Editorial: AP classes overwhelm students


Desiree Spurkel

Now that AP classes are condensed due to the 4×4 block schedule, many AP students and staff members at The Pearl Post feel unprepared for AP exams.

Late-night study sessions, canceled weekend plans and cups of much-needed coffee have all increasingly become fixtures of Advanced Placement (AP) students’ lives. As the semester concludes, we have no end in sight.

AP classes are always notoriously stressful, but the anxiety they cause has worsened after Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) implemented a new 4×4 block schedule this semester. The majority of AP classes are now only one semester long, causing them to be much more fast paced than in previous years. This change has taken a toll on AP students, including many editors and writers for The Pearl Post, who are trying to juggle AP coursework and extracurricular activities.

Due to the block schedule, AP classes either start in August and end in December or don’t start until January and end in June. This is a frustrating twofold problem because most AP exams occur in May and many students feel unprepared. Students in fall semester AP classes have a gap in learning from January to May once their classes end, while students in spring semester AP classes don’t even start learning their AP content until January, giving them only five months to understand a year’s worth of material. 

The Pearl Post staff’s mental health has taken a hit because of these condensed AP classes. That being said, we still work tirelessly to produce content for our newsmagazine and website. 

Many teachers are trying to help AP students stay on track by offering after-school tutoring, which they should continue to do throughout the year. In addition to other AP students, The Pearl Post staff would benefit from school faculty members’ continued flexibility.