To AP or Not To AP…



So many AP classes, so little time!

Bella Angell, Opinion/Feature Editor

This time of year, during registration, the discussion among parents and students turns to Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Is the teacher recommending a student for an AP class? Who should take AP classes and why? Should the student take the class or waive out? Parents and students are planning classes for college and other future plans. What are the time and cost requirements for AP classes?


According to the North Forsyth High School Profile in 2017, there were 686 students who tested for AP exams. There were 23 AP classes available to students. The number of exams that were attempted was 1255. Approximately 67 percent of those students tested scored 3 or higher.


North Forsyth High School presents an Advanced Placement Program in January each year. Students and parents attend a general session about AP classes and AP exams. AP classes are college level classes that are taken while the student is in high school. The classes are taught over the school year by teachers who have received specialized AP training. AP exams have an attached cost in Forsyth County. The exams are given on the same day worldwide in May. The tests are scored 1-5, with 5 being the highest score possible. Students who earn a 3, 4 or 5 can receive college credit based on the individual requirements of each university.


In Forsyth County schools, AP classes are calculated into the student’s GPA with 1 quality point. This means a student who makes an A in an AP class will receive a 5.0 in the GPA calculation. A student who receives a B in an AP class will receive a 4.0 in the GPA calculation. This is for school calculations only. For the HOPE Scholarship, a student would receive a half point added into the GPA calculation. An A would be 4.5, a B would be 3.5 and a C would be 2.5.


Ms. Oliver, North Forsyth High School Assistant Principal and AP Administrator, explains why students should take AP classes. “Students should take AP classes for the rigor these classes offer. AP classes have national standards and national exams. Students who are successful in the classes and on the exams can read, think, and write critically. AP students are also more successful in college and are able to transition to college more effortlessly. Also, some colleges require AP classes in order for students to be admitted. Additionally, AP classes allow students to begin college with credit in classes, allowing students to graduate early or to double major.”

North Forsyth has a total of 26 AP classes available to students. Ms. Oliver tells us “We have added AP Computer Science, a new course nationally last year and this year, we are adding AP Latin and AP Spanish Literature.” Ms. Oliver also told us that North Forsyth High School has “allowed 10th grade students to take additional classes such as AP Psychology and AP Biology.”


When asked how AP classes affect our school, Ms. Oliver responded “I think AP classes allow us to have a richer curriculum. Teachers who have attended AP training can use the strategies that they learn to help all of their students. Many of our teachers have been to AP training even if they are not currently teaching AP classes.”


Taking an AP class should receive careful consideration. The decision will be based on strengths, interests and future planning for the student. Parents and students who still have questions about Advanced Placement classes should contact their current teacher, an AP teacher or their counselor.