AP Reassurance

Are you worried about your future APs? Find out how your upperlassmen think about their current AP classes!!

Dear suffermores and potential freshmen,

Throughout middle school and the start of high school, we’ve always feared this year. The year where sleep is no longer in our definition and the overflowing stress eats us alive: junior year aka hell year. Yet, we also get a lot more freedom in choosing our courses allowing us to somewhat appreciate our junior year. The problem with this freedom is that selecting our own courses gives us both anxiety and independence. As the first month of 2017 comes to an end, it’s also time to turn in our course registration form. You’re a struggling suffermore and after a long hard thought of what AP courses you want to take, you confidently turn in your course form. But even with that, you still have a feeling of concern in the APs you chose? BUT don’t worry about a thing! Here are some amazing words of consultation from your lovely upperclassmen for you and your AP course registration.


Although it is known to be one of the easier APs, you shouldn’t underestimate an AP course. AP Envi has an average AP score of 2.59! But keep in mind that this is the average score in the US. You only need a 75% in order to get a 5.

You get to know more about Korea and what is going on in the world. It is an interesting class as we get to figure out how the earth is formed and how it functions. Not only do we go in depth about the earth, but we also examine the living organisms in certain areas.ith it being a visualizing class, the course allows what you learn to be embedded into your head quite well. In this class, my favorite part is it’s hands on activity such as looking through microscopes and going on school trips. AP Environmental Science isn’t my favorite course, but it is still a course where I get a lot of information. And I’m growing to love it!

-Paul Song (’18)

Unlike most other AP classes, AP Environmental Science is a course that requires a lot of hands-on work. For example, during our water unit, we visited the Tancheon River to collect samples that we used to analyse the quality of the water. One aspect of the class that I really appreciate is that Mr. Taylor helps us understand how the concepts we learn in class are applicable to the real world. This allows us to be aware that these environmental problems are relevant and very much prevalent in our society, which makes it easier to truly understand these concepts. Mr. Taylor’s very passionate about this subject, and he would do anything to further your interests and passions in this area, so I would advise those interested in taking this class to approach him and ask him for help if you want to advance your knowledge in environmental science (especially if it’s something of your personal interest!)

-Sally Hong (’18)

4There had to be two teachers for AP Lang this year because so many students signed up.

AP Lang is  a class that destroys your self esteem, but as you overcome those obstacles, it shapes you to become a better writer.


As much as it is an English class, AP Language is an opportunity to truly get to know yourself. You’re given chances to reflect on who you are through projects such as the MGP. Now it’s your choice whether you take these risks or not, but if you do, I can assure you that AP Lang will be a very memorable and valuable class.

– Samantha Kim (18’)

7 AP Capstone is one of the newer courses as it was introduced to KIS last year. Every Capstone student always emphasizes the usefulness of the class in everyday life and other classes.

More than a class, AP Capstone Seminar is better described as a platform for your passions. We are given a lot of freedom in choosing what we want to research and what approach we want to take– something that is specific to this class and a part of the class that I really value and appreciate. If I were to give a few tips to students that are interested in taking this class next year, I’d tell them not to feel restricted about what they can research on. There are so many options you can explore that it’s a waste to write a paper on something you’re not interested in.

-Sally Hong (’18)

5We do about 5 labs during the first semester and it helps the students visualize concepts learned in class as they are directly related. 

AP Chem is a class where there are a lot of formulas, and a lot of labs are done. Throughout this course, it’s very important to ask Dr. Cuthbertson (the chem teacher) a lot of questions if a concept isn’t understood because the pace in  class is very fast. Not to mention, the regular Chemistry subject really helped, so listen to Mr. Joo and Mr. Taylor! Don’t just memorize the math formula but also try to understand how the process works.

-Michelle Kwon ’18

unnamedThis course also incorporates biology at the beginning. There are always new ways to learn in this class such as games.

AP Psychology changed me, changed my life, and changed the way I see the world. Ms. Hawkinson is the most wonderful teacher I’ve ever met, and I promise you, she is there to help you in both academic and non curricular aspects. READ, follow her instructions, have a positive mindset, and you’re good to go! 🙂 (Remember that you have upperclassmen like cough, me Sara Kim, cough who are more than willing to help you out!)

