Student Life

Turmoil Over AP Psychology

AP Psychology seems to be a hot commodity for students this school year. While it’s always been a popular class to take, more than 80 students have signed up for it for the 2018-2019 school year. The maximum amount of people that can take the class is 75, dispersed among three classes (25 in each).

Ideally, it would be easier and more beneficial if the classes weren’t filled to its maximum. However, as a solution, Leonia High School has proposed that all students who wish to take AP Psychology next year must write an entrance essay. Students had to read through the APA Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research, research an experiment known for its unethical practices, evaluate which procedures were violated and why, then answer other questions that inquired the student’s opinion. This was partially done to see who would actually take the time and initiative to write the essay, and who would not. Furthermore, while relying on the laziness of individuals to decrease the numbers, it is also necessary to gauge which students truly understood the prompt and could respond properly.

Many rising seniors are enraged with the entrance essay. Clarissa Van Sickell states that “The prompt was easier than I expected, but I feel like it was unnecessary and they should have just cut the underclassmen.” In previous years, the school has done just that- giving seniority and prioritizing the upperclassmen. Additionally, many believe that students who requested the class should not be registered for the class- only the ones recommended.Why are all of the students being penalized?

Junior year is infamously known for being the worst and most stressful year for students. Many of the hoping-to-be AP Psychology students did not need another essay on top of the other thousand assignments they have. For example, Matt Fitzgerald, another junior who requested the class says, “I didn’t have enough time to dedicate to it [the essay]. It’s a shame because I really wanted to take the class, and I would have written the essay if my busy schedule allowed for it.”

Moreover, a large reason behind the essay was due in part to a technical glitch. The portal for scheduling went live at 5 PM, and students raced to request AP Psychology. Genesis was supposed to nullify the option of requesting the class after it reached its maximum: 75. Unfortunately, the portal did not do this, at all. Students were continuously able to request the course which lead to an overflow of applications. Hopefully, next year, the glitch will be fixed.