By: Julia Zhu & Summer Mu
Picking classes can be daunting, so hopefully this gives you an idea of some of the classes that are offered in sophomore year and what you might enjoy taking! Please keep in mind that these are the classes that we have personally taken, but there are many others to choose from as well. Also, this list is solely our experiences and opinions meaning that it may not be entirely accurate.
Latin 2 is a pretty simple class. The material is harder than Latin 1, but Mr. Kollin is a great teacher. We usually did a chapter and a quiz each week. After a few weeks, you get used to the rhythm of the class and it follows that pattern the entire year. At the end of the year you take the NLE, and Mr. Kollin prepares you well for it. It’s a no-brainer to take this class if you want to continue Latin!
Spanish Culture & Language Honors
Spanish Culture & Language Honors is the higher level for Spanish 4, and although it sounds like a difficult class as it prepares you for AP Spanish, it’s not too bad. Most of the material is a reinforcement of past grammar, vocabulary, or other concepts from previous classes. The topics that are covered in this class are interesting and fun as well, and Sra. Butcher makes sure that every student understands what is being taught. There are many quizzes but few tests so if you are thinking about taking a higher level of Spanish, go for it!
Critical Reading & Writing 2 Honors
Critical Reading & Writing 2 Honors is a class that you should definitely take. It builds a basic foundation for AP English classes in the future and is also essential for reading and writing skills in life. The books may vary from year to year but a general tip is to actually read the books. I know when I took this class, I didn’t read extremely in depth which is why some of the analytical essays were harder to write. Overall though, I think this class is a good honors class to take.
Chemistry Honors was a tough class not only because the material is difficult, but because you have to spend extra time on homework, labs, and studying in order to fully understand the concepts taught. I really recommend taking this class if you’re interested in chemistry because it will make the class much easier and more fun. It also prepares you extremely well for AP Chemistry as Ms. Winker will most likely be your teacher both years. I think chemistry is one of the hardest science classes, but it is really beneficial to take if you’re interested in STEM.
Precalculus BC Honors
Mr. Adler, who teaches this class, is unarguably a hard teacher, and not for the faint of heart. His motto is “I gotta have some fun sometimes 🙂 ” and his drawing skills can be questionable. His tests are notoriously difficult, however, he prepares you well for the AP Calculus BC class and the respective exam. If you love math and don’t mind spending out of class time meeting with him, this is a great class to challenge yourself with!
AP Computer Science Principles
APCS-P was a straightforward class because most of the material was related to concepts and vocabulary about the history and topic of computer science. There is significantly less coding in this class compared to APCS-A and when you do code, your teacher and peers help a lot along the way. If you want to learn about a variation of languages in computer science and experience slight insights into coding, then this is a fun class!
AP US History
If you are planning or have taken History 2 over the summer, take this class! Ms. Slanina is a great teacher and it’s a fun class. You don’t have to write a research paper and the tests are straightforwardly based on book and class notes. I recommend using a Quizlet to study and go over the book briefly before learning the topic in class. The AP exam, however, was not enjoyable. Start studying early, at the very least two weeks before the exam. The Princeton Review APUSH prep book is so helpful for studying. Other than the final exam, this was one of my favorite history classes!
Physics is extremely similar to math, so if you enjoy math, you might enjoy physics. It’s extremely logical and I liked how the topics we learned about could be seen and applied in real life. It’s difficult, but if you spend the time to truly learn and understand the equations, it becomes more straightforward. Ms. Oz teaches the class well, and I recommend taking paper notes. I took notes on my computer the first few units…just don’t do that. There are so many diagrams and drawing them out helps a lot, so taking notes ons the computer for me was a bad decision. In relation to other science classes, I found this to be slightly easier than chemistry. If you like math and are interested in physics, I think you should consider taking the class!
AP Computer Science A
In APCS-A you only learn the programming language Java. This could be a positive or a negative depending on how much you like Java. It is a finicky language with a lot of specifics and quirks, but you can do some really powerful things with it. The concepts that you learn in the class are more in depth than APCS-P, but you can apply them to other languages as well. If you’re interested in computer science, I recommend trying the class!