Are AP Classes Worth The Stress?

Jevin Dorsey, Reporter

Psychology. Statistics. Environmental Science. AP classes come in a variety of different subjects and boost GPA by an extra point, which makes them appealing to students nationwide. According to College Board, more than 1.17 million students took 3.98 million AP exams in public schools across the nation. However, with that GPA boost comes an immense amount of stress due to the rigor of the course and the time management needed to succeed in these classes.

This subject begs many questions: wouldn’t it be easier to take that extra load off your back by taking easier classes and excelling, rather than taking more challenging classes that force you to work hard and focus more? Or is that reward much greater in the long term than the easier classes are in the short term? According to certain students at Rancho Mirage High School, excelling under pressure for future benefits is far more rewarding than sitting back and not taking that challenge.

At Rancho Mirage High School, the balance of extracurricular activities and academics is vital to a student’s success. Nelson Gonzalez (11), the starting center for the Rattlers football team and a thrower on the track and field team, knows what it’s like to have to try and focus on both academics and athletics. “Well when I chose to take AP classes, I knew I had to put in extra work because sports always take up lots of time,” Gonzalez says. “So, I’ve had to learn time management in order to be successful.” But like many of our students, the rewards are far greater than the sacrifice. “Being able to say I did all that, it makes me feel accomplished. Self satisfaction, academic recognition, confidence. It gives you all of these.”

So, are AP courses worth the stress? At Rancho Mirage High School, we challenge our students to step out of their comfort zone and take charge of their learning, so our students are more willing to take the greater risk for the greater reward.