Opinion: The AP Exam schedule creates stress not success

Brooks Huber, Reporter

With the start of May comes the start of exam season, a ten-day string of national testing to see if students can prove they have a college level knowledge of a subject. For some students, however, this period can feel less like an occasional day on school business and instead feel more like an earlier, more extreme finals week.

   The 2023 exam schedule, like previous years, includes some overlapping exams that leave students making the tough decision of which exam to make up later. This means risking taking an exam well after the April review season many teachers have. Both Sean Evans and Thomas Szubka report that they’ll have to make up their AP European History exam at a later date due to it being at the exact same time slot as their AP United States History exam. Meanwhile, the system of multiple time slots has led to stress. Brady Skaggs reported feeling this due to having the AP Macroeconomics exam in the morning on May 4 and AP Statistics’ exam in the afternoon the same day.

   Not only are same day AP exams a struggle for students, but in general, back to back AP exam days can lead to poor