Wondering whether or not to take an AP or other advanced course? Look no further! Read what current and past students have to say about the classes in question:
AP World History
Mariana Leal: Take AP World! It’s super fun, you learn lots and lots, and the work load isn’t bad–only about four to seven hours a week (if you don’t procrastinate, you can spread it out). AP World is totally doable if you are taking Honors Chemistry, English 10A, and/or Algebra 2A.
Larissa Birthelmer: The Advanced Placement World History course is quite a bit of work, however, the class is fun, and teaches one so much. Not only do students learn about the history of the world, a fascinating subject, but also about themselves. Students are able to learn how to study best, how to scan documents for information and so many other valuable skills that can be used throughout their educational carrier. The homework does take time; it is about twenty pages of reading a week, however, it is well worth it. Mr. Forslund makes the class so much fun by filling it with enjoyable projects and laughter. Students who choose to take the AP World History class they are in for a fun year.
AP United States History
Larissa Birthelmer: This is by far one of the best classes I’ve ever taken, and history isn’t even my favorite subject. AP US History is a real college class. Independence is huge. There is little homework. While a little unorganized, Mr. Carpenter encourages the exchange of ideas and genuinely wants his students to understand the material. There are a lot of Socratic seminars, open discussions and lectures, again, a lot like a college class. Through these you not only begin understanding the past but the deep connection history has with the present. And just a word of advice for those who haven’t taken AP classes before: in a class full of intelligent students a big ego doesn’t get you very far, especially this class, where debate is popular.
AP US Government and Politics
Josh Fandel: This is a semester long class; there’s little to say about it other than that students certainly learn a lot about how the government functions, which is exactly what is supposed to happen. Mr. Carpenter is continually full of knowledge about how portions of the government work, and also consistently brings in recent real-world examples of the topics that are being covered. Students do fly pretty quickly through the textbook, but it is definitely smaller than the AP Micro textbook, and it hardly feels like you’re reading through it all. The work load is not difficult to manage at all. The longest assignments are probably the external (not from the textbook) reading passages that are occasionally assigned. Learning occurs smoothly for me in this class, and although it is a much more in-depth look at the United States government, it still essentially builds on things that everyone has already been taught. So long as you’ve gone to school, you’ll be prepared to take this class.
Gina Hervey: I would highly recommend this class for anyone either interested in economics and/or anyone interested in taking an advanced class to see what it’s like. The course is not a large time commitment; however some of the concepts can be difficult to apply. The class is primarily composed of lectures, so one must be good at note-taking. I would recommend reading the textbook, and getting a thorough study guide book to help master the concepts. The textbook is a bit confusing, but a good detailed start. Mr. Ellwood will also go over most of the basic, key concepts in class; however, an additional study guide is a more approachable text for reviewing before a test. The keys: do your current events on time, and make sure you understand all graphing and vocabulary.
David Hua: A one semester course, this class has been different than any other social science class I’ve taken. Lectures take up a majority of the period, and Mr. Ellwood moves at a slow enough pace so that people generally understand what he’s trying to teach. But if you fall asleep, you might just miss some extremely important concept (or an extremely funny story). The graphs and economic concepts may be hard to grasp at first, but after seeing them repeatedly both in class and in the book, you’ll be good friends with them soon enough. There is not that much homework for the class (generally one or two problems from the textbook), but make sure to read the textbook and notes before tests.
Accelerated English 10
Vanessa Mendez: This is an amazing class. Homework is almost always assigned. The homework is not very hard, but it is a lot. I recommend this class to anyone who wants to give it a try.
Alyssa Mintz: A class to fulfill your English requirement in college! IT ACTUALLY EXISTS! Mrs. Williamson and Mrs. Leach have done an amazing job with the curriculum—even creating a model for other teachers in the AP Rhetoric program. This class is a great way to not just read about an issue, but to voice your own opinion about it. Instead of writing about the symbolism of a poem, this class finally allows you to choose your own topic, write an essay and make a speech that becomes the best of your high school career. There is more difficult reading than sophomores usually face, but the teachers do a thorough job of pointing out significant things to remember and preparing your language composition for the AP test.
English 11 Honors
This is a unit based class, where at the beginning and middle of each of the units, you read the books, and at the end you have a group presentation and separate project. Units take approximately 5-6 weeks. In addition there are several in-class essays (and also some vocabulary quizzes).
Gina Hervey: This class is a delight, if one enjoys reading into stories…a lot. The class primarily consists of annotating, note-taking, group work, and class discussions. To excel, it helps to be a quick reader, and someone good at making connections to outside sources (finding allusions in a text). There is a fair amount of writing, but Ms. Fadave usually allows for plenty of time to edit and revise multi-draft essays. The key: don’t procrastinate, ask a lot of questions during poetry presentations, and write absolutely everything down when annotating a piece of literature. I would highly recommend the class if you enjoy novels, history, and critical thinking.
