Students shouldn’t be intimidated by AP and Dual Credit courses


Edwin Perez-Hernandez

AP Spanish students prepare for a conversational Spanish simulation.

Lilibeth Arreola, Reporter

Scheduling with counselors has begun and as counselors try their best to guide students into the right direction, students have the responsibility to choose their classes for the next fall semester.

For many students the debate of taking AP courses rises.

“AP is not our focus, AP and dual credit is. Power 15 is,” Director of Student Services Dr. Fred Rasmussen said.

Power 15 is a plan for students to graduate PHS with at least 15 college credit hours.

In Palatine High School alone, the percent of students who took an AP course has increased and recently hit 65%, while AP and Dual Credit together hit 81%. With the 50+ AP and Dual Credit classes PHS has to offer, students are given the opportunity to graduate with many college credit hours.

The fear of AP classes rushes, and students begin to think twice about the level of difficulty AP and Dual Credit courses.

“Nothing is easy when were talking about college level classes,” Dr. Rasmussen said. “It’s a college level class, the expectations are high but if you’re willing to do the work then you’re going to be just as successful there as you were in a regular level class.”

As many know, depending on the score and college, AP classes consist of the AP exam which can ultimately lead to college credit. Meanwhile, Dual Credit courses partner with Harper College to receive credit hours.

Senior Hannah Tomkins, 17, is currently taking six AP classes.

“The hardest part would be managing all of them,” Tomkins said. “But you get to do a lot fun and different things, you’re also supposed to be willing to go in for help when you need it.”

Tomkins will take six exams in the end of the year to receive college credit.

Although AP courses tend to have a negative connotation, the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives.

Although AP courses tend to have a negative connotation, the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives.

Advanced class are supposed to be harder than your regular classes, they allow students to grow learning skills.

Time management becomes a very needed skill as well as, being able to know when you’re struggling and need help.

Pacing may be a problem in the beginning but adjusting becomes key to comprehend and follow the material.

“Students who are open to the challenge do extremely well, it’s all about mindset,” Rasmussen said. “Take a chance, the benefits of taking the opportunity going in with the right mindset is a challenge and it is designed to push and extend your learning.”

For students taking AP or Dual Credit courses, the difficulty levels vary. AP Physics seems to be thought of as the hardest class in PHS and AP Calculus BC is disliked as well.

Needless to say, these two courses like many others contribute to preparing student for the classes they will take in college.

As the school tries to achieve Power 15 by speaking about the benefits and releasing an app for the next school year, AP and Dual Credit courses will remain being promoted for all PHS to take advantage of.

Personal growth and skill developments are only a part of AP and Dual Credit courses. Having the chance to receive college credit is a great benefit many take for granted and should definitely be something students seek.