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Which AP is best for you?

Mrs. Ramsey's third period AP United States History
Photo taken by Co-Editor-in-Chief Vinh Le

Katelyn Lewis, Student Life Editor

Friday, December 1, 2023

(Patriot Press) - With the end of the first semester steadily approaching, it’s time to start thinking about spring semester classes. In this article, we’ll discuss the APs available at West Carteret during the second semester. AP Classes are college-level classes offered at a high school age. If you score a 3, 4, or 5 on your final exam, you can accumulate college credit! 

AP #1: AP United States Government and Politics - Mr. Cory Noe

Exam Date: May 6th, 2024

➤49% of students pass the exam with a 3+

According to College Board Inc., the goal of this course is to educate students on the inner workings of the political and cultural system of the United States Government. You will study documents such as The United States Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, and more! You will also have the opportunity to dive deeper into a factor of the government that particularly interests you and create a final civics project on it. 

AP Gov was by far my favorite AP course I have ever taken. The teacher, Mr. Noe, does an amazing job with balancing challenging assignments and tough curriculum with fun activities and interactive projects. My favorite project from the class was when we were tasked with making an in depth presentation on a political topic that we were passionate about. My project was on the glass ceiling for women, and the entire process was so fun. I ended up doing very well on the end of year exam, and that was thanks to the countless opportunities for multiple choice and FRQ practice and Mr. Noe’s investment in all of our individual success. I would take this course again in a heartbeat, and heavily recommend it to anyone interested in social science and our government.”                                                                   -Junior Dylan Livingston-Keeter


AP #2: AP Environmental Science - Mr. Matthew Graham

Exam Date: May 9th, 2024

➤53% of students pass the exam with a 3+

According to College Board Inc., AP Environmental Science allows students to better understand the inner workings of nature. You will have the opportunity to learn about both natural and human-caused environmental issues and ways to battle them. If you’re a hands-on learner, this class is for you! It is filled with lab investigations and field work. 

AP Earth is my favorite AP class that I've taken so far. Yes, there is a unit about the different types of soil but the class ties in politics, ethics, world relations, economy, and so much more. There is truly something in the class that everyone can enjoy. I also believe that it is one of the most important subject areas, seeing as the world is riddled with pollution and the climate crisis. There are days where we went outside and dug in the dirt, discovering cool critters, but also days that we created our own utopian version of Carteret County that ran off of clean energy and green initiatives. Mr. Graham is also very devoted to the study of environmental science which makes the class all the more interesting. His class prepared me excellently for the exam, and his style of teaching very closely resembles that of a true college course.”  -Junior Ella Graham

AP #3: AP 2-D Art and Design - Ms. Catherine Olander

Exam Date: May 10th, 2024

➤84% of students pass the exam with a 3+

According to College Board Inc., AP 2-D Art and Design develops skills across multiple styles such as graphic design, photography, collage, printmaking, fashion illustration, and more! Using these new skills, you will have the opportunity to create masterpieces reflecting your own personal interests and ideas. 

Creating a portfolio in AP Studio Art is a challenge and you definitely have to dedicate outside of school time to it, but it is worth it to create a portfolio you’re passionate about. You learn to put meaning behind a series of cohesive pieces, and it is more than the polished final works- your experimentation, writing, materials, and evidence are all important. You also can communicate with both art teachers to help guide you through it.”  -Senior Maria Windsor

AP #4: AP English Language and Composition - Ms. Emily Forguites

Exam Date: May 14th, 2024

➤56% of students pass the exam with a 3+

According to College Board Inc., in this AP you will learn about “the elements of argument and composition as you develop your critical-reading and writing skills.” Throughout the course you can expect to study many nonfiction publications and master the ability to write essays regarding any of the three purposes: Argumentative, Informative, or Persuasive. 

AP English Language and Composition is a mildly rigorous course, focusing primarily on the use of rhetoric in literature, as well as the composition of the English language. AP Lang is a class that I would highly recommend if you are looking to improve your essay-writing and master the essay format that most AP courses would require for their exams. AP Lang at West specifically, is an overall good class to take. Mrs. Forguites is an incredible teacher who really makes the effort to talk to her students. Although AP Lang is a generally approachable course, there are many aspects that make it challenging. I would say the second term of the semester when analyzing the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is the most challenging part of the class, since the book itself is not only difficult to read, but also the tests that are given are very specific. Most of the assignments that are given might seem like “busy work” but because of them, I felt extremely prepared, not only for the tests Mrs. Forguites would give, but the AP exam itself. Overall, I would recommend this class to anyone who is new to the world of AP courses and looking for a little bit more of a challenge than honors English classes. Mrs. Forguites is a great teacher and I really believe that as long as you have the discipline to do the assignments, you will ace the exam.”                                                                                             -Senior Vinh Le 

AP #5: AP Statistics - Ms. Katie Sherman

Exam Date: May 7th, 2024

➤60% of students pass the exam with a 3+

According to College Board Inc., this course will train you to utilize concepts and tools to manipulate data and draw conclusions from them. Activities will include designing your own surveys and experiments. AP Statistics will cover probability, categorical and quantitative data, and more!

I took AP Statistics in the spring semester of last year, and I enjoyed the course. It focuses on teaching students the basic principles of interpreting and analyzing statistics. While the material could be challenging at times, I found myself genuinely interested in the concepts it introduced. I had a lot of fun taking AP Statistics, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning more about the creation and utilization of statistics.”                                                                                 -Junior Hayden Harrelson 

AP #6: AP Precalculus - Ms. Lucille Melby

Exam Date: May 13th, 2024

➤No exam history!

According to College Board Inc., AP Precalculus is intended to prepare students for higher level college mathematics and scientific courses. The course benefits those looking to pursue further education and careers in mathematics, physics, biology, health science, social science, and data science.

“AP Precalculus is an intense course. Going straight into AP Precalculus from Math 3, without the experience from Math 4 is a struggle. If I could go back in time I would take Math 4 over AP Precalculus. The content in Pre Calc compared to previous math courses was very different and not what I was expecting. The content is difficult to grasp, even when asking questions. Getting a tutor significantly benefited me. If you are willing to commit to the class by put the required time and effort in, and listening in class, getting a good grade is possible! Nevertheless, the class is 100% preparing me for AP Calculus next year!” - Junior Liza Howard


AP #7: AP Human Geography - Ms. Lindsey Howell

Exam Date: May 7th, 2024

➤54% of students pass the exam with a 3+

According to College Board Inc., AP Human Geography is meant to help students better understand the impact humans have had on the world around them. You will be trained in skills that geographers use to collect and analyze data on human patterns in both real life situations and statistical instances as well. 

For me personally, AP Human Geography was a rigorous experience, but all the more worth it. The lessons I had to learn the hard way have been indispensable to me throughout my following years at this school. Through the SLA program I truly learned accountability, discipline, time management, and organization. These traits have been significant aids to me to excel in my classes and outside of school, in life. The year was not easy, but it was most certainly worth it in the end. I recommend it to people who are willing to bunker down and put in the work!”                                                                                                      -Junior Zoe Baily 

None of these particularly stand out to you? Talk to your counselor about the Dual Enrollment Opportunity offered through Carteret Community College’s “Career & College Promise” program! This program offers high school students tuition FREE options to partake in college level courses. Some examples of course offerings include: Public Speaking, General Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Music Appreciation, Jazz Appreciation, Art History Survey, Art Appreciation, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Intro to Ethics, Intrapersonal Communications, Theater Appreciation, Statistical Methods I, General Chemistry, Introduction to Geology, and more. Best of luck to you in this upcoming semester!

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