AP vs. DE

Students have different opinions about whether AP or DE is more beneficial.


Lexi Swere

Genevieve Tucker (’26) is preparing to take 3 AP classes and 1 DE, including phycology.

Lexi Swere, staffer

“Breathe in, breathe out, you got this.” This is the inner monologue of a student taking the AP and DE exams. The AP exam and the DE final have so much pressure riding on them. The whole year the classes are preparing students for the final exams. There are many different reasons for taking AP or DE that fit the needs for the students.

             Maegan Smarkusky (‘23) has taken a total of sixteen AP classes and nine DE classes. She is very passionate about learning new information from the classes she takes, to her it’s not just about passing the class, it’s about exploring your interests.

“ I am definitely more of an AP person. The reason I take AP classes is because I care about material. I take DE for the same reason, largely because I care with material but there are times where I’ve taken a DE solely for the GPA boost, like I’ve taken classes over the summer that were never because of my intellectual curiosity. They were always because I was thinking, well, how can I get my GPA just a little higher next year?” Smarkusky said.

Others believe that the classes you take should depend on the college you want to go into and your decision for your future. Similar to Smarkusky, Chau Le (‘25) believes that you can take AP and DE classes to boost your GPA but it is important that the class is enjoyable.

“I’m taking three AP classes this year. And I’m taking them mainly because I feel as though it is important for me to raise my GPA but also I enjoy the material being taught and the environment of the classes.” She is not taking any DE classes at this moment because her schedule is pretty full with AP classes and those are the most important in her opinion.

Most people who are taking AP classes have or will be taking DE classes even though most say that DE is much less rigorous, DE and AP are around the same level of academics. Alexandra Florida (‘26) took her first AP class this year. She has been in advanced and honors classes her whole life so it only felt right for her to start with an AP class.

“ I definitely take AP classes for the academic advantage. I like the difficulty of the classes and it makes me feel good that I’m pushing myself instead of just being bored in a regular class. I will probably take DE classes in the future but I’m not totally sure yet.” Florida states.

The reasons people take AP or DE classes for many different reasons but it’s mainly for the GPA boost even if the class being taken is interesting it mainly comes down to the lesson being taught and the GPA advantages for most people.