Honors vs. Advanced Placement Paths in AOIT

By: Kylie Griep, AOIT Intern

When you are in AOIT, you will get to a point when you will have to decide between taking AP classes or Honors classes. During your sophomore year, you get your first choices with science and history. You can either take AP Environmental Science (APES) or Earth Science (Honors). I took AP Environmental Science to get that AP credit and it’s definitely not a bad class to take as my first AP. I recommend the challenge of APES because I have heard that Earth Science is very easy and it will get you ready for any other APs you take in the future by getting you into the college level mindset. The other AP choice is a little more important because it will determine the classes you will take for your Sophomore AND Junior year. You will have to choose between AP Human Geography (APHuG) or American History I (Honors). If you take APHuG you will have to take the APs in History AND English for your Junior year. Same with American History I, you would have to take the honors classes for History AND English in your Junior year. Mainly because when you take American History I, you take American History II the next year. I ended up taking American History I in my sophomore year because of this reason. I didn’t enjoy having to choose between taking only 3 APs or only 3 Honors and it was an all-or-nothing deal. I believe they mainly do this because Honors English and Honors History were taken as an A/B schedule, as well as AP English and AP History. An A/B schedule means that both classes are taken year long in the same period and they are alternate every day. For example, you may have English on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while History is on Tuesday and Thursday. Then it flips the next week. When I took these classes, only the AP classes had an A/B schedule which meant that you couldn’t take one AP and one Honors. I felt like I could have done well in an AP English class but maybe not as well in an AP History class. It didn’t help that a B in an AP class would be like an A in an academic class when it comes to GPAs. So I chose to be safe rather than sorry.

American History I was easy in my opinion and to be honest, I am glad I took the honors classes over the APs. I feel like I obtained the information and actually learned it a lot better in the honors classes than if I had taken the AP. Because the majority of my grade of AOIT took the APs, there was only one class period for the honors. I had the same people in that class and because none of my best friends were taking the honors route, it was kind of nice to have the same familiar people. It also was nice because I now have friends that I probably never would have had if I took the APs. I didn’t take the APs so I can’t tell you how hard or easy they are but from what I have heard is a lot of times people are complaining about the class and then they will come back and say I should have taken it, so I honestly don’t know. I do know that I am happy I took a class that was my level and when you are making the decision to take the AP or Honors path, makes sure you consider your level instead of just taking an AP to look good for college.

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