Christian Tuminski, CFNN Editor/Reporter

Mr Lucas’ Classroom, filled with AP European History students.

If you’ve ever thought “I would really like to get some college credit without actually going to college,” then look no further, because Cape Fear High has an impressive amount of AP courses ready for you to enroll in and experience!

What exactly is the AP program? AP stands for Advanced Placement. Simply put, the program is a way for high school students to experience the rigorous workload, ethics and mentality of a true college course, right here at school.

AP Literature with Mr. Grates

AP classes, aside from being academically impressive if you pass, can prepare you for other things later in life. “Our amazing AP teachers at CF not only prepare our students for the AP exams,” said Mrs. Amy Karcher, our AP Coordinator here at Cape Fear, “They also prepare them for being successful in college and life.”

Perhaps you’ve thought at some point; “I don’t want to take an AP Class because of the workload,” or “Nothing offered here at Cape Fear interests me.” The workload, however, is a good thing. It prepares you for the workload of other college classes.

As for interests (or lack thereof), with the amount of AP classes offered at Cape Fear, that is difficult to believe. It is recommended that all students start out with AP Human Geography, but there is an AP class for everyone! From Government to Calculus to Biology and even Literature, there’s an AP class in every major subject.

When asked if he thought AP classes prepared him for college, “Definitely,” said Zach Mead, a former AP student who is now enrolled at Texas A&M. He also said, “Some of the AP classes I took were harder than my college classes.” 

However, the goal of an AP class is not simply to provide you with hardship, but to kick your butt now so that you don’t get your butt kicked when it matters. Further, it helps to expose you to the subject far earlier. 

Mrs. Amy Karcher, Cape Fear AIG Coordinator.

“Even if you don’t earn the college credit, the AP course you took will have you more than prepared for the same class in college.” said Mrs. Karcher. As an AP student, you’re exposing yourself to the material and you will have an advantage should you ever need to take the class again. 

So how do AP classes work? Essentially, the class is taught on Cape Fear’s campus for a semester. Some classes, such as AP U.S. History and AP English Language and Composition, are year-round classes. At the end of the semester, a final exam is given for the school. However, the big kahuna, the proverbial final boss, is the National Exam.

The National Exam essentially determines whether a student will get college credit, and is ranked from 1 to 5, usually containing both multiple choice and an essay. Anything from a ranking of 3 to 5 is a passing grade.

AP Teacher and Teacher of the Year Candidate Chris Lucas

The best part is that tons of colleges accept AP credits because they are a national program. “Just about any school is going to accept AP credit,” said Mrs. Karcher when asked about which schools accept AP credits, “but the best thing to do is to research the schools you’re interested in and see what they accept and what scores they prefer.”

When I asked Mrs. Karcher what she would say to kids thinking about the AP program, her reply was simple: “The AP program is an amazing opportunity to prepare for college and future endeavors.”

If you haven’t thought about it yet, now is the time. The more AP classes you take, the better.

Trust the words of Mr. Lucas, an AP teacher who regularly achieves some of the highest pass rates in the county, “It’s free, and you save money in the long run.” And what’s not to like about free stuff?