What are the Hardest Classes at Loomis?


Photo credit: Lily Liu ’17

Loomis Chaffee proudly hosts an extensive selection of classes, ranging from Linear Algebra to Ceramics. But the question of which class is the most difficult remains unanswered.

The consensus seems to be that AP Physics is by far one of the most challenging classes. Almost all students taking AP Physics agree that it is their hardest class. “It’s hard to conceptualize,” commented junior Leonie Kurzlechner, “And it’s physic plus calculus, so it’s even harder.” Leonie’s view is also shared by junior Nezir Alic. “Not only is it hard to grasp the idea, it’s hard to apply the concepts. You have to be creative about it,” he said.

AP U.S History is also a class that is right up there along with AP Physics in terms of difficulty. APUSH is a rewarding and an eye-opening class as it talks about U.S History from different perspectives, but it’s known for its fast pace and tremendous workload, and the tests are hard to prepare for. The tests are traditionally composed of multiple choice questions and short answers, but the test format was redesigned recently, and a new type of question was added, one where the students are given a stimulus passage (usually primary materials and articles) and have to answer accordingly. “There’s just a lot of information, so you have to know what is important and what’s necessary and tie them back to themes,” commented junior Anna Essick. “You’re not just learning facts; you are learning ideas.”

Multivariable Calculus is another difficult course that challenges many upperclassmen. As one of the highest level math courses in Loomis, it is unsurprising that it should appear on the list. For most students, the hardest aspect of the class is the fact that it is calculus in 3D, which makes it exceptionally hard for them to wrap their head around it. “It’s hard to keep up in class,” commented junior Cathy Hyeon. Senior Yuri Kovshov also expressed that “the tests are disheartening, but the teacher curves the grades to compensate for hard tests. So students can actually end up getting okay grades.” So there we have it, for many students AP physics, AP US history, and Multivariable Calculus seem to be among the most challenging classes, but the bigger question here is how they manage to conquer those challenges. Is there one essential piece of advice for studying that effectively deals with all the aforementioned classes?

Yuri advises that in order to be successful in challenging classes, students need to know themselves, more specifically what types of learners they are: kinesthetic learners, who learn through active practices; auditory learners, who learn best through hearing and speaking; or visual learners, who are experts at visualizing concepts and often have a good memory. All students already have an idea of what type of learner they are through years of formal schooling. If so, utilize techniques that work best for you! For kinesthetic learners, implement difficult concepts in practice problems and actively seek out answers through trying things out! For visual learners, make flashcards, draw graphs or tables to help with connecting ideas and understanding sequence of events! For auditory learners, recite definitions to yourself, discuss puzzling concepts and questions with peers, and revise concepts through teaching them to others. These classes are, despite popular dispute, within human’s intellectual capabilities, so with substantial effort and hard work, everyone can conquer these “fearsome” classes. With that in mind, Pelicans, buckle up, study hard, and overcome those challenges.