Junyi and Yiyun argue for CHS to allow students to take as many AP classes as they want.

Junyi Su and Yiyun Xu

Many schools across the nation are placing a cap on the number of Advanced Placement courses a student can enroll in to decrease the stress and pressure put on the student; however, doing so limits the student’s chance to take the classes they prefer, and might strip away motivation as they are forced to take less challenging courses instead.

At CHS, students are only allowed to enroll in AP courses during their junior and senior years. Other schools, including Ladue High School, not only permit students to take AP courses starting freshman year, but Ladue students can also skip grades in a specific subject to push themselves even more.

By having only two years of time to take AP classes, CHS is already limiting enrollment in AP courses, so there is no need to place a quantitative cap to limit AP enrollment further.

One of the reasons why some people feel the need to limit the amount of APs is because AP classes place high stress on students. AP courses tend to have more homework and require more studying than other courses. However, these workloads challenge students to be more efficient in doing homework and studying, which serve as preparation for the college years to come.

Also, the amount of homework is different depending on the specific AP class. For example, the homework for AP Music Theory is very different from the homework for AP Physics II.

It is also the school’s responsibility to advise and guide students’ choices in course enrollments. Clayton has designed tests to measure student proficiency in a variety of subjects, and the highest level course placement should be based on assessments and teacher recommendations.

If a student wishes to take a more advanced class than recommended, they should request a meeting with their counselor. The fear of overextending the student should not be a reason to limit their choice of courses.

Many students take AP courses to push themselves and to meet others who share the same interests. Since AP courses are designed for college students, their contents are much more rigorous than those offered by College Prep or Honors classes. By not allowing students to take APs freely, the school restricts students’ freedom to pursue subjects and courses that they are passionate about.

Several students have also reflected that there is not enough time to take the classes they want.

Freshman Jessie Lin said, “There are a lot of classes that I want to take at the high school, but because of schedule problems I can’t take, and I feel like AP caps would cause the same problems.”

In case students do make mistakes and choose a class that is too advanced for them, they always have the option to drop out.

Kellan Duan, a junior currently enrolled in 3 AP classes, said, “I recognized at the end of sophomore year that I would have trouble trying to take AP Calc BC, AP Bio, AP Chem, and Honors American Lit all together. So I decided to drop HAL in favor of CP English III and to not take AP Bio altogether.”

In conclusion, Clayton should not limit the freedom of class enrollment. Doing so might be able to help some students to not overwork themselves because of peer and adult pressure, but after all, that should be up to the student.

All students will face competition and pressure later in life. There is no reason for high schools to limit student achievement.