Free the Freshmen: New AP class offered to freshmen questioned; stress deemed unnecessary

Rachel Lock, Web Editor

Think back to your freshman year.

For some of you, it began just last month.

Your first day of high school, regardless of when it was, was probably a major culture shock.

Crowded, unfamiliar hallways.

Weird policies and traditions.

Rooms that seem to — like the staircases in Hogwarts — change location just as the bell rings.

Lockers that are out to get you.

Ridiculously tall football players with beards.

Not to mention the new expectations in the classroom. During my freshman year, though I sometimes felt overwhelmed, my classes seemed like just the right transition into high school.

I cannot imagine on top of all the other changes happening freshman year, taking an Advanced Placement course, AP Human Geography.

Let’s get one thing straight — I am in no way insulting the intellectual capacity of the freshman class. I am only questioning the necessity of this kind of pressure so early on in high school. AP classes are full of rigorous coursework, excessive amounts of homework and deep analysis of information. They’re structured differently than anything students saw in middle school, and throwing that onto the pile of new things freshmen have to tackle over the course of the year is not an ideal way to introduce the new expectations for school work.

When going into AP European History as sophomores, we were told that our brains weren’t developed enough to process information at the AP level when we were freshmen.

Does this age requirement just change based on the circumstances?

Have humans managed a massive feat of evolution in a matter of years, causing their brains to develop more quickly?

According to, in 2014, 29.5 percent of students scored a one, and 18.4 percent of students scored a two on the AP Human Geography exam. Why offer a class that students, on average, are not succeeding in?

AP classes are a great opportunity for students to obtain college credit and stretch their academic capabilities. Therefore, an introductory course to AP or even just an honors class should be offered to freshmen. In this setting, they could be exposed to AP tasks to get them ready for the real thing next year instead of just throwing them to the wolves.