Honors vs. College Prep: Take Two

Written by PaulMichael Mullally |

Students at Morgan are forced to make a decision between which academic-level class they are willing to take; the majority of students either take an honors or college prep leveled class.  The million-dollar question for each student is, which level do I take? 

Sit down and have a serious self-talk. Think thoroughly about what subjects interest you most, what subjects you are well  equipped for academically, what subjects you are more likely to succeed in. Compile a list of the core academic classes (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Foreign Language); divide the list into three sections and based on the following information, label one section “definite honors,” “definite CP,”  and “un-sure.”

Honors classes offer students a chance to demonstrate their academic prowess in a rigorous, fast-paced setting. Honors students typically are willing to accept an academic challenge, expect a greater amount of homework, and undergo more difficult testing. Tests usually examine a student’s basic comprehension of the material and its real-life application. In terms of college admissions, honors level classes can impress admissions officers and prove the students are academically dedicated and are willing to continue their seriousness about education through college.

College prep classes offer students a chance to be challenged, but the pace is slower. CP students typically receive average grades and want an easier academic challenge; students receive less homework in a CP class as compared to an honors class. Testing is usually more straight-forward or direct, and questions are more about comprehension and less about real-life application. CP classes are recommended for students who are not as academically strong in a certain subject.

Jonathan Markovics, an all honors student, says, “If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you will be able to do it; you earn the grade that you want to earn no matter what class your are in.”

In addition, Katie Costello, a college prep student stated that “In my sophomore year, I moved up to an honors level math class, and (unfortunately) I did not do so well; overall as a CP student, I feel prepared for college.”

Olivia Scobie claims the level is “all dependent on the subject.” “If you’re weaker in a certain subject, (the work and difficulty) is just as much,” said senior Ciarra Vanderveen.

As a senior who took both college prep and honors classes, with a majority of my classes being at the honors level, I have noticed two major differences: the work load and the difficulty of the tests. I took harder-honors level classes on material that interested me. In subjects that I felt I was not as strong in or did not have the greatest academic interest, I opted to take the CP level. Time was a major factor as to whether or not I wanted to commit myself to an all honors-schedule. Honors classes have definitely prepared me for college. CP classes helped me realize that I should take on an academic challenge.

Señora Luther, who teaches the same class at both the CP and honors level said, “My expectations are the same for both my honors and CP classes.” She claims that in her CP level classes, she reinforces additional practice of the material.

When choosing classes, abide by your current teachers professional recommendation.  Make a wise and appropriate decision because ultimately you (the student) makes the final decision.

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