AP Class Rankings


Grace Gewirtz

Each year as winter approaches, the high school guidance counselors meet with students asking them to decide their schedules for the following school year. For ninth graders, such a process is typically stress-free as there is not much flexibility in their schedule the following year. However, for tenth and eleventh graders, this process can be worrisome as there are many factors to consider when deciding on classes. Between class difficulty levels affecting GPA, college impressions on one’s schedule, to each individual’s interests, choosing classes is not always the easiest decision. 


Now that I am a senior and will have taken eight AP classes by the end of the school year, I wanted to provide insight into all eight AP classes I have either taken in the past or am currently enrolled in. Such rankings highlight how interesting I believe the content is, how difficult the content is to learn, and how heavy the workload is (outlines, homework, and studying hours). But before I do so, I wanted to clarify that these are my personal opinions, and everyone’s impressions and experiences in different AP classes can vary greatly! The following lists the classes I will be evaluating, including an overview of each and what the content ensues…


AP Biology: This class covers eight units ranging from molecular interactions to community biology and everything in between. This curriculum includes the study of genetics, metabolism, biological pathways, the properties of life, cell-to-cell interactions, and community interactions. I recommend taking this class to anyone interested in pursuing a research career or job in the medical field.

AP Calculus BC: There are two AP Calculus courses offered through the college board: AB and BC. While Calculus BC is said to move faster than AB, both classes explore similar concepts/applications of limits, functions, derivatives, and integrals. BC goes into a little more depth and a few extra units on series’. 

AP Chemistry: AP Chem is another science AP course I would suggest to anyone interested in a career in the medical field to take before college. Such a class studies properties/structures of chemical substances, energy transformations, chemical reactions, thermodynamics, equilibrium, and acids/bases. This class offers the opportunity for plenty of hands-on labs!

AP English Language and Composition: This class, commonly referred to as “AP Lang” is unlike any other English course I’ve taken in the past. The year is divided into four sections to help prepare you for the AP test. You learn how to write three different types of essays (synthesis, rhetorical analysis, and argumentative), and how to properly analyze written material for the multiple-choice section of the AP test.

AP Literature and Composition: As one would expect, in AP Literature we do a lot of reading and writing. This class involves a lot of Socratic seminars, one-pager responses, and reading of both short stories, novels, and poems. Although such might sound daunting, all the materials provided for analysis are very engaging when reading.

AP Psychology: AP Psych is the first class I have ever taken where everything we learned felt applicable to my daily life. We study human thoughts/behaviors as it applies to social interactions, learning processes, memory formations, emotions, and mental illnesses. We also learn about the biology behind such and a basic understanding of the human nervous system.

AP US History: This class is essentially a cumulation of all the history classes taught in American public schools from first grade to high school. In APUSH, we cover all of American history from the beginning of colonization in 1492 to more modern historic events, such as 9/11. There is an emphasis in this class on the comprehension of the causes/effects and impacts of historical events. 

AP US Government and Politics: AP Government outlines a comprehensive understanding of the American legal system and how the government was structured to ensure an even distribution of power. This class equally emphasizes the importance of reading, writing, and content comprehension.    


The following rankings demonstrate my opinion after taking each of the AP classes. Ranked 1 being the highest (most difficult/most interesting), to 8 being the lowest…


Interest Level:

  1. AP Psychology
  2. AP Biology
  3. AP Literature and Composition
  4. AP Chemistry
  5. AP Calculus BC
  6. AP US History
  7. AP English Language and Composition
  8. AP US Government and Politics


Content Difficulty:

  1. AP Biology
  2. AP Chemistry
  3. AP US History
  4. AP Calculus BC
  5. AP Literature and Composition
  6. AP Psychology
  7. AP US Government and Politics
  8. AP English Language and Composition


Workload Difficulty

  1. AP Biology
  2. AP US History
  3. AP Psychology
  4. AP US Government and Politics
  5. AP Chemistry
  6. AP Calculus BC
  7. AP Literature and Composition
  8. AP English Language and Composition