Some Woodside High School students take three to five advanced placement (AP) classes to increase their grade point averages (GPA) and challenge themselves.
According to the students, AP homework takes more than four hours a night, and they have little or no time to hang out with friends. The fear of failing class stresses them out. Is it necessary for students to take AP classes, and what are the benefits of these classes?
“I’m taking AP classes because I like to be challenged academically and to be a competent applicant for college,” said Woodside senior Milena Raeber.
Milena is taking five AP classes and dances two to three hours every day. She believes that the teaching system in AP classes is different from other classes, as it is more focused on preparing for college-level tests. They also require a certain amount of time for homework.
“I don’t hang out with my friends as much as I should,” shared Raeber. “I basically spend my time at school and dancing. It’s really sad.”
Another Woodside senior, Fatima Sanchez, takes AP Biology and AP Spanish. Sanchez devotes four hours to do homework each day and only sleeps five hours per night. Lack of sleep affects her mental health and stresses her out.
“AP classes sometimes make me feel stressed because I don’t have enough time to do a bunch of things that I have to do, like community service and sports,” said Sanchez.
Woodside’s lead school counselor, Francisco Negri, believes students need a healthy balance of academics and free time if they decide to take AP classes.
“As a counselor, I always want students just to try to balance,” Negri stated. “I think it’s important that they have downtime [and] family time and opportunity to explore their whole community.”