Kate Stewart and Alya Bohr: It’s conceptually difficult, but if you like science, it’s a fascinating class that covers many topics. It consists mainly of lecture and occasional labs. Compagno does assign homework every night, but it’s generally not TOO long (unless you have to take a while figuring out the concepts involved) and he rarely collects it. There are tests every few weeks and they’re pretty hard, but if you’re willing to dedicate time to study and make sure you understand the topics, it can be a great experience.
Natalie Ambrosio: This is certainly the hardest yet most rewarding class I’ve taken at Analy. Goldberg is a great teacher who is accessible and keeps the material fun. Homework is collected regularly and helps one’s grade as long as it’s done correctly. As someone who didn’t grasp the concepts easily I found that success on tests came for me after attending tutorial, having study sessions and doing homework problems repeatedly the day before the test.
Adrian Zamudio: Well you should definitely take this class. The material learned in Physics is unlike that learned in any other class, as you get to learn about things that actually apply to your daily life. Mr. Goldberg’s Physics teaching is impeccable; through his conversational language he is able to explain concepts in simple ways and make lectures intriguing. I’m not going to lie, the course itself does have a good amount of homework and difficult tests; however, for me, AP physics has been one of the most fun AP classes that I have ever taken. It is definitely the type of class that I would take again.
Alyssa Mintz: We’ve moved on from dissecting worms or owl scat. Advanced Biology is an in-depth class about the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Students explore all of the organs, bones, blood, and systems of the body and even get to blood type, dissect brains and sheep eyes. There is an annual fieldtrip to Yosemite or Monterey (depending on the year), as well as to see the cadavers at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Mr. Sherron loves what he does and really cares about his students’ success, making it easier for students to ask for help and understand the material.
Natalie Ambrosio: This class is not for those who don’t love science, reading dense textbooks, and listening to long lectures. Most of the learning comes from reading the textbook and I find that the only way I retain anything is to take in-depth notes. In order to succeed it’s necessary to do the reading (even if you don’t have to for the homework). While the class is reasonably curved to enable a fairly good grade without too much work, in order to feel prepared for the AP test your sincere effort and motivation is necessary.
Accelerated Algebra 2
Vanessa Mendez: This is one of my favorite classes. There is homework due every math period. The teacher is able to explain concepts very well. Groups are set up so that you can ask your group members any questions. It is a great class to take.
Ashton Fandel: While the assignments can get a tad lengthy, the problems themselves are generally not that difficult. For the ones that are, there is adequate time dedicated to going over them in class. Tests are not very formiddable, as long as you understand the concepts presented in the lessons. This class is manageable if you are taking Honors Chemistry, AP World, and English 10A, or any combination of those.
Adrian Zamudio: Honors Trig was pretty cool. It was the first advanced math course that I took, as I did not take Geometry A or Algebra 2A. If you’re in the same situation, don’t worry, you’ll survive. Although, the material in this class is some tricky business, or should I say “triggy” business. But seriously, it’s no joke. There is a lot of homework and difficult and long tests. Mr. Shea does a terrific job at teaching the subject. The class goes into depth in the concepts that we are exposed to. I was surprised how in this class it’s no longer a matter of simply using an equation, but a matter of understanding why we use equations and what the logic behind them is. Overall, the general thing that seemed to draw people away from appreciating the class is the fact that many of the topics taught in the course are very random and seem to have no logical connection to each other. But, it still was a great source for knowledge and I’m glad that I took the class, as I feel it prepared me well for AP calculus.
Natalie Ambrosio: Though its name tends to put a sense of doom into those not privy to its glory this class is probably my favorite class this year. It is true that a sense of determination and willingness to work some is necessary, but neither the workload nor the concepts are overwhelmingly difficult. Also, I must say that Ms. Amirkhan is not as scary as many think. It’s true that she expects much from her students, but she only pushes us to do the best we can do, she’s exceedingly reasonable as long as you talk to her, and she is also quite hilarious. If you have any interest in math and/or have worked through the trials of Analy’s advanced math classes you owe it to yourself to take this class.
Gina Hervey: This class is rewarding, if you are willing to work. The homework is not awful, nor the concepts outrageously difficult to grasp. However, the class moves quickly, and thus falling behind is somewhat deadly to one’s grade. If you keep up on the work, and make sure you understand everything taught in previous classes, it is not impossible to get an A. The class is geared toward scoring high on the AP test, and thus you will feel very prepared when the test comes. Though stressful at times, try not to get overanxious, too worried, or behind, and you will do fine.
Honors Spanish 4
Gina Hervey: The class is worth the wait. Very different from previous Spanish classes because it has no textbook and the course is divided up onto units by themes organized by Ms. Isabeau. The focus is on verb conjugations and grammar rather than vocabulary (there are very few vocabulary tests). There are no “pop quizzes,” but rather Ms. Isabeau will tell you of any tests or quizzes in advance. With a lot of practice in class, and a reasonable amount of work outside of class the time commitment is not large. Aside from weekly “paquetes”, and the occasional worksheet there is little homework. The key: do your weekly “paquetes” (correctly!), study for tests/quizzes, participate in class, and turn your journals in on time.