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NP3 Students Weigh in on Taking AP Classes

By Krista Chouang
Co-Editor | The Pacific Times

When considering what classes to take, many NP3 High students are not sure whether the extra work and stress that comes with taking AP classes is worth it.

But NP3 High principal Melissa Mori says that AP classes are beneficial for both preparing and applying for college.

The Advanced Placement program, or AP Program, offers college-level courses and exams that you can take in high school, according to the College Board. College Board is a non-profit organization that expands high school students’ opportunities for college success.

“The rigor mirrors college courses, the dialogue and discourse is at a very high level and prepares students to engage, and the college credit is a bonus and is very well received in the application process,” said Mori. “With many colleges moving away from SATs, AP classes set students apart and show they’re able to succeed in academically rigorous courses.”

There are many AP courses available to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors at NP3, including AP United States History, AP English Language & Composition, AP Seminar, AP Calculus, AP Biology, and more. To view the course catalog for the 2022-23, go to

Some courses previously available, such as AP World History, will not be offered during the 2022-23 school year.

According to Mori, school administrators believe the difficulty of the AP World History class and test negatively affected students’ mental health and discouraged them from taking more AP classes as juniors.

Instead, NP3 High will be offering Honors World History and AP Seminar to sophomores.

“It’s a phenomenal AP course, so we’re hoping that by taking away AP World, we can get more kids to take AP Seminar,” said Mori.

Some students who are currently taking or have previously taken AP World History believe that the class should remain available.

“I think AP World History is beneficial to students who want to move forward in AP classes because the rigor and work you have to put in prepares you for more,” said sophomore Surya Tanikella.

Overall, when asked by The Pacific Times, NP3 students gave AP classes mixed reviews.

Joseph Diaz, a senior who took AP Calculus, said he did not feel ready before taking the class because AP classes are famous for being hard.

“In all cases I kinda thought I was (ready for taking AP classes) and I was wrong,” said senior Benjamin Chisum, who has taken seven AP classes. “But that’s kind of AP, you always underestimate the amount of work, but just take it and deal with it.”

Students reported there are positives to taking AP classes such as learning challenging content, having higher-level conversations with peers in the class, and getting a GPA boost from the weighted grades earned by completing the classes.

“AP World makes you interact with people to ask questions and get out of your comfort zone, so I guess I would recommend it to people,” said Aarthi Vijayarajah, a sophomore who took AP World History.

“I liked actually having a sense of difficulty and who I was with, because my classmates were more engaged in a more difficult class,” added Chisum. “And obviously I got AP credit for passing the test, so that’s the main pro of taking an AP class, the AP credit.”

Most colleges and universities give college credit to students who earn passing scores on AP exams.

Students admitted that the workload can be challenging when taking AP classes.

“Most of the difficulty came from the amount of work, rather than the actual difficulty of the class itself, and wow, it sure is a lot of work,” said Chisum.

Some students said they regretted how they studied for AP coursework.

“I regret not pushing myself to take better notes, and have a more structured schedule, and I also wish I took more notes in the beginning,” said Vijayarajah.

Conversely, Chisum said he regrets taking too many AP classes.

“It was too much, I almost failed those classes, my GPA tanked because of that one term in junior year. It went from over a four and it dropped to almost three point five just from that one term,” he said.

Overall, students recommended taking AP classes if the student is interested in the subject and thinks they can handle the workload.

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