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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Precalc being only an AP option

AP Precalculus students struggle to keep up
Noah Leventhal
Juniors Ari Rose and Lorenzo Romero-Torres solve precalculus problems on the whiteboard Friday Dec. 1. Precalculus classes are exclusively AP this year, so students must take the higher-level class.

This year, precalculus is only an AP (Advanced Placement) option, meaning that there isn’t any standard-level class that juniors can take. Many students are struggling to keep up with the fast-paced AP level because of this.

AP precalculus teacher Kristin Johnson said she approves of precalculus being only an AP option this year.

“Precalc being only an AP option this year is a good thing. The topics that are listed in the AP syllabus and the topics that we have traditionally taught in precalculus are aligned with each other, they are the same,” Johnson said. “The opportunity for students to earn a college credit while taking precalculus is wonderful.”

Junior Faye Miller said the inclusion of both an AP precalculus option and a non-AP precalculus option would be best.

“They should have an AP (class option) but they should also have a non-AP (class option) for people that don’t want to take the AP (class),” Miller said.

Junior Ellie Minnick said she lacked enthusiasm for the AP aspect of the class but it was the only class she could take.

“I was not that excited because my AP classes were really difficult and math was kind of hard, but it was the only class I could take,” Minnick said.

Johnson said precalculus is traditionally not an easy class but students assume it to be harder because of the AP aspect.

“Students interpret it with the A and the P in the front. There is an assumption that it means it is a harder class,” Johnson said. “Precalculus, traditionally, is not an easy class.The AP psychologically (makes) kids think it’s harder than the regular precalculus class.”

Minnick said that many people are struggling with learning with a fast-paced style.

“It’s really difficult to learn math with being so fast-paced and a lot of people are struggling,” Minnick said. “It’s a lot more difficult to understand the teaching, especially when it’s going so fast-paced.”

Miller said managing time effectively is an aspect of succeeding in a fast-paced AP style class.

“AP being the only option (means) some people can’t keep up because it’s a really difficult and fast-paced class,” Miller said. “People could if they can manage their time well and learn fast.”

Johnson said she was excited to teach this class due to the AP aspect. She said she was interested in observing components that colleges mandate to be included in AP curriculum.

“I was excited to teach because of the AP aspect and seeing the connections to colleges because colleges dictate what should be in the AP curriculum,” Johnson said. “(I like seeing) what (colleges) really think is important for kids to be ready to go to college and seeing those pieces and having that opportunity to share that with students.”


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About the Contributors
Kalsang Wangmo, Echo Staffer
Hi, My name is Kalsang. I’m a sophomore and this is my first year on Echo. When I'm not writing for Echo I like playing sports, I play basketball and do track. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and listening to music. I also enjoy deep woods hiking.  
Noah Leventhal, Digital Content Editor
Hi there! I'm Noah, a senior, and this is my third year on Echo. I'm super excited to take on the role of Digital Content Editor this year, making sure the website is in tip-top shape 24/7. I also manage our social media presence, working to expand Echo's reach as far as possible. When I'm not designing pages or writing stories for Echo, you'll find me enjoying movies, games, and occasionally playing ultimate frisbee.

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