Students, counselors weigh in on Cathedral’s hardest classes


Chad Dea, Staff Writer

From AP World History to AP Computer Science, there are many difficult classes available for students to potentially conquer at Cathedral. Many students help one another fight through their numerous AP classes that they may or may not have regretted taking. Whether students like the class or not, one question is constantly debated, ‘What is the most difficult class of all?’

Of course, many factors, including student’s strength for a subject, come into play when answering this question. Some students are great at Math, while others are great at English. Mr. Dave Silva, a counselor at CCHS, said: “A student needs to find his strengths and interests, then take those hard classes in those certain strengths and interest classes.”

One student, senior Karl Schlaht, has taken numerous AP course over the extent of his high school career, including AP Latin, AP Psychology, AP Calculus BC, AP Environmental Science, AP Literature, AP Government, and AP Economics. Despite the amount of AP courses he has taken, Karl narrowed down the hardest class that he took at Cathedral. “AP U.S. History is the hardest class due to the frequent quizzes and essays, extensive amounts of reading, and large amounts of learning materials,” he said. In order do well in this class, Karl said he “always reads very closely and take extensive outlines.”

There are plenty of difficult classes that also are in need of extensive outlines or notes. One of these classes, AP Biology, is a strenuous course with only about twenty students overall taking it. Michaelle Burbank, a junior involved in this class, said: “AP Bio is harder than other AP classes for the reason that it is the study of life, which is very complex. Scientists are still currently discovering new things, proving new things, and falsifying things all the time.” AP Biology seems to be extremely difficult, not only to Michaelle, but also to every other student taking the class due to the amount of test materials. Speaking for all of her classmates regarding tests and quizzes, she said, “Studying for a quiz or test generally takes from 4-5 days, going over sections of content little by little.”

According to junior John Lawson, AP Psychology is a difficult class. He said, “Although it is not the hardest class I have ever taken, it is still quite difficult because you have to truly apply yourself and not just go through the motions.” There are plenty of students who take ‘AP Psych,’ since it is a new class this year, unlike AP Biology and AP U.S. History. However, the tests and quizzes remain just as hard. John said, “For tests or quizzes, I typically study for about an hour and a half to about two hours.”

According to Karl, Michaelle, and John, all agree that what makes a class most difficult is the workload. Even though students study for tests and quizzes by looking over content little by little, there still remains a lot of information to learn. This is the main reason why AP classes are so difficult. Mr. Silva said, “These AP classes are hard mostly because of the workload. These classes are college level classes, making it very uncommon to get an A in the class, especially AP U.S. History.”

Does the workload dissuade a student’s interest in a class? Mr. Silva said, “A lot of students want a good grade in an AP class, but may not have a high degree of interest, which can hurt their grade.” Many students are not used to such a workload, so that once they take an AP class that has a plethora of work, they focus too much on this particular class that their overall GPA seems to drop.

Students generally take AP classes to improve their GPA and to get accepted into their dream college, but Mr. Silva said, “Students think they have to take these classes in order to get into their dream colleges, but colleges don’t just want to see all the hard classes. Colleges want other extra curricular activities as well as some tough classes because this shows true leadership.”

These classes mentioned are only a few of the many difficult classes that Cathedral has to offer. Since the counselors listen to students’ questions and concerns all the time, they would seem to know which classes are the ‘hardest.’ Mr. Silva said, “The hardest classes which most students have trouble with are AP Physics, Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, and AP U.S. History.” These four classes, according to the counselors, are the most difficult, but it is up to a student’s strengths and abilities to either prove the counselors wrong or prove themselves wrong by voluntarily taking a difficult class where an ‘A’ is never guaranteed.