differently from students not taking APs,” said Rathman. 

Despite complaints from students like Rathman, the school has not changed its policy. Mr. Baker said, “Weighting classes can lead to some misguided motives for students seeking honors and AP classes. Rather than taking the most difficult classes for the sake of the challenge or to best prepare them for the rigors of a university classroom, some students might instead take classes in an act of gamesmanship to artificially boost their GPA.

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