Advice for Freshmen: AP Euro or Nah?

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Advice for Freshmen: AP Euro or Nah?

Oliver Antone, Writer

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AP Euro Pros and Cons

Infographic by Katy Beth Boyers

As March slowly creeps up on the JPII community it can only mean one thing ―

choosing classes. While the sophomores and juniors have a pretty good idea of which classes they would like to take, the freshmen are put in an uncertain position; should they take or should they not take Advanced Placement European History?

Advanced Placement European History, or AP Euro, is an advanced history class preliminarily taken prior to the rest of the APs available to JPII students. JPII splits the class into two semesters with two different teachers, Mr. McLaren and Ms. Phillips, ending in May with the national exam. A select group of freshmen who have excelled in history and English (so that they may take the coinciding European Studies English course) are offered the choice to take the class once class selection begins. From their first days in the class, they are put through the trials and tribulations of the course.

A few pros to the class include college credits, the AP experience, Mr. McLaren and Ms. Phillips, and the European Studies class. AP Euro often offers college history credits if a student passes with a score of four or higher on the AP exam, a handful of colleges offer credit for three. Slowly gaining the ability to miss a year or two of history in college is a major plus, and a key reason to take the class. This offers more freedom for those who want to begin working on their major as fast as possible.

The AP experience is not something to miss out on! It helps teach testing-taking techniques, and the harder type of testing will also help in college. Rough and tough Dean of Students Mr. McLaren will surely help advance students’ testing and writing abilities, and a lucky few may even be able to see his soft side. Ms. Phillips will make sure that students understand content and perform at the best of their abilities in the class.

Cons include those pesky Document Based Questions, Long Essay Questions, Short Answer Questions, and more! Yet the extreme hand pain is worth it in the end, and learning to write fast sure helps on those last minute essays for English! The National Exam also poses a menacing con, but taking the practice exam shows students that Mr. McLaren and Ms. Phillips have more than prepared them for the exam.

Stress also lurks for all AP students, and many cope with it in different ways. Long nights of reading, writing, and sometimes even both seem daunting, but the college credit and new writing skills really pay off in the long term.
In the end the class is 100 percent worth the choice, it just takes a lot of effort. It is an extreme honor to be selected for the class and to refuse taking it can leave a great deal of regret. Every freshman that is offered the class should jump on the educational opportunity.

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