Get Ahead, Stay Ahead


Sophomore Mimichelle Cao shares her experience with taking on an abundant four AP classes in just her second year of High School.

The joy of taking an AP class is one that most high school students are introduced to in their sophomore year. It’s common practice for students to dip their feet into the fathomless pool of advanced placement classes with AP World History. Parents and counselors will often encourage students to not overwhelm themselves with AP classes, as the intense workload and rigorous content can be a lot on teenager’s busy schedules. However, sophomore Mimichelle Cao is breaking those barriers by taking four AP classes as a sophomore.  

Cao hit the ground running this year with a schedule consisting of AP Biology, AP Seminar, AP Calculus AB, and AP World History. “I honestly just took the classes that I really did have an interest in, and I just kinda chased that,” said Cao. In addition to her four advanced placement classes this year, Cao was also enrolled in AP Music Theory last year. Taking her first AP class as a freshman helped to prepare Cao, and taught her what to expect in an AP environment. 

No stranger to taking advanced classes, Cao was set for her schedule to include AP Calculus AB after completing Math Analysis as a freshman. This is a rare path for high school students to take, but Cao enjoyed the challenge. Cao made sure that she understood what she was getting herself into, even if those around her worried about the course load being too much. “I think my dad was [opposed to the idea] at first, but he kinda got used to it, because I just kind of made sure to look things over and know what I was getting into,” said Cao. 

So what does a day in the life of a sophomore taking four AP classes look like? For Cao, it looks like waking up at 5 am to begin studying and completing homework assignments. Cao spends around 2 hours every morning preparing herself for classes she has that day. “I mostly go ahead and get that stuff done so I can get in the mood for school,” said Cao. Prioritizing her 90 minutes of Study Hall every other day is another way that Cao is able to prevent falling behind. 

One of the classes that Cao particularly enjoys is AP Seminar, a writing based class that focuses on creating essays and arguments about real-world issues. Cao has a lot planned for her sophomore year, and she has proved that the challenge of an advanced placement class is one that she can handle.