By: Lucy Gonzalez
Making your way through high school can be challenging, especially when you are taking college courses on top of all your other responsibilities. Advanced Placement courses require a lot more than normal high school classes due to the fact that they are college-level classes and have a rigorous curriculum. Students Ariana DeJesus, Daniela Ortiz, Ana-Sofia Canchola, and Carolina San-Martin have recently been recognized as College Board AP Scholars of Downtown Doral Charter Upper School for their achievements in their Advanced Placement courses.
Recognized by the College Board, these 11th grade students earned a score of 3 or greater on at least three different AP exams. “The students who received this award at DDCUS achieved it by taking AP exams over the last three years,” explained Dr. Belinda Leon, DDCUS’ College Advisor.
Daniela Ortiz, AP Scholar, shared that, just like the other recipients, this recognition was very meaningful. “Being recognized as an AP Scholar is a huge deal to me. It shows that all the hard work and effort I’ve put into these AP classes has paid off.”
These students have taken on many AP courses throughout their three years of high school and have accumulated many credits.“I’ve taken AP World History, AP Spanish, and AP Human Geography, and I am currently taking AP English, AP Spanish Literature, and AP Psychology,” Ariana DeJesus stated.
The other students have also taken on many courses – Daniela Ortiz strategically spread her seven courses out: “Three freshman year, one sophomore year, and three this year.”
Ana-Sofia Canchola, over the last three years, has completed six courses. When asked about the rigor of these courses, they all agreed AP World History was their hardest yet. “It was one of my first AP classes, and there was a lot of material to learn,” Canchola shared.
Ortiz also agreed AP World, as a first college level course, was very challenging. “I was unfamiliar with how the class worked– it was kind of my first taste of what an AP class would really be like, a hard snap back to reality.” AP Spanish Language turned out to be their easiest course to take: “Being fluent in the language helped me understand the course’s material quickly,” said DeJesus.
Although these students might have had some difficulty enrolling in these classes, their workload paid off with great scores on their College Board exams. When asked about the workload for these classes, they all explained that the amount of work assigned can be a lot to handle and manage, especially if you are taking more than one AP course at a time. By using to-do lists and distributing their work evenly throughout the week, these scholars were able to “keep track of the assignments and prevent having too much work to do on a single day,” said DeJesus.
Through hard work and effort, these scholars were able to achieve success, and succeeding in these courses makes a difference.
“It tells the colleges that you are ready and have the academic preparation to do well in college. That’s an incredible accomplishment,” explained Dr. Leon. Colleges recognize your commitment to handle these tough subjects and to do well in them. “Even if you get a B or a C in an AP course, it’s OK- colleges understand that you are challenging yourself by taking an advanced course and they will reward you for your effort. Therefore, a C in an AP course counts as 4 points toward your GPA, which is the same as an A in a regular high school course,” said Dr. Leon.
For more information regarding AP course selections, please see Dr. Leon, DDCUS’ College Advisor.