AP tests too close together; causes stress to students


Image courtesy Wootton Administration

AP Exams are scheduled without a break from each other, making it difficult to focus on one subject at a time.

According to the Journal of Human Resources, more than 70% of high school students have AP classes in their schedule. AP exams are meant to help students make their college transcript look better or to get credit for college in the future. However, only 31% of colleges and universities actually look at AP scores, according to College Board, meaning that unnecessary stress is placed on students to do well.

When studying for Advanced Placement, or AP tests, students often study for their first test to start, and then study for the rest as they finish their other tests. However, this year’s AP exam schedule consists of having one important exam after another, such as the Calculus AB exam being the day before the AP Language and Composition exam. When exams are this close together, students lack the time necessary to study and to fully understand and do well on the test, making them more stressed before their exams.

More specifically, juniors are taking much of their class load as APs. The important tests for most juniors consist of AP Language and Composition, calculus, chemistry and psychology. Language and calculus are the day after another and chemistry is the day before psychology. Students spend their time focusing on the most important topics, but how can one truly pay attention to what they’re studying if there are even more important tests the day or a couple of days after?

Although it could be argued that having AP exams close together leaves more time for makeup tests at the end of May, it leads to more stress after the amount of condensed study time. With less study time to focus on each individual subject, more stress falls on the student to do their best. Students are already focused on their other six classes of the day, and shouldn’t have to be worried about studying their exams that are back to back from each other. Currently, students have to study for all of them at the same time, stressing themselves out to the point where their grades start slipping in school. As the students start to study for the exams, they lose focus on other classes, and more specifically the ones they are studying for later begin to slip.

If College Board were to spread out the time of exams, stress like this could be prevented, specifically by giving students more time to study for exams and by allowing students to focus on each separate exam. With the tests spread out further, students would be able to focus on the individual exams, instead of having the different subjects studied in their head during the exam at once, meaning that students would do better, and eventually end up scoring higher as well.

AP exams are too close together, and therefore there is not enough time to focus on different subjects, ultimately leading to more stress and poor exam scores.