How to Survive an AP Class


History teacher Josh Bill gestures while teaching an AP U.S. History class at Waukegan High School, January 8, 2013. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Tori Wilkes, Author

When most students hear the phrase, AP, fear might creep into their minds because of previous comments they have heard others make about AP classes. AP Classes are designed to push a student to reach their full potential by making the class curriculum similar to a college level class. There are ways to make it out alive of an AP class with a limited amount of tears.

  1. Stay organized. By writing down what the teacher said to do before the next class the student will not forget to complete an assignment. Most students rely on their memory, but by having a visible document of what you have to do you will not forget about it.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. AP Classes are meant to be challenging on the student. Since the classes are college level and the student is in high school, it is likely they will have questions. The teacher is there to help the student grasp the topic, not to discourage the student they cannot do it. If anything, the teacher will encourage the student to do their best.
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. AP classes are designed to push a student to do their best in strained time limits and in certain situations. Students can sometimes feel pressured to live up to certain standards, but every student is an individual. It’s okay to strive for a goal but they should not strive to be someone else.
  4. Keep to-do lists. By keeping a to-do list, the student can have a visual plan in front of them. Also, there is a feeling of satisfaction whenever a task can be crossed off.
  5. Make a schedule. Since AP classes can quickly become a first priority, it’s helpful to make a schedule, maybe hour-by-hour, of all the homework for all the classes the student has. Also by planning class-by-class, the student can make intentional breaks with a set time limit.