Approaching junior or senior year? These are your options

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Senior Christine Martin is taking the ERWC course this year, commented that she chose to take the course instead of AP Literature because "I wanted help in a more real-life subject." Photo by: Tanya Turchyn

Tanya Turchyn

If you are approaching your junior or senior year of high school, it is important to become aware of the directions in which you can take your academics. Upperclassmen typically receive more freedom when it comes to picking the difficulty of their English and math classes, as well as focus of the courses they plan on taking.

As a junior, you are required to take a mathematics class, as three years of math is required to graduate. It is also a standard set to get into most universities, such as the University of California (UC) system and the California State University (CSU) system. However, as a senior, it is recommended but not actually required that you take a fourth year of math.

For mathematics at Ventura High School, several options are available, but the course depends less on a student’s grade and more on the course they took (and passed) previously. If a student has taken and passed the Math 1 and 2 classes as an underclassman, their options are Mathematics 3P, Mathematics 3H, Trigonometry, Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus H and Precalculus P.

After taking one of those courses, the next year, the options are: AP (Advanced Placement) Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC and Introduction to Statistics. The AP math courses are college-level courses for which a student may receive credit if they pass the subsequent AP exam. Moreover, many of these courses, such as the AP courses, require a current teacher’s approval based on a student’s grade and math ability.

Other classes that can be used to fulfill a math credit or continue one’s math education are Money Management and AP Computer Science A.

Graphic by: Tanya Turchyn

As for English, the subject is required to be taken for four years, so both juniors and seniors must continue taking English subjects.

For juniors, the options are: English 11 P and AP English Language and Composition. AP English Language and Composition, like the aforementioned calculus courses, is a college-level class that can also provide students with college credit. It studies prose that was composed in a variety of time periods as well as teaches students to compose rhetorical, argumentative and document-based writing.

As for seniors, the options include English 12 P, English 12 P ERWC (Expository Reading and Writing Course) and AP English Literature and Composition. English 12 ERWC is a course that aids students in the process of writing college admission essays, constructing their college application, and preparing for the material that will be taught in college. This course does not receive honors credit, but is slightly more challenging than the regular English 12 P course. Senior Christine Martin commented that she took the course because she “wanted to improve [her] college apps and personal writing and also read more current world texts.”

AP English Literature and Composition studies British and World literature, and teaches writing that focuses on “superior command of organization and logic.” This course also provides college-credit if its corresponding AP exam is passed.