Brain Drain – The Most Difficult AP Classes

Senior Ariel Cadby-Spicer slaves over her AP English 12 homework during lunch. This is her 9th AP class of high school.

Madeline Brophy '14

Senior Ariel Cadby-Spicer slaves over her AP English 12 homework during lunch. This is her 9th AP class of high school.

Madeline Brophy '14, Photography Editor

Wakefield is arguably one of the strongest high schools in the nation. Wakefield offers over 20 AP classes, each undeniably challenging. These classes drive students insane – they lead to endless all-nighters, gallons of coffee, and one brain packed full of knowledge. With AP Exams in full effect, these students share their thoughts on the courses that have been the bane of their existence throughout the school year.

AP Physics C

AP Physics C is taught by Dr. Megargee. This course is recommended for students that have taken a lower-level Physics class in the past. It is separated from the other Physics courses because Calculus is required for most problems. Senior Elena Moldovan says, “This class seemed very challenging because the ideas and concepts are very complex, and visualizing the problem can be difficult at times! Before reaching the final answer one must go through a couple of formulas, definitions, integrations, and/or derivations.” Keeping an A is next to impossible – with Quest assignments due biweekly, and tests that make a student want to pull their hair out. If you’re looking for a real challenge, sign up for the class today!


AP Biology

Another science class that has students going insane is AP Biology taught by Mr.Calfee. This class certainly mimics a real college level course. Students are lectured each class and complete labs and other activities to test their knowledge. Senior Murphy Wilt says, “We have a test every week, so it’s really hard to properly prepare for each one. The content is so dense and challenging that it makes keeping up difficult.” An AP test every week?! I don’t blame these students for complaining. Although challenging, this class is the perfect introduction for students who hope to pursue a medical degree in the future.


AP Government

Every day, a different senior is heard boasting how late they stayed up doing their AP Gov. Living so close to DC, one would think a class about the government of the United States would be simple. Senior Alex Gilmore comments on why this class is such a drain. He says, “It’s hard because it’s a large workload. Over Spring Break, we had to complete six chapters in the review book as long as work in the review book. There were times when we’d come back from the weekend and get 40 pages of notes, 1-2 worksheets, and test corrections – all due the next class, not to mention almost daily quizzes in the class. It’s a lot of work to handle, especially as a second semester senior.” He has a point – when all seniors want to do is graduate, being required to complete hours of work each night can seem impossible.


AP Economics

Economics has recently become a required course to be taken by all high school students. Some students take the regular class, but others opt to challenge themselves, by taking AP Economics with Mr. Kelly. Senior Raquel Marriott is one of these students. She says, “I have found AP Econ to be challenging for me because of the time constraints I have faced during my senior year. AP Econ is very much so a theoretical class, where reading packets and the textbook become vital to one’s success in the class. It is very important to grasp early concepts fully in order to form a solid foundation for the rest of the course. It is still very interesting however, despite the challenges it brings.” The AP Exam for AP Economics is also an extremely long exam, because there are two parts – AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics. This class is a good one to have under your belt, because it is extremely applicable to your future financial life.


AP Calculus BC

Math. The bane of some students’ existence. Calculus is a whole different monster. In calculus, taught by Mrs. Shelton, you have to take EVERYTHING you have previously learned in math and use it to learn a whole different set of knowledge. Senior Sofia Navas-Sharry says, “If you don’t understand something, you’re lost for the rest of the year. You can’t understand integrals without understanding derivatives first. And you can’t understand derivatives without basic algebra [under] your belt. You need to know it forwards and backwards.” The difficulty of this class is evident in the class numbers – less than 15 students in the whole school. One thing is for sure: it certainly prepares you for college-level math!


AP Multivariable Calculus

To put this in perspective, Multivariable Calculus is everything that Calculus BC is, but multiplied by ten. Senior Dan Brown says, “Multivar is hard because you have to use all the math you have ever learned and apply it to 3D situations. Quadratic equations, trigonometry and integration was hard enough on a flat graph; when you have to do it in 3D it becomes extraordinarily difficult.” This class is only for the strongest of brains – take it if you dare.