If your AP class sucks

No one in my AP Bio class has an A. Not a single person. The highest we've gotten yet is an 86%, and that's from the girl who studies three hours every day. Is this normal? We're nearing the end of the semester, and yet most of the class has Cs and Ds. It's the teacher's first year teaching AP, and she's set crazy expectations for us based on a fancy AP conference she attended at Stanford.

All the students want to say something, but we don't know how to argue the point to actually get her to change her ways.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Should I just get over it?
Thats exactly what college will be like. Only the very best will get the higher grades.
How much time do you spend studying per day?
I spend about two hours a day, no joke. At first it was only about an hour, but that put me in the C range. Now I'm at a low B, with all the studying. I suppose if I pitched in something like four hours, I might muster an A. Do people really spend that much time studying per day?
I spend basically most of my free time in school studying physics/math. But that's besides the point since I like reading physics and math books... anyway, when I was taking bio AP in my high school, no one cares (neither does the teacher). We just do some stupid BSes in class and the teacher gave open book tests and curves...I learnt nothing from that class (basically everyone had to self study the AP exam)...well I guess you can't expect too much from a high school course...

when my horrible junior high grades put me at risk of getting kicked out of my school i did 5 hours at least

it all depends on the drive to suceed.

can you describe more what its like actually being in the class?
Well... This woman has never taught an AP class before. She's basically splitting the year with another teacher who has never taught the course either. They're both teaching what they "like," so a lot of the course is out of order. We're skipping a lot of things (about ten chapters) that I hope the other teacher will explain next semester.

There's just something really wrong with the way the class is taught. The teacher copies study guides and hands them out to us. We cover a couple chapters a week, then take a ten point quiz on them. Problem is, she doesn't actually lecture on what will be on the quiz. She'll cover a few parts using these slides she found online (another AP teacher made them, I think), but not nearly in depth enough. And we never look over our graded quizzes or correct them. A lot of the time, a lot of us are clueless. Sometimes, I think she's clueless.

In my opinion, the class is going too fast, not only for us, but for her as well. She doesn't explain things very well. As a result, we cover a lot of information, do a lot of rote memorization, and can't remember any of it a week later. That seems to be her philosophy. Instead of covering part of the curriculum very well, some if it fairly well, and some of it on your own time, we cover everything--but badly.

I don't even think the class feels "challenged" anymore. Most people have already hit the despair stage and are dropping at semester.
yeah, I took AP bio my senior year of high school, no one got an A in the class, no one! and these were the smartest kids in the school! i guess it worked though since like 16/18 kids got a 5 on the test. i haven't had a class in college thats made me as miserable as that one (well maybe my instrumentation labs last year).
When I took it last year, I was one of the two students in my class to receive an A. I didn't really study daily, but on the days before tests, I studied like hell, and I studied well.

Stuff like that happens sometimes...

If almost your entire class scores a 5 on the AP exam, that's a win for the class.
What if you were to write a well pointed letter and anonymously left it taped to her door early in the morning

or is she teh kind that doesnt take kindly to suggestions
Ki Man (this is not a typo, btw), the class I learned the most practical information and skills from was AP US History. I had to work so much for it, it was insane. Whenever we had small projects which would be due the next day, everyone in the class would get around two hours of sleep or less. The days before tests, we usually studied about 20 hours during the two days before the test. I never had to do anything like that before, ever.

A class which makes it nearly impossible to get an A is a good thing sometimes, as long as you don't have more than a few in the same semester O____O
Please do ever depend on your teacher too much. If you THINK your teacher sucks, you are on your own. I study half a year everyday on physics, chem, cal, computer science, stat, and more everyday at least 6 hours a day just to pass them. Of course, I passed all of them in the end.
I never thought AP classes were difficult at all. I know ap physics/bio are harder than most of the other regular classes, but they didn't seem difficult at all for me. it seemed like most of your grade was based on homework, but if you payed attention in class it was still easy to do good on tests/quizzes. maybe that's just me tho. Ib was the same way also
It depends on the teacher. Some classes with identical criteria taught by different teachers can be harder or easier. my english teacher this year claims hes preparing us for college by not giving tests and assigning millions essays with no point instead, but the way he goes about teaching us is so pointless, the upperclassmen say we are screwed next year if we have him for a teacher.

if your teacher makes it hard on you so that you can learn from it, thats a good teacher.

if your teacher makes it hard on you because apparently they cant do any better, thats a bad teacher. Do you know if there are any other teachers at your school who could help explain things to you (like other science teachers who teach similair subjects that would be willing to help). if one teacher fails you, you could always see a different one for better explainations.
I hate to say it, but I'm pretty sure the current teacher is the latter. My AP Chem teacher from last year used to teach the AP Bio class. He decided he had too many courses and dropped Bio for this year.

Good suggestion. I'll see if his teaching style is a little more effective in making sense of some of the concepts (I already know it is; the guy is amazing).
I think it is a good experience for you. icebox. If you go to university, sometimes you will get a lame duck teacher in course that you have to take. A good student takes it upon himself or herself to step it up at this point, e.g. study more, seek help from others, check out books, etc. As you progress through the education system, you will find that self study will be how you really learn the material. Three hours of study time a day will look like a walk in the park if you major in math, science, or engineering. That's why you have to really love your field if you want to succeed in your goals.
I feel lucky when I find a professor that actually teaches, the majority of the time, they will bull**** about whatever they want then give you an exam and say goodluck and hope for the curve.

When we told him he doesn't teach, he says well employers are going to want students who can teach themselves, which is true but still didn't change the fact he sucks at teaching.
Well I don't know what AP class is as we don't have it in Sweden. But if you intend to go to university and study something like engineering, math or physics, then studying only 1 to 2 hours per day will never take you through even the first year.

There you are supposed to do most of the learning on your own, with the classes being mostly to guide and assist. Learning how to do this constitutes a big part in a university education and the sooner you realise this the better.

I know that most of my classmates are usually studying 8am to 22pm everyday, and if you enjoy the subject then thats not taxing at all, just great fun :)
Here in the US, AP stands for advanced placement, and it is a college level class that you can take during highschool. after the course you can take at AP test, and if you pass you can get college credit for that class
Dude don't take it then if it's that hard. Thats why i stay in the stupid classes (It's the normal ones but thats what we call them).

The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Members online