-Sara Kim (’18)

I really enjoyed the course and definitely recommend it if you like learning about people and why we behave the way we do. It’s a very interesting class that isn’t only based on textbook reading and tests, but has a lot of projects and in class activities to enhance your learning, so if you’re into “hands on” learning this is the class for you. For tips I’d just say don’t fall behind with the readings; their assigned for a reason, so that by the end of the year or each unit you won’t have to study that much for the test, since you’ve already been learning cumulatively throughout the course. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself through this course!

-Juliet Miinalainen (’17)

6There’s an extra credit project every year where you make a music video about an Economy concept! It’s really enjoyable and who doesn’t want extra credit?

It’s not a basic core subject but expands on how you think. It won’t be a easy course for those who can’t change their perspective and strategies on how you think, but it makes you think more practically. Econ has seriously changed me as a person.

-Elizabeth Lee (‘18)

AP Econ may seem easy for students at first, and it may stay that way for some, but it may also turn into a very challenging course, so you need to study and actively listen to the lectures if you want to do well in class.  You guys have a new teacher next year so I don’t know how different or similar things will be. Graphs seem really complicated at first, but it gets easier. But for some people the graphs will stay complicated. Econ’s not math or science of anything like that so don’t think like that.

-San Yun (18’)

1Every single class usually opens with content questions where discussions are held about the reading from the previous night.

It’s a very self driven class with every class opening with “content questions” which are obtained from the reading homework we have each class. In this class, you’re independent and have to make sure you read every single night or you get lost. This is because we usually write APUSH style essays related to homework from the night before and etc. Even if you’re not a history person, it is very interesting to learn the different aspects of what happened through America over the years, especially since Trump became president this year.

– Anon

APUSH is a course where you have to stay on top of things. You have to stay on course with your reading, and it’s very helpful if you read a little ahead. AMSCO is also a book you should consider buying as it gives short concise summaries of the chapters, although it is good to read the textbook for more specific details. This course isn’t just about memorizing facts, so this course is suitable for the history lovers.

– Michelle Kwon (’18)

The letters AP sound quite alarming and intimidating, but there’s a lot more to them than the GPA. Strive for the courses you truly have interest in! Enjoy your classes and have fun. And most importantly, if you have questions, ask them!!! Feel free to reach out to the upperclassmen for some words of wisdom anytime and anywhere. 🙂 *we aren’t as scary as we look*


Your upperclassmen

– Tae-Young Uhm (’18)

AP Share Sessions 2015

As course registration weeks draws closer and closer, it’s time to make the biggest decisions of our high school career… AP course registration. Emily Kim (’16) gives a rundown on this year’s AP Share Session.

As second semester rapidly progresses and we finally get (re)accustomed to our rigorous schedules, power naps, and caffeine-filled nights, the time to start planning for next year’s schedule has already arrived. And along with that, naturally, comes the bewilderment and confusion over which Advanced Placement courses best suit us. But never fear—the school has generously endowed us with the annual informational AP Share Sessions!

Ready for AP Chinese?? | c. Jamine Kang (’16)

At the AP Share Sessions, which took place on Monday, February 23 and Wednesday, February 25, the KISians received an opportunity to meet with possible future teachers, to ask away questions regarding workloads, grading systems, and curriculums to their hearts’ content, and to make informed decisions. During each day, the current sophomores and juniors were provided with the flexibility of attending two informative sessions, each approximately 15 minutes long. Despite the long run from one classroom to another, surging through the flights of stairs from the H building to G building to run ahead of the 22 attendance limit, many students claim they found the experience valuable. Even Jerry Kim (’16), a current junior, claims,

“They gave me a great insight into what difficulty of each course was to be expected.”

What about the freshmen you may ask? The rising sophomores had a bit of a different experience, for they are more limited in their choices, as they can only take either AP Biology, headed by experienced Mr. Hopkin, or AP World History, lead by the Mr. Yanuszeski. The freshmen went to the teachers’ respective classrooms, where the two teachers appealed to the students and hopefully lessened their worries. Although the location was different, the experience was as equally enlightening and gratifying. Kay Herr (’18), a current freshmen indicates:

“Before the session, I was very confused and unsure about which course I wanted to take next year. But the session definitely helped me get rid of my worries and choose the best course that I truly wanted to take.”

Leona Maruyama (’17) eagerly signing up for her junior courses. | c. Jamine Kang (’16)

For those who may have already forgotten or those who missed the AP Share Sessions, here’s a brief overview! Please note that for AP art and language courses, share sessions will be offered individually during class time.

World History: AP World History is an intensive college-level study of non-Western history, from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Analysis of primary source documents, class discussions, and three types of essays (comparative, continuity and change-over-time, document based question) will be common, so make sure to come prepared. Talk to Mr. Yanuszeski (G 602) for more information.


Biology: AP biology is a rigorous course centering around topics such as the chemistry of life, heredity, diversity of organisms, and ecology. Those interested in lectures and hands-on laboratory activities may enjoy this course. Talk to Mr. Hopkin (G 303) for more information.


US History: AP United States History focuses on the problems and development of the United States, ranging from its inception to the present. Students will learn various historical thinking skills, how to write essays, and how to assess the validity of historical documents. Talk to Mr. Farley (G606) for more information.


English Language & Composition: AP English Language and Composition is a class driven heavily by extensive writings, critical analysis of texts, and manipulation of the English language. If you wish to take this course, you must take a required writing diagnostic. Talk to Mr. van Moppes (H 400) for more information.


Seminar: AP Seminar is the first component of a two-year discipline-specific diploma program that provides a Capstone distinction to students who have successfully completed the course. KIS is the only school in Korea that has received the opportunity to offer this course. Talk to Mr. Quirin (H 406) for more information.


Statistics: AP Statistics is a challenging study focused on the concepts of statistics and their in-depth meaning and application to real life. Those who wish to explore topics such as regression, patterns, and probability are encouraged to take the course. Talk to Ms. Chen (H 503) for more information.


Calculus AB: AP Calculus AB is a class for the introduction of limits of functions, continuity, integrals, and many more. This may be the perfect course who wish to level-up from Pre-calculus, but not too much. Talk to Mr. Robert (H 500) for more information.


Calculus BC: AP Calculus BC is an intensive course that goes over all the course materials of AP Calculus AB, while deepening the challenge and going over additional topics such as vector functions and sequences and series. Talk to Mr. Whitehead (H 504) for more information.


Macro/Micro Economics: AP Economics provides information on the basics of economics such as the nature of supply and demand, production decisions, and market structures. A benefit of taking this class would be receiving two credits: one for macroeconomics, and one for microeconomics. Talk to Mr. Hubbs (G 603) or Mr. Reschke for more information.


Psychology: AP Psychology is a college-level study of peoples’ behavior and mental processes. Various methods, theories, and experiments of psychology will be discussed for the purpose of enhancing our recognition and insights of the world. Talk to Ms. Summerton (G 607) for more information.


Chemistry: AP Chemistry focuses on quantitative and physical chemistry, including the topics of thermodynamics, chemical equilibriums, kinetic theory of gases, and many more. This course is encouraged for those pursuing a career in science and those interested in composing lab reports. Talk to Mr. McClure (H 104) for more information.


Physics I or II: AP Physics I and II both utilize proportional reasoning, basic trigonometry, and algebra. Though the two courses differ in academic rigor, focus on lab-work and written analysis remains constant. Talk to Mr. Fazio (G 308) for more information.


English Literature:  AP English Literature and Composition focuses on the analysis of great literature, the structure of works, and many more. Students should be prepared for intensive, close readings, both during and outside of class. Talk to Mr. Turnbeaugh (H 401) for more information.


Music Theory: AP Music Theory advances listening skills, sight-singing skills, and compositional skills. Those who wish to pursue a more in-depth understanding of music may wish to take this course. Talk to Mr. Majors (EB 101) for more information.

Ultimately, despite the bombard of information above, the most important thing to consider is whether you are truly interested in taking the AP course or not. As all the teachers say, don’t focus on the potential benefits AP courses may provide you with for the college application process, but on your confidence and commitment to the course. Good luck!

– Emily Kim (’16)

Header: Jamine Kang (’16)