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AP: Absolutely Preposterous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Weapons of Mass Instruction have been discovered in schools nationwide. Standardization of education is a plague that comes in many forms but none as detrimental as the AP class.

AP, or Advanced Placement, enrollment supposedly signifies that a ­student is intelligent enough to take college-level courses in high school. In reality, it’s just Academic Pollution. You do not learn the material to become enlightened. You learn to pass a test. You learn so that you can impress ­admissions officers with your weighted GPA. You learn so that when you enter college as a sophomore, you can fast-track your way to a high-paying job and the “real world.” But signing away your childhood to the College Board is Absolutely Preposterous.

Dealing with those gifted children who actually want to be educated often presents a challenge to administrators. Easily bored in classes that don’t stimulate them, these students release their pent-up frustration at their intellectual stagnation in the form of classroom disruptions. The solution? Lump all the Annoying Prodigies into one class and teach them the higher-level material they crave.

However, this isolation only creates further problems: Students are stratified into two spheres of existence. Like oil and water, these groups rarely mix or interact, resulting in an unmotivated class of slackers and a bunch of Antisocial Puppets, neither group knowing how to deal with the other. School should develop students socially as well as academically, preparing them to coexist with people from all walks in this rapidly changing world.

The fundamental rule in AP classes is Avoid People. Who has time for ­distracting social engagements? The massive homework load, looming deadlines and supplementary study groups slowly suck up your week.

Life doesn’t exist outside of meaningless busywork. Most often this ­consists of Absentminded Prattle, or the art of explaining concepts that you don’t understand, care about, or ever really need. The essay is no longer a forum for sharing opinions or arguing a case; it’s a formulaic regurgitation of exactly what the teacher/grader/counselor wants to hear. Anything Pedantic scores very well. Dick and Jane don’t play ball; Dick and Jane ­violently propel spherical objects at each other’s cranial cavities.

Weekends are for Application Padding: community service, multiple musical instruments, perhaps a sport or two, and other such “educational experiences.” Only Approved Pastimes are permissible. If a college wouldn’t care, neither should you.

Aggressive Parents enhance the whole experience with constant poking and pushing: “Do more, do it better, and do it faster than everyone around you. Don’t slack off. Don’t you want get into college?” Flipping burgers at McDonald’s is a favorite all-purpose threat, as if no respectable place of ­employment accepts applications from students who can’t name all the Chinese dynasties or integrate complex polynomials. Applying Pressure is a parental specialty, ­although the constant in-class reminders about judgment day (a.k.a. the AP test) don’t do anything to alleviate the stress.

Abandon Principles and accept it; shape yourself to fit the College Board cookie-cutter. AP is not learning but memorizing and rewording when prompted. AP is Always Procrastinating, staying up until one to finish that paper due tomorrow or the last of those French conjugations. AP is an obstacle course with never-ending hoops to jump through. AP is being taught ­exactly what to think and how to think it. At the end of the year, they evaluate on how well you regurgitate.

And so we sit in our little box, ­swallowing unquestioningly and vomiting on command, waiting for the sweet freedom that college brings. But can we survive the blinding sun of ­individual opinion? Or are we Altered Permanently to obey?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 98 comments. Post your own!

Rosella29Burns said...
Dec. 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm:
I strictly recommend not to hold back until you get big sum of cash to order goods! You should get the mortgage loans or just credit loan and feel yourself comfortable
 
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Nac201 said...
Oct. 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm:
Let's be honest with ourselves. AP credits/classes/exams are to get you in the door at the university. Other than that, nobody really cares. (many/most) graduate schools don't accept/dislike AP credits. I guess if you're looking for a terminal BA degree then by all means go ahead. Or if you wish to be a film major go ahead. If you want to go further in life, take the college courses to get there instead of thinking your sixteen year old self got you ahead of the game, because he didn... (more »)
 
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MarianRUSH21 said...
Oct. 2, 2013 at 10:56 am:
Buildings are not cheap and not every person can buy it. However, credit loans are created to help people in such kind of cases.
 
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SilogramThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm:
Also, the author makes a lot of generalizations. "You learn to pass a test. You learn so that you can impress admissions officers with your weighted GPA." Maybe YOU did that. Not everyone. Some people actually felt more comfortable with the pacing of AP classes. I think they're more dangerous when you are forced into them by parents or counselors or general societal/peer pressure.
 
