Course Selections: Can too many AP courses actually negatively impact a student?


Dr. Fuhrer

“Four Cs Slides”

Mahika Gupta, Staff Writer

Throughout the past month, high school students have been thinking about and selecting courses for the coming school year. In order to properly map out the next school year, they must be thinking about their path later in life, what they wish to accomplish and where they wish to be in the future. 

Many students and parents believe that taking four or more AP and Honors classes will further the chances of the student getting into a better college and therefore earn them an overall higher chance for better opportunities in life. While it may be true that it helps students prepare for college and move their learning along more quickly, too many AP courses may not be a healthy decision for students concerning their mental health. 

As numerous school officials have stated, taking more than two to three AP classes per year is not ideal for students’ mental health due to the workload and any other things that might cause too much stress. 

“Your choices [in course selections] should take into account personal interests and academic balance,” says Dr. Fuhrer in the “Four Cs of Course Planning and Selection” slides.

Many high school students do extracurricular activities: sports, volunteering, jobs or have difficult home lives to manage. These things, paired with classes that take up hours of time outside of school, may cause students to be unable to take the time they need to take care of themselves, both physically and emotionally. 

What is usually not understood in a community where a student spreading themselves thin is commendable is that taking too many AP classes may also negatively impact that student’s GPA. If too much of a workload is given, students can fall behind, and therefore end up scoring worse on multiple tests in that class, including on the final AP test taken at the end of the year, than they might have while taking one or two of those courses instead. 

In order to preserve the mental health of students while also preparing them for college, it is within their best interest to take a limited number of AP classes.