AP Lit vs. College English; how to choose your next literature class


Joelle Dlugozima, Staff Writer

With course registration starting, Milton seniors and juniors, who were able to skip a grade in English, are scrambling to find their next literature class. Unfortunately, after Advanced Placement Language & Composition (AP Lang), advanced students have trouble deciding on AP Literature (AP Lit) or College English due to the difference in rigor. While there may not be an exact science, a student’s future classes can play a big role in their literature progression.

For example, AP Lit usually follows AP Lang and is known to have a tougher curriculum. The class consists of analyzing different texts and focuses more on reading than writing. The general consensus is that AP Lit requires an interest in English, yet some have taken the class despite their conflicting interests.

Tasneem Wahid, a rising senior, plans to take AP Lit. “I’ve decided to take AP Lit next year because I enjoy reading and analyzing literature as well as discussing it in class,” she said. Wahid explains she can express her thoughts about literature through her work in class.

The class is manageable, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require hard work. If your schedule is full of difficult AP’s and you’re searching for a light class, AP Lit may not be for you. Other classes such as College English or on level 12th Literature could be what you’re looking for.

While they may not provide the same rigor as AP Lit, the classes relieve students from their busy school day. However, due to the drop in difficulty after AP Lang, taking a class like College English may prove to be boring since it’s a reiteration of what you learned in the previous year of literature. Colleges could look down upon the switch as well.

Marisa Perera, a rising junior, opted to sign up College English. She intends to pursue Computer Science, so her top priority isn’t English. “I don’t plan on majoring in English, so I don’t see the point in excess workload and stress,” Perera said when asked whether or not she was taking AP Lit.

Arguably, rising seniors have an easier decision since they’re choosing their last high school literature class. But with the possible burnout, or senioritis, most upperclassmen experience, seniors must be careful when picking hard classes for their final year. Fortunately, some colleges only require an AP Lang or AP Lit credit, meaning advanced students can gain that credit without taking both classes.

Wahid felt it was more stressful planning 11th grade classes. “I was more focused on making my last year in high school memorable and not as packed as the previous two whereas Junior year classes get a lot of attention from colleges, meaning I had to go for a harder schedule.”

On the other hand, rising juniors on the accelerated course must now plan for their next two years at Milton. Whatever they choose for junior year, they still have to pick a class for senior year. With the addition of new classes, this decision becomes easier as the new literature classes provide students with a diverse set of options.

For example, World Literature counts as a Literature credit and serves as an alternative to 10th Grade Literature and Composition. Classes like Advanced Composition, Dramatic Writing, and Multicultural Literature also count as a Literature credit but only allow rising seniors to apply. However, rising juniors who took 9th Literature in middle school are able to enroll in Dramatic Writing and Multicultural Literature.

So what should you take? Both options require sacrifices but can benefit the student in the end. As always, you should speak with your counselor or teacher for a more personal recommendation.