The Big Question: Should Sophomores Take AP U.S. History or Accelerated?

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As course selections come to a close, there is still time for anyone to make changes to their schedule for the 2022-2023 school year. As someone who has friends that are currently freshmen, many of them ask me about classes that they are undecided upon. One of the biggest ones is U.S. History, a class that sophomores and juniors are required to take. Students’ main question is, “should I take U.S. history honors or accelerated?” Lily Barber and I plan to clear some things up for anyone still wondering what level they should take. 

As a side note, Lily and I are currently in U.S. History Honors and plan on taking AP U.S. History (APUSH) next year, but we have numerous friends that are in Accelerated History. 

As of May 2022, there are two honors U.S. history teachers, Mr. Gallo and Ms. DeMarcello. Both are very nice and understanding and may even put a smile on your face! Now, the difference between Honors and Accelerated History is not the teachers. In accelerated, you move at an accelerated pace, while honors is faster. In accelerated, you do much more reading of the textbook together as a class, whilst in honors, you read the AP (it’s not as intimidating as it sounds) textbook more on your own. You still have homework that the teachers give you a week to do, but with honors it’s more of a study guide since you’re reading the material before your teacher goes over it. Alright, that’s enough from me; handing it over to Lily now. 

Hi! This is Lily taking over; thanks Nick! 

AP US history is one of the most commonly accepted AP credits by colleges around the country. Honors history in sophomore year teaches you how to excel in AP US history if you decide to do that in your junior year. It teaches you skills that you will need to pass the AP test and get college credit. Although these skill sets can be hard and take a while to get used to, they are not too difficult to manage after enough usage. 

Mr. Gallo has a sign in his room that discusses the importance of understanding history and the arrogance of ignoring it, and it is exactly how I feel about this course. Honors history gives you an opportunity to go in-depth and learn about America before we (or anyone we know) were alive. This course gave me a more in-depth look on American history compared to ACC and has played a role in how I view American politics and government systems. Taking Honors History my sophomore year can give you an important perspective on how America became what it is. I think understanding what came before us in history is one of the most important things you can learn in school, so no matter if you take ACC or Honors, this is a class that should be taken seriously. 

Honors US History teaches you about the early settlers of America up until the post-civil war era America. Within the year, you will learn how to write an APUSH essay that you will see on the AP test and learn about that time period in-depth. Although aspects of the class can be challenging, if you are hardworking and put in a the time, this course will be extremely rewarding. Compared to other honors classes, it helps you prepare for APUSH while simultaneously not making you want to rip your hair out. (Unlike some other honors that can be difficult such as biology, chemistry, and algebra). People that enjoy classes such as English or a language class are commonly people that end up enjoying Honors History compared to ACC. However, just because you are at an ACC level for English doesn’t mean you can’t take honors history! It is a history class, but it does involve a tiny bit of English skills.

In my opinion, I believe that people should at least try the Honors History/APUSH course. Although it is overstated, it is very true: you can always drop out if the class does not end up being right for you.