Are Honors Classes Really Worth it?
Honors classes can often be pressed on in high school as being especially important in regards to getting in to college. But really, what benefit are they?
That was the thought process of my thirteen- and fourteen- year old self going through school with no grand thoughts of college going through my mind. Honors classes, to me, were just something that helped you look fancy. A lot of extra work for not a lot of extra benefits.
That attitude changed my senior year, when I tried to apply for some AP classes, and I had some difficulty convincing the teachers that I could handle them, having not gone through the Honors curriculum. I did manage to prove them wrong, and did well on the AP tests. However, that is the most important and basic function of Honors classes: they prepare you for AP classes, which in turn, prepare and aid in your college classes. Good test scores mean that you can pass out of the class, and even if the scores are not good, you will have an advantage over other students.
Additionally, honors classes prepare you to think like a college student. College classes are structured differently, and more often than not require you to critically analyze and think about what you are being taught, rather than just having it repeated back to the teachers. That difference may not seem much, but it’s a huge trip up for many college students who haven’t had that kind of experience before. I noticed time and time again my freshman year. People were baffled, even in the core classes, by some of the assignments, both in page length and in how they were structured. I found this strange, as that had been emphasized in my high school, especially in our English classes.
The structure of the assignments, especially in AP classes, is meant to be geared more towards colleges as well. They are doing what high school, as a whole, is supposed to do for you; prepare you for the difficult comings and goings of college assignments. It does stand to reason, then, that you can earn college credit for it.
Honors classes do, essentially, give you a leg up over your peers, but whether you chose to take it is up to you. Schools differ on what the functions of an honors class is, but they are all meant to be specifically for students who are capable of handling a course work similar (although not identical) to college coursework. This will not only serve towards making your transition to college easier, but it could make a difference on where you go, as well as make an impact on how you react to the assignments and classes you are given. These are some of the many benefits, I’m sure, to taking honors classes, but they do require a desire to not only do well in college, but high school as well, which you must be prepared for.