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Ranking the Hardest AP Courses Offered at Pentucket

Photo Source: Wikipedia.org
Photo Source: Wikipedia.org

Advanced Placement classes are often the talk of the town for curious underclassmen. Most of them have to start thinking about what APs they should or should not take in their high school career. I’ll cut to the chase and give you a quick rundown of what AP classes are considered difficult and easy, based on statistics, student opinion, and teacher opinion.


According to the College Board, these are the hardest APs offered at Pentucket, based upon pass rates (what percent of people got a 3 or more):


  1. AP US History 47.5%
  2. AP US Government 49.2%
  3. AP English Language and Composition 56.1%
  4. AP Psychology 59.6%
  5. AP Statistics 60%
  6. AP Computer Science Principles 63.1 %
  7. AP Biology 64.4%
  8. AP Computer Science A 68%
  9. AP German 68%
  10. AP Physics C: Mechanics 73.5%
  11. AP Chemistry 75.1%
  12. AP Calc BC 78.5%
  13. AP English Literature and Composition 77.2%


Take all of this with a grain of salt…


If you’re thinking about what APs you should take in High School, don’t place too much emphasis on this one ranking. There are many variables when it comes to AP classes and how difficult the exam can be. First of all, some teachers simply teach better than others, and having a below-average teacher can affect how much you actually learn. Secondly, the AP exam can be harder depending on the year and what the content of the exam is. 


Student Opinion


Pentucket seniors Lily Friend, Lindsey Whalen, Aiden Sands, and Kade Dennis, were interviewed about what their thoughts were on what AP classes are the easiest and hardest. They’re all very studious and have taken their share of AP classes. They came to similar conclusions regarding which one is most challenging, according to their own experience. 


Lily Friend said her hardest AP was Computer Science A, stating “I’m really bad at coding.” She picked either AP Literature or AP Chemistry as her easiest.


Lindsey also picked AP Computer Science, stating “I can’t code.” She thinks AP Government was her easiest, saying “We have no work.”


Aiden Sands picked AP statistics as his easiest, saying it was “easy-level math and not a lot of work.” 


Both Sands and Dennis Picked AP Calculus as the hardest AP class they ever took. I’ve personally overheard many people from that class talking about how tough it is.


Kade Dennis said AP Literature was his easiest, saying “It’s just like AP Language, which you take before it, but it’s a lot easier and more entertaining.”

His hardest AP class was a tie between AP Chemistry and AP Calculus.


Teacher Opinion


I asked Mrs. Endyke, who oversees the science department, what her thoughts were. She said “Each course is unique and rigorous in its own way,” and continued with, “If students are interested in taking AP classes, they should have a discussion with their current science teacher to find out what class would be the right fit for them.”


As Mrs. Endyke pointed out, one should discuss with their current teacher to see what would be the best course of action. You also don’t have to take AP sciences; there are many other science classes to choose from to get your credits.


It’s different for everyone


One takeaway from both the interviews and statistics is this: Everybody has a different experience when it comes to AP classes, and one class could be harder for someone but very easy for another. If you don’t have much experience with coding, like Lily and Lindsey did, a class like AP Computer Science A would be much more difficult. For example, I didn’t think AP English Language was too difficult because I was a decent writer going into the class and I liked American Literature. If one took that class and was less experienced and inclined as a writer, they will perceive it as more challenging. 


Everybody has strengths and weaknesses that could prove helpful or harmful when it comes to different AP classes. I’d suggest thinking deeply about what you enjoy in school, and then picking an AP class based on that. When you are passionate about something or you enjoy it, it feels more effortless and natural to succeed in understanding it well. Take that into consideration when picking your next AP classes.

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