AP vs. regular classes: Is there a balance?


Sophomore Jake Nichols explains his decision not to take an AP class this year because it seemed difficult. Photo by: Tatum Luoma

Tatum Luoma

How many AP classes are students in this school year? With competition between students to get higher GPAs and college standards seeming to always be changing, finding a balance within high school courses is becoming a challenge.

At Ventura High School, students are offered four different options for each subject: college preparation classes, regular level classes, honors classes and AP classes. But what about the subjects with fewer choices? For example, junior year United States History has only two: regular level or AP. This leaves many students in a difficult position.

Junior Cody Black says almost all of his time is taken up by AP classes. Photo by: Tatum Luoma

AP classes are quite difficult and time-consuming, but regular level classes are not challenging enough for some. According to junior Cody Black,“[APUSH takes up] probably 90 percent of the work I do.” Black took several other classes at the regular level because AP seemed too difficult, but feels that he is not challenged enough at the regular level. For Black, finding a balance this year is proving to be difficult.

Sophomore Jake Nichols explains his decision not to take an AP class this year because it seemed to be too difficult. Photo by: Tatum Luoma

Currently, sophomore Jake Nichols is taking two honors classes, and decided not to take the sophomore AP class option, AP European History. “It [AP European History] is too much work. Honors World History feels like the right balance,” comments Nichols. Since a wide range of levels are offered for certain subjects, a balance can be more easily reached.

Senior Cassidy Hubert is currently taking a math class off of the VHS campus at Ventura College in order to find her equilibrium this school year. When asked about this course, Hubert commented, “I like to challenge myself and I think that it’s good to get experience in what college classes are [going to] be like.”

Click here to listen to an interview with senior Cassidy Hubert: