AP Lit is not a cakewalk. You can’t just sit in the back, fall asleep, scribble a few sentences on the exam and expect to pass the class or the AP Exam. For some, the challenge of AP Lit is rewarding, a chance to use their brains and surround themselves with knowledge. For others, the only reason they are in the class is for the chance at college credit with a successful AP Exam score. There are any different number of variations of the types, but it all boils down to this: people sign up for AP Lit to get something out of it. But when is this not such a great plan? Here’s a few examples of when it might not be in your best interest to remain in the class…
You cannot stand the thought of writing essays.
No one actually likes writing essays. The fact is, though, AP Lit is full of them. You will eventually learn how to write amazing essays, but you will be constantly writing. Constantly. If this is something you just can’t see yourself doing, get out while you can.
Even thinking of reading makes your skin crawl.
The title of the class is AP English Literature. So, you will be reading. A lot. And yes, most of us would rather snuggle up with a copy of Harry Potter rather than trudge through Shakespearean anything, but if you just don’t like to read at all you just shouldn’t be in this class.
You would rather stab your eyes out than talk in class.
If you have a good teacher, a large part of what happens in class is discussions. And a portion of your grade is “class participation.” You need to be able to answer questions and not be afraid to ask questions or go out on a limb with an idea. If this doesn’t sound like something you can try to do, you should probably drop this class.
Your preferred method of studying is not studying.
For AP Lit, it is not as bad if you don’t have very good study habits as it would be if you were in, say, AP US History, but having good study skills is still an important part of succeeding in this class. You don’t have to like studying (no one does), but you need to be able to review books and remember key points easily. Or form a study group.
You never do your homework. Ever. On principle.
Even though most all of us will agree homework is useless, boring, and generally stupid, you really can’t succeed in AP Lit if you don’t do your homework. A lot of what your teacher asks you to do will be necessary in class (unless you have a bad teacher, in which case, my condolences). Homework is typically preparation for an in-class essay or class discussion. You really need to be prepared for those. So, if you have a vendetta against homework, you should probably drop this class.
Your teacher incites a deep feeling of dislike and utter contempt within you starting on Day 1.
As previously stated, you signed up for AP Lit to get something out of the class. If, for whatever reason, you feel a deep hatred from your very soul towards your teacher, what you get out of AP Lit will most likely be anger (and perhaps other emotional issues) stemming from repressed rage. That’s not good. So, avoid teachers who create this feeling at all costs. If you come across such a teacher, see if you can switch your schedule around to get a different teacher. If that doesn’t work, you are faced with the choice: stick it out for the year in the hopes of getting college credit, or drop the class. I recommend seriously considering dropping the class, saving yourself all the rage, and instead studying a lot so you are prepared to take the AP Exam anyways. (Yes, you can do that – I advise looking on the College Board’s website for practice AP Exams complete with student responses.) And, of course, keep using the Guide!