The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Pros and cons of having AP classes in the spring

Photos by Ethan Adams
Lindsay Grant, Susan McGraw, Nathan Bunch, Brower Evenhouse, and Jack Thompson working on their classwork in AP Calculus BC.

Background on AP classes

  AP (Advanced Placement) courses are offered year-round at Athens Drive High School and many schools nationwide. As many students know, these classes give the rigorous preparation students need to prepare for college; the exam in the spring can even allow them to receive college credits or advanced placement classes when in college. 

“AP classes in the spring can be challenging because of the shortened time we have to prepare for the AP Exam. AP exams are at the beginning of May, so the instructional pace is sometimes sped up to ensure [the AP class teaches the full curriculum],” said Elizabeth Logsdon, AP Calculus teacher at Athens Drive.

This program provides its students with great opportunities, but the exams are only offered in the spring, which makes students question when is the “right time” to take these classes to prepare them for the exam. 


During the spring semester, AP courses lead up to the AP exams which require students to review less during the weeks leading up to their exams in May as students have the information fresh in their minds. Having AP classes in the fall requires that students remember all the knowledge from the class during the four-month gap from finishing the course which is not required in the spring semester as the exam is in May compared to the fall.

Logsdon teaching AP Calculus BC during the spring semester rushing to prepare her class for the AP exam. (Photos by Ethan Adams)

“It’s definitely quite difficult [to retain information for the AP exam] but I would rather take fall APs than spring because it gives me more time throughout the course,” said Andrew Worthy, AP Government Student at Athens Drive.

Having to retain the in-depth information from these classes for four months causes many students to struggle with remembering the content in the spring for the exam that provides them the chance to get college credits. The spring semester also proves to be a great time to take many AP classes as most sports are out of season so the spring semester provides the athletic students a chance to earn college credit without stressing as much over having a limited amount of time in a single day. 

“It is definitely intense, I mean, lacrosse is I think a very involved sport, but even if I played something less involved, there is just not a lot of time,” said Worthey.

Another pro for AP courses in the spring semester is that most large projects are kept until after the AP exam has ended, which gives curious students a chance to dive more in-depth after the exam has ended. Overall the spring semester AP classes hold many opportunities for students that the fall does not. 


In the spring semester, students have to complete the material in their AP class with almost one month less time than students get in the fall semester. This causes many students to experience more stress than in the fall as spring semester APs move at a faster, more challenging pace. 

“I would say it’s really fast, faster than in the fall but you don’t really feel it when you are working hard in the class [anyway], Leen Khadden, AP English student at Athens Drive. 

Patricia Hornick and her AP English Language class learning about rhetoric and how to properly write a proper essay. (Photos by Ethan Adams)

For many students who find the normal speed of AP classes already challenging, the spring semester can be harmful to their performance as they have to learn the same material in the spring but with less time to do so. This causes many AP classes in the spring to skip over material which can cause students not to be as well prepared for their AP exams as they could have been otherwise. Many students also feel that AP classes in the spring give less review leading up to the AP exams as they try to finish learning the material before the exam day. 

“It’s harder to make stuff more concrete so you actually have to do more work on your own to get the information memorized,” said Khadden.

The AP classes students take in the fall are less rushed than they are in the spring which many students like over the fast-paced spring courses which is a huge con in the AP experience in the spring semester. 

Overall Conclusion 

My conclusion on what semester is better to take AP courses in is that it truly depends on the student. Some students find it easier to have the classes right before the exam while others would rather have the extra time to learn it and just retain the knowledge. So the answer is there is no correct answer to when the best time to take AP classes is as there truly are pros and cons either way.

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