AP Exam Stress on Students

Olivia Dumas, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Students across the nation and internationally have been swamped with exams created by the College Board in order to demonstrate what they’ve absorbed from their AP classes.

Starting the first two weeks of May, students across the nation and internationally are given the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. The College Board offers almost 40 AP courses to high school students. These classes are administered in preparation for a test towards the end of the year that will determine if they get college credit. Each class is treated like a college class, meaning expectations and the workload is increased. These classes give students a chance to earn college credit if they earn a score of three or more on a five point scale.

Each AP test is different, but most consist of multiple choice and a writing section. Although these advanced classes look good on a college application and are a great way to earn college credit, they ultimately place stress and pressure on students. Clarissa Murad, a senior at Woodside, commented on the stress she felt during her time in AP classes.

“Last year I felt a lot more pressure because there was a lot of pressure especially because college applications were coming up,” Murad said. “It was the whole idea that teacher kept saying that it was all for college and all that pressure built up.”

Alyssa Montalvo, also commented on the stress she felt during AP testing this year.

“I was under so much stress since I took three tests. Plus I have a job and other responsibilities. The AP test is stressful and so is the course since usually they assign a lot of work,” Montalvo stated.

Many students are pressured into taking AP classes because it looks good on a college application and it gives college credit. Murad further explains that she wishes she took another route that would still give her the credit.

“So my friend took a few college classes at a community college, and basically, you take college courses and you still get college credit as long as you get a C or above. There isn’t a test at the end, you just need to take the course and get through it,” she stated. “I wish the counselors gave me more information about that option.

Not all students take the class just for college credit, but for the boost in their GPA if they do well. Manuel Porras, another senior, describes how he dealt with his stress while getting ready to take the exam.

“I focus on the fact that it doesn’t end up impacting my grade in class,” Porras said. “I just try to stay calm so I can do my best.”

Although many students felt the stress of AP classes, most agreed that that the course was worth it in the end. Senior, Nicole Brault explains why.

Brault stated, “I think they’re totally worth it. I believe I got into several good colleges because I got good grades in my challenging courses such as AP.”

AP classes are challenging, but there are ways to make sure one is successful even with a large workload. Montalvo shared some of her advice for incoming AP students.

“I would recommend to not procrastinate with work and to use your planner to organize. Make sure to study independently and don’t just do the bare minimum,” Montalvo said. “Also make sure you develop a good relationship with your teacher and always ask for help if you are struggling or worried about the test.”

Although AP classes may seem stressful and demanding, there are ways to get through it. Porras explains his tips for studying for the AP course and exams.

“Make sure to take study breaks, run around, hit a punching bag, watch an episode of something, and always have a good snack on hand,” Porras commented.

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