Top Students Take AP Stress, AP Anxiety and AP Pressure

by Timothy Niemann Students Take AP Stress, AP Anxiety and AP Pressure
• Advanced Placement testing adds another layer to high school workload for the future.

Many times of the year are particularly stressful for high school students. Among them are finals, typically held twice a year. But another time of year that rivals the stress levels of finals is early May, and it’s all because of AP tests.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses have been around for a long time, but their prominence has risen in recent years. AP courses claim to offer college-level courses to high schoolers.

To determine whether or not each high school student is proficient at their respective subject at a college level, the College Board, which runs the AP program, produces an AP test for students to take. All AP tests are given during a two-week period in May. This year, AP tests ran from Monday, May 2, until Friday, May 13.
The stress from AP tests is, in a sense, an interesting phenomenon because AP test scores do not affect a student’s actual grades. After all, AP scores don’t even come out until July.

What is at stake, however, is college credit. Most American colleges and universities accept certain AP test scores as college credit, meaning that high school students have the ability to pass some college courses before they even graduate high school. Not only does this make college somewhat easier, but it can also save money on tuition.
A factor that compounds the stress that high schoolers feel during this time is that all AP tests are squished into two weeks. So if a student is taking three different AP courses in three different subjects, that student has to prepare for three examinations on an entire year of coursework. Also, these exams are held while students still need to keep up on coursework and assessments in the rest of their courses; after all, the end of the academic year is typically less than a month away once AP exams are complete.

There are many things that stress high schoolers. This time of year, AP tests are a big one, and finals are not far away. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for stressed-out high schoolers: Summer vacation is less than a month away.

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