AP Exams

Tests Don’t Define You, But It Sure Can Feel Like It

Lily Bazis, Staff Writer

Anyone who’s taken an AP class knows what occurred in the beginning of May: Strenuous, expensive, and nerve-racking assessments made to test everything you’ve learned in the past nine months stand past the horizon for those students at Paint Branch and all across the nation.

In the beginning of the year, most students go into their AP classes with hope and optimism. While for some it may be their first AP class, others have had experience with AP’s and somewhat know what to expect from the course and, ultimately, the exam. Long hours of classwork and homework, tests and quizzes and, at the end of it all, a huge exam that could possibly earn you college credit are part of the AP experience.

On top of the workload, each AP exam costs $92, which is not a small price, especially if you are taking multiple exams, which many juniors and seniors plan to do. While fee waivers can be helpful, not everyone qualifies for them, and some end up paying several hundred dollars for multiple tests that they may not even pass.

However, earning a “passing” score of 3 on any exam, may not even count as college credit, as not all colleges accept scores below a 4 or 5 for college credit. Trust me, this is no easy task. Sure, you may have excelled at one certain subject and the exam seemed like it was a culminating achievement, but what about a subject that you’ve had trouble with all year? For students who feel this way, they have had to contemplate whether or not they should even take the exam at all, even after all the work they’ve done for the class. For some, the choice was easy – do not pay for and take an exam that you know you won’t do well on, while for others the choice was a hard one to make.

The immense amount of stress placed on students by teachers and students themselves is sometimes a bit too much. Everything that circulates around AP exams factors into a student’s future, changing how much he or she has to pay for future college courses. AP exams are very demanding, but not impossible to be successful on. Hard work and dedication are key to these difficult exams. So, as students receive their scores on the exams in July, they should remember a test does not define them, but it can certainly help them in the future.