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SilogramThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm:
In many aspects, I agree with the argument this article makes. HOWEVER, for me, AP classes were perfect. Honors classes at my school were too easy for me, and the few times I withheld myself from taking an AP class at my school, I transferred up to an AP class if it was available within days. I take 5 AP classes this year, and I have maintained a social life all year. I play piano, write stories, watch sports, and goof off (I play videogames too). Also, some of the material I've learned in A... (more »)
 
rkknack replied...
Oct. 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm :
See how many graduate schools want you AP credits buddy :)  I won't make you wait until then....zero. 
 
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dwoobs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 1, 2013 at 9:09 am:
Not a sir.
 
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dwoobs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2013 at 11:58 am:
I find this naive and a bit whiney. The point you seem to be raising is that AP classes create a social hierarchy and teach kids to only study for a test instead of learn at a lower level.  You raise a few viable points, speaking of using so much time just to study for a test and how, stereotypically, intelligent students get bored and act out in lower-difficulty classes.  But I also find your argument offensive, condemning those who are in AP classes and accusing them of wasting a... (more »)
 
Agreeing replied...
Apr. 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm :
You, sir, are totally correct.
 
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fireandrainThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm:
This was really good! The next time my mom starts talking about how i won't be in AP classes, then I will be showing this to her! Thanks for the ammuntion!
 
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Bu Sun K. said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 8:31 pm:
I agree that the play on AP was quite clever, however, I must also agree with several other commentors that the author made it seem as though these were universal truthsrather than his or her own opinions. Yes, there is lots of memorization involved in these classes, but my teachers have always made room to add discussion.  Memorization is learning.  At some point you memorized the alphabet so that you could read and eventually write.  The memorization may be difficult and borin... (more »)
 
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ilovewriting95This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 22, 2013 at 6:48 pm:
Wow! This is a well-written article that brings up some good points. I haven't taken AP classes so I can't really comment on whether or not I think AP is that bad but it does appear that way I do agree that school has become less about wanting to learn and more about grades, transcripts, GPA and doing only what will impress colleges. I think one main reason why students are unhappy with the college they choose to go to their first year and drop out or transfer is because of the idea of b... (more »)
 
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OracleIzThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm:
My AP class is no where as difficult as this article describes but I do agree it is a place for the students who need a challenge. At the begining of this year,I was in English 11 but the first day my teacher pulled me and said that there was no way she could help me develop in her regular class because of my high lexile. I am glad I switched because the things they are doing now,such as reading the book 'Speak",I did in the 7th grade and I would have gotten bored...fast.
 
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Alex said...
Jun. 2, 2012 at 10:55 am:
This guy probably was an all regular student who is just jealous.
 
SolEtude replied...
Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm :
Seeing as her grammer is impeccable and vocabulary at college-board par, I doubt that she is an "all regular student". 
 
Guest replied...
Apr. 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm :
It doesn't take a regular student to have good "grammer".
 
Poeteer replied...
May 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm :
Nor does it take one to spell the word "grammar" correctly.
 
Bad_at_UsernamesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
today at 3:23 pm :
How incredibly ignorant of you, your comment only strangthens the writers thought that you're creating a social hiearchy. Implying that because someone doesn't take an advanced class they must be bad at writing... In the words of Alvert Einstien "Everyone's a genious but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will go its entire life believing it is a failure"
 
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SmellsLikeTeenWriter said...
Jan. 16, 2012 at 10:38 am:
I agree with the majority of this article (This is my first year taking AP, and I've been telling my parents nearly every night during dinner that they should abolish the whole stupid program. When you've got spaghetti sauce on your notes because that's the only time you can study, something's got to be done!), but I don't agree with the whole antisocial thing. I really like everyone in my AP classes! Anyways, great writing. I hope someone up high in the education system reads this.
 
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EPluribusUnumThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 16, 2012 at 10:27 am:
First off, that was really well written. I loved what you did with the AP's (Absolute Perfection). My parents made me take AP Government this year. They spent the first few months telling me that there is no reason I shouldn't get A's, that if I didn't do better I would have to quit color gaurd (which keeps me sane!), ect. Then they go and tell me I should invite so and so over, not be so anitsocial, talk to people, as if I have the time. My situation in that class is not unique. Actually, I thi... (more »)
 
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