AP & Honors Courses

Should I Take an AP/Honors Class?

In a short two minute video, Challenge Success Co-Founder Dr. Denise Pope offers questions and considerations for students and parents to ask themselves to help make this decision.

Honors (H) and Advanced Placement (AP) courses provide an opportunity for students to pursue a more rigorous course of study. The philosophy of Oak Park High School is to encourage students to extend themselves by taking the most rigorous courses that they can succeed in. More than 50% of our students take one or more honors or advanced placement course during their high school career. Eligibility for honors and advanced placement courses includes a strong passion for the course content and previous evidence of exemplary work in the subject matter. Prerequisites for all courses are detailed in the course descriptions that follow. AP courses, which follow a college-level course of study, prepare students to take an exam sponsored by the College Board in May. Many colleges and universities grant college credit for courses taken in high school if the student passes the exam. However, it is important to note that individual colleges and universities determine their own policies for granting college credits for AP classes.

AP & Honors Courses Offered at OPHS

*Click CollegeBoard image or here for list of AP Courses and 2020 exam dates

Characteristics of an AP/Honors Student:

  • Independent and self-motivated learners dedicated to school work

  • Committed to homework and a lot of extra reading and research

  • Responsible: able to multitask, to prioritize activities, to make deadlines

  • Prepared and organized - has already demonstrated strong study skills and time management skills

  • Beyond proficient in reading and writing

  • Have the ability to grasp new concepts at a rigorous pace without intervention.

Why Take An AP Class?

  • The Advanced Placement experience is not for every student. Before choosing to enroll in an AP course, consider these factors:

  • Your past performance in the subject area. If a student has always excelled at science, AP Chemistry may be a great idea. On the other hand, if he or she tends to struggle or takes considerable time to grasp concepts in math, an advanced math class might be too much of an ordeal.

  • Your skills and intellectual capabilities. AP courses in the humanities-English, history, philosophy, etc.-require heavy amounts of reading and writing. Is your student prepared for long, difficult reading assignments, multiple essays, and in-depth research papers?

  • Your child's schedule. A student who plays sports year-round, holds leadership positions in one or more extracurricular activities, and/or has a part-time job may find it difficult to meet the sizeable obligations of an AP class.

  • Your child's GPA. No student should take an AP course if it's likely to lower his or her overall GPA. College admissions officers want to see students taking challenging courses, but they also want to see strong grades. If your child is worried about maintaining decent grades in an AP course, it might be wise to stay with an honors course.