AP Gov vs. AP Macro: Apples vs. Oranges

By Isabel Baer

Most students at Briarcliff High School get to the point in their high school careers when they have to decide between AP Macroeconomics and AP US Government and Politics. As a history and current events buff, I was drawn to AP Gov, but I knew it would be invaluable to learn the basics of economics before being thrown into a 500-person lecture when I entered college. So, I asked my guidance counselor what I should do and surprisingly, I was able to fit both into my schedule. Although school only started about 6 weeks ago, I already see the value in taking both classes at the same time. In AP Macro, we cover basic rules of economics and in AP Gov, I see how those rules are applied every day, around the world. A lot of my peers ask me if my coursework is overwhelming, and although it is a lot of work, it is not overwhelming because I love both of the classes.

However, this is just one perspective, so I asked two of my classmates why they chose their respective courses. Emma Burns, a fellow senior, is definitely known as a hard and diligent worker, and when I asked her why she chose AP Macroeconomics over AP Gov, she said, “I am taking 3 other extremely challenging APs and I thought macro worked best for me.” Do not be fooled though; although AP Macro has a slightly less intimidating summer assignment, once the year begins, the two courses are a pretty equal time commitment. It is also extremely advantageous to have Mr. Bordonaro teach AP Macro because he is a teacher able to articulate the connections between economic principles and history. When looking at different kinds of economies, he did not keep the theories abstract and study what make up the different economic systems. We also looked at the history of the Soviet Union as a command economy compared to the United States, a mixed economy.

Then there are the few daring seniors willing to take on the summer coursework. One of whom, Sabine Poux, a student in AP Government and Politics, said she took Gov. because she “loved Mrs. Comblo last year [in AP US History] and loved how passionate she was about her subject and how excited she was to share her knowledge with students.” It is extremely evident to any one of Mrs. Comblo’s students how enthusiastic she is in what she teaches and how knowledgeable she is in our round table discussions when talking about anything from the recent democratic debate to the motives of the Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution.

I know that after taking these two courses, I will feel more prepared going into college than I would have with just one of these classes under my belt. Mr. Bordonaro says that “each of these courses offers a different light on the social sciences and will prepare students for coursework beyond BHS.” Do not be intimidated by the summer work for either class or any preconceived notions, because these two courses are arguably two of the most relevant classes a student can take in high school. If politics and economics are two subjects that really interest you, don’t limit yourself, take both!

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