It is time Deerfield did away with AP courses. We are lucky enough to attend a school where we expect a top-notch education. By forcing students to follow an AP curriculum, making studying for the test an end all be all, Deerfield limits itself. Our teachers are fully capable of creating educational, insightful courses that prepare us for higher learning without help from the College Board. Students are more than capable of earning top marks on standardized tests without dedicating a yearlong course to preparing for it.
AP classes are meant to impress college admissions officers. In schools that are less well known, admissions officers often have a hard time figuring out the intensity of different classes offered and can be assured by a standard that AP classes across the country are the same. However, a Deerfield student can have an impressive transcript without AP classes. Few students here find an AP class to be their most challenging one.
As Exeter stated in its college profile, “Exeter declined participation in the College Board’s Advanced Placement audit, as all Exeter departments offer coursework that goes beyond the College Board’s AP curriculum.” We should be able to say the same thing.
As a reputable prep school, Deerfield already offers this challenge to every student regardless of whether or not they choose to step into an AP classroom. Our school works hard in all of its departments to prepare us for the workload and critical thinking we will need in college.
Some colleges allow students receiving 5’s on certain APs to skip levels or receive credit for graduation requirements.
Exeter’s college profile gives statistics about the score distribution of students who elected to take the AP test without having taken a specific AP class. This resulted in 69% of students receiving 5’s and only 10% scoring below a 3. Our English department has also proven we are able to score highly on the College Board’s test without a course name devoted to it. Deerfield must honor its heritage by breaking free of AP classes so that students can gain a more full perspective on the subjects they elect to take.