The Roar

AP For a Day Before You AP For a Year

Students interested in AP classes have the chance to try them out before committing

Advanced Placement classes, also known as AP, are intro-level college classes for high school students interested in rigor and intellectual stimulation that academic classes may not offer. It’s challenging, but it will impress college administrators if they notice a positive trend of AP courses inside a student’s record.

Many students are interested in taking an AP course but might not know what that requires and what it truly looks like to be an AP student. People hear the good, bad and ugly about AP courses, but nobody really knows if they will find success until they are enrolled and embark on the year.

Senior Katie Craig began taking AP classes as a sophomore, enrolling in AP World. “[When I was] a sophomore, AP World was different than I thought it would be, but as the years have gone on, I’m usually pretty good at gauging the classes,” said Craig. Since then, Craig has taken AP US History, AP Biology, and AP Language.

The school has taken an initiative to make the process for students who are considering registering for AP courses. For the first time, Potomac Falls is offering students “AP For a Day,” that will allow students to shadow in any AP class.

AP Economics teacher Rob Puterio thinks the initiative is a great idea especially for those interested in his class. “The material is upper-level, so for [students] to come in and get a chance to see how groups in AP work together, I think it’s a good idea. I don’t know if it’s the same for other classes, but as far as AP Economics is concerned, I think it’s necessary for kids to feel the environment before they step in,” said Puterio.

AP For a Day enables students to personally see and feel how the class is taught. They are exposed to the teacher’s style, classroom environment, workload, and the subject itself – all of which are factors to consider when choosing whether or not to take an AP. The benefits of this day allow students to gain a new perspective on the curriculum, and essentially let students decide for themselves if it’s right for them.

Senior Kelly Mogensen recounts her experience trying to decide between AP and dual enrollment.  “I know I had a tough time deciding between doing Dual Enrollment English and AP Literature, but I talked to people that did AP Lit before and it didn’t seem too intimidating, so I decided to take it,” said Mogensen. “I love writing, [and] I found out there’s still plenty of writing in AP Lit now that I’m in the class, and I could have sampled that as an underclassman to make my decision easier.”

Craig experienced a similar dilemma on whether to enroll in several of the AP classes or find alternatives. “I thought I needed to take every AP available for me,” said Craig. “But I realized after junior year that that is an unrealistic expectation, and I should consider the dual enrollment courses.”

Depending on the judgments and experiences of previous students is not the same as sitting in the class for yourself. AP For a Day is an opportunity for underclassmen to sort out any second thoughts before finalizing their schedules.

“Things like the workload, teaching style, difficulty, etc. all differ from class to class,” said Craig. “[AP for a day] provides the underclassmen the opportunity to further gauge if an AP class is right for them.”

Sit inside a real AP class on a specific day and decide for yourself if this is what you want for next year. Sign up now as the last day to join a class is March 15:


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The student news site of Potomac Falls High School