top of page

AP Exams cause stress for students 

WEDS. | 06-08-22 | OPINION

     Some students take Advanced Placement (AP) classes to boost their GPA; some take it for a more rigorous class than an honors course. On the other hand, some students take AP classes to obtain college credits while still in high school. However, this purpose is more difficult for some classes considering how AP exams are administered at the end of the year. Not only that, but with AP exams scheduled so that there are two a day, it can make the exam process very draining for some students. 

     When taking an AP exam, you must receive a certain score–depending on the college–to determine whether or not you receive the college credit for that course. This practice comes with many flaws, one being the timing of the exams. Multiple AP courses are taught in the fall, yet students

cecelia - ap exam graphic .png

Graphic by Cecelia Batton

have to wait until the end of the year to take the exam. This is unfair to students who are taking a single semester fall AP class because by the time they are scheduled to test their knowledge on the subject at hand, half the school year has gone by and that class is one of the last things on their minds. Review sessions may help, but it is too tough of an ask for students to remember what they learned, especially after waiting that long. 

     Not only are many students forced to wait months to take the exam, but more often than expected, some students have to take two exams in one day. The way AP exams are set up, one exam takes place at 8 a.m. and the other at 12 p.m. This is beyond draining for a person to spend well over six hours consecutively taking exams. All of a student's focus during exam day should be on one subject on that day, not thinking about how much time they are about to spend thinking and writing on the next exam later in the day.

     Oftentimes, there are two different exams scheduled during the same day and time. Aside from the fact that this creates more stress for teachers and administrators to decide who is taking which exam, it also prompts these students to have to wait even further to take one of their exams because they have to make it up on the designated exam make-up day. This is an especially unwanted circumstance that isn’t necessary. 

     Not only does earning AP credits in high school help students get ahead, but they also make it possible to graduate from some colleges sooner, given that they will have already received enough credits while in high school. College tuition is an extreme financial burden for many families, so having the opportunity to graduate early could save students and their families a lot of money in the long run. With these recurring obstacles in the way of many students, it can result in them scoring lower on their exam and in turn, not receiving the college credit for an AP class. 

     I propose that fall AP classes have their exams scheduled on designated days during the end of the fall semester. This would solve the many issues associated with students having to wait until the end of the year. I’m not saying these students would receive their scores first; they could still get their results back at the same time as the other exams so there isn’t any controversy over these students having an advantage. I also think there should only be one exam per day to prevent a student from having to take two or make-up ones because of them being the same time and day. While this process may take longer, I think everyone could benefit from it and it would take off some of the stress students are already experiencing as a result of AP exams. 

bottom of page