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8 months ago
Admissions Advice
[edited]

Should I take AP English Language and Composition in junior year?
Answered

I am currently a sophomore in high school. I want to take 4 APs to make my transcript look good. I have decided to take AP United States History, AP Psychology, and AP Biology. I am currently deciding if I should take AP English Language and Composition as my fourth AP. I cannot take any math APs since my math level is not there yet. My weakest subject in school is English, and I have averaged around C+ to B as my grade. I have two thoughts about it: one, I take this course to look good for my college transcript and avoid teachers that choose their favorite students, or I go through the course with a lot of stress and look bad at my transcript.

My parents think that I should take normal English this year and take AP English Literature and Composition in my senior year. At the same time, I am thinking of taking AP English Language and Composition in my junior year since I am in English Honors class for a while. If I take normal English and take AP English in senior year, I may not do that well because I think I am not used to the "honors" grading. If I continue AP English in junior year, I would at least be used to the "honors" grading.

During the AP presentation, I heard that AP English Language and Composition course weighting has about 60% writing. Like I said earlier, English is not my strongest subject, and I do not do that well in that class.

I do not know if I should take AP English Language and Composition or normal English in my junior year. Any thoughts?

AP
english
risingjunior
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7
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4 answers

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Accepted Answer
8 months ago

Slightly mixed advice that has come out here so far -- I think the choice here largely depends on the question of whether you expect yourself to be able to put in any significantly greater effort, both in quality and quantity of time, for your English classes in the upcoming school year? If the answer is no, then I think it's pretty clear here that you should not take the AP class. If there is no reason for you to expect that you can improve your historical performance/level of ability, the AP standard class will not be a right fit for you. Yes the AP will be harder to get a good grade in, but I would argue that just as important a point is that the class may simply go at too fast a pace for you to learn the material as well or really retain the core concepts. Setting your academic foundation is as important as anything!

On the other hand, let's say that you are willing/able to put in that extra work. Maybe in this scenario you can take the AP... senior year. Let yourself see how you do, and if you are ready for an AP level class by seeing the results over the course of your junior year! I'm always all for students challenging themselves, but again you want to make sure that you've really given yourself a solid academic foundation before you go on to challenge yourself in more difficult exploits.

This isn't necessarily to argue totally that you shouldn't take the AP option in junior year. You know best, and there are factors that we as responders on the forum won't be aware of (how significant, for example, is the difference between honors and non-honors grading, and how likely is it that it makes a big difference in your grades?). So maybe a re-evaluation of all related factors could make you conclude that taking the junior year AP might make more sense -- having said that, with the information you've presented (especially your lack of comfort/confidence in English classes as a discipline), I definitely lean towards suggesting that you eschew the AP class!

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8
8 months ago

AP Lang is one of the most challenging AP classes you can take in high school in terms of the amount of critical high-level writing expected of you and the amount of time required to keep up with the reading and syllabus. To keep up, you will need to set aside 15-20 hours a week. If you are used to getting a C+/B in regular English, you will find that this course will not improve your grades or your GPA. There are many students who normally get an A in regular English that settle for a B in AP Lang. So you are already struggling, getting a C or an incomplete will not look good on your transcript.

I do not agree with the other respondent's answer because there are 2 parts of AP Lang, the course itself and the exam which are optional. The course itself is mind-numbing difficult and I got an A, I also scored a 5 on the AP exam. But I will say that the course is way harder than the exam. There were many classmates of mine who settle for Bs or Cs in AP lang even if they did the work and turned in all the assignments.

And as you plan your 12th-grade roadmap, I would urge you not to sign up AP Lit either if you have difficulty getting an A in regular English. I really dont' understand the accepted answer. If you got a C+/B in Geometry and Algebra 2, would you be signing up for AP Calc? If you got a C+/B in Bio and Chem would you be signing up for AP Bio and AP Chem. I don't think that would be a productive use of time and effort.

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4
8 months ago

if you had a C in the class, you should definitely take regular English class. It would be better to have an A rather than a C in AP. You want a high GPA . It sounds like you would do better in normal English.

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-2
8 months ago

If you are up for the challenge, take AP English Language and Composition. As you mentioned about the 60 percent writing, from my experience, writing is the most stressful part of the exam because you have to quickly analyze a text and form a coherent essay to a prompt. To earn full points, you also have to consider multiple perspectives or whatever (I forgot the other ways on how to earn full points for the frq) so it's great if you are open-minded. The MCQ questions are like difficult SAT questions but they test on more the analysis side (I always have done worse on the MCQ portion than FRQ because of how hard it is).

In short, take it if you are willing to put a lot of effort into improving your writing and analysis skills. In this class, you will actually learn that there is no wrong interpretation of a text as long as you can defend it, meaning your answer to your writing section can be your thoughts as you want as long as it answers the prompt, forms a thesis, and can be defended from the text given. Of course, this isn't the case for MCQs because they give you interpretations to choose from. If you are in New York by the way, this class will make the English regents seem like nothing. When I finished the class, my writing style has grown a lot so if you want to improve your writing, I think this class is the way to go.

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