A graduating senior’s analysis of Bellaire’s best AP classes


Zaid Ali

My AP Statistics teacher Ms. Kubena used the Barron’s AP Statistics prep book to assign us practice problems to prepare for the AP test.

Zaid Ali, Reporter

As course selection for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors approaches, Bellaire students might be confused about which AP classes to take. As an experienced senior who has taken a wide variety of classes, I wanted to share what I consider are the best AP classes at Bellaire.  

AP World History 

AP World History, otherwise known as WHAP, is often the first AP class that a Bellaire student takes. Although the increase in work compared to freshman year might take some time adjusting too, WHAP prepares you for other AP classes you might take in your junior and senior year. For example, I learned how to take effective notes and make connections between different time periods, which I used for AP European History. 

The course content itself in WHAP is also interesting, as you’ll be able to learn about diverse cultures and practices and how they changed throughout time, from the Age of Enlightenment to the Mughal Empire. Furthermore, when I took WHAP, our teachers (Ms. Nocca, Mr. Houl and Mr. Cothran) prepared us well for the AP. The multiple-choice questions that were on my AP exam were easier than the tests I took throughout the year. You’ll also have experience with the writing sections on the AP, such as the Long Essay Question. This essay type will require you to connect ideas from different time periods and cite specific evidence. Activities like the mental map (although demanding) will help you write these essays and ultimately get a good score on the AP test.

AP Statistics 

I think most concerns that students have about AP Statistics before they take it is how much math is involved and the difficulty of it. As someone who has struggled a lot with math, and has failed multiple Pre-Calculus tests, AP Stats is very manageable. The math is very simple, and you will always have a calculator if there is any. The more difficult part of Stats is the writing and amount of homework you must do, which can sometimes be overwhelming. By the time you complete it all though, you’ll be more than prepared for the test. I also think the concepts you learn in Stats are much more useful compared to what you learn in more typical math classes.

The best part about Bellaire’s AP Statistic class is the preparation given for the AP test in May. No other AP class I have taken at Bellaire better prepared me for my AP test than Statistics; After completing the entire course by spring break, you’ll go through an in-depth review of the entire course. As long as you do the work, you can basically get a guaranteed score of a 3 or higher. 

AP Environmental Science 

Although it is not common at Bellaire, students usually take AP Environmental Science as their first AP class. This is because compared to other AP science classes, APES is a comparatively easier class. You might already know some of the information taught in APES, and the class relies more on rote memorization than other science classes. If you are not heavily interested in STEM, this class offers a way for you to still take a science credit and earn college credit. And for those who are interested in STEM, it is manageable to take both APES and another AP science class, such as Physics 1 or Biology.

When I took APES, I was able to participate in fun labs that made me enjoy the class. For example, my teacher took our class to the bayou near Bellaire so we could catch bugs using large nets to use for our lab. Labs like these allowed me to become close with my other classmates and made some memorable moments in my junior year. 

Bellaire offers many different engaging and interesting classes, both AP and non-AP, so take advantage of that to explore your interests.

Disclaimer: I haven’t taken every single AP class at Bellaire, so I could not take some AP classes into account when deciding which ones are the best.