Should I Take It? Your Student Guide to Course Registration! (AP English III Edition)

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Shea McIntyre

RISING JUNIORS: What rigor of English is best for you? AP, honors, or academic… learn about AP to self-assess yourself before filling out course registration!

Shea McIntyre, Student Life Editor

It’s that wonderful time of year we call… course registration! Which means you’re more than halfway through the year, not completely done, but done enough to have to make pivotal decisions for the following year that might dictate the rest of your future. This short duration of time to select your class schedule as depicted above for many can be extremely anxious and scary. But what if you had access to someone telling you exactly what curriculum is being tested on you, what your work-week will look like, and gathering a real, organic explanation of what to expect from a specific course. Then… look no further!

As a rising senior, taker of a few AP courses, and an honest Sagittarius I’ve come to tell you all there is to know about particular Green Hope classes. There’s no particular structure/format I’m going about explaining these courses but I’d recommend reading through my tips and personal past experiences to assess yourself if this type of rigor/course/and focus would fit your learning style. Emphasis on: we’re all different learners and you should only take a course that’ll fit you, as an individual best!

 

I’ll update this with a chit-chat video version to understand my recommendations even further! Also, if you’d like me to review a certain class for you to assess yourself on… contact us on our Instagram (@theghfalcon) and request your course you want reviewed! 

 

Now, for today’s recommendation I’ll be reviewing a class I took only last fall semester (very fresh on my brain) and actually really enjoyed! I felt it was only appropriate to start with a class almost all rising juniors have to make some sort of decision on (whether to take it or not) and because English is required for students all four years of high school! So… today I’ll be telling you all you need to know about AP English Language and Composition (or as many students shorten it to, Apeng)!


Homework:

As pretty much all courses have some shape/form of homework many people have a preconceived notion that AP English, because of its higher rigor, has ungodly amounts of homework each night for students and I’ll debunk that myth real quick: that is not true! The homework format for this specific course is a little different in that you’re homework is of a greater impression or impact on your grade. Meaning, it doesn’t just get checked for “completion” as a Classwork grade where you can easily get a few 100s under your belt. With the greater weight your assignments have, this allows for more time however. So that’s kind of the trade-off with taking AP rather than honors/academic… for homework assignments (minus Vocab or Rhetorical Analysis… which I’ll get to) you’re given an extended duration of 3-4 days, sometimes weeks to complete things and these things will make up a Minor or even Major Assessment grade. With that, I forgot to address that you’ll will be given some completion assignments typically including a Vocabulary Log and a Weekly Rhetorical Analysis assignment. I’m not going to shed too much light on those and the explicit details that go into those but, those are typically due every Friday evening and are never back-breaking or difficult! The most difficult thing might be finding tricky words to define or creative speeches/songs/texts to analyze!

Reading:

Because its an English class there’s obviously going to be some reading… but have no fear: it isn’t 12 books you’ll be reading! This class is more writing and language centric (in my personal opinion) so normal reading comprehension tasks you’ve had in previous years like Chapter Quizzes, Book Reports, or anything of the sort aren’t really in this class. And there’s a lot more room for interpretation with your books which is really fun! Additionally, an important thing many students really like is that you have the option to choose what you read. The teachers provide a wonderful selection (10-15) of public-domain books, classic books, and books that include reading checklists, etc. I’m not going to detail all the assignments you’re given with your books but honestly if your reasoning for not taking AP English III is because of  “too much reading” I’ve come to tell you, whether you like it or not, that the reading is very very doable. And, keep this in mind: every English class at Green Hope follows the 4 units: Home + Family, Culture + Identity, Conformity + Rebellion, and Tradition + Progress… so no matter what rigor you end up taking, each class will be delving into similar themes/focuses!

Writing:

This is the main focus and almost skill you’ll have perfected from taking this course. Your ability to argue, or explain the usage of rhetorical devices employed by the end of this course will be stellar and with assignments like Timed Writings (not the funnest thing ever…) and Seminars (live or not) you’ll also be able to bring concepts into a broader-picture and that’s something that can really enhance your communication abilities no matter what path you plan to take in life (higher education or not). Additionally, all the writing you’re doing is emphasized to be as concise as you can make it (there are word limits to some assignments… essays mainly) and this is to help you with college applications perhaps (which all include word maximums) and also for you to practice writing in a effective way and not to just “fill space” on a document.

Speaking + Listening:

Alongside doing lots of writing activities corresponding to your book (really only the reading checklist), like other English classes (and honestly a lot of history/social studies classes) you’ll be graded on your speaking & listening abilities.. as being able to speak in-front of or to the class is important and being able to retain and understand your fellow classmates’ speech is also vital. The way many classes tackle this type of curriculum is through seminars or scored discussions, and AP English is no stranger to them! Now, unlike other courses where just “speaking” whether it’d be relevant to the conversation or just “echoing” what someone else said, you’d receive a point– this isn’t the case for this specific course. In AP English you’ll have to receive points with the inclusion of evidence, argument making, and universality. Although this process, as it’s a lot more strict, can be very daunting to students (myself included), it’s a really good way to practice exercising speaking only of things that’ll add and extend the conversation in a productive way. With this, in most classes, although I can’t totally guarantee anything, for the seminars you aren’t forced to be vocally speaking, you’re permitted to do a virtual form of this where you write out detailed questions, arguments, and more. Then, after the duration of time has ended you’ll be scored on your points made in the online discussion. These tend to be graded with less-lenience in that you’re able to take your own precious time asking questions online, perfecting your grammar/overall writing, etc. Personally I recommend trying the live-seminar format as it’ll really transfer over into all other parts of life with your new-found communications skills. But, for my intro and ambiverts, I totally get the more appealing option of doing an online discussion!


So… there you have it, many (probably too many) details about AP English Language and Composition for your course registration decisions. I hope this helps you decide which class is best for you (namely for rising juniors) and that you have as pleasant of an experience in the class you choose as I did!

Finally Falcons, remember all your courses should be picked out for you for the 2021-2022 school-year on Powerschool (under the Course Registration tab to the left of your screen) by Thursday March 11th! You don’t want to miss that date or else you’ll be put in some very random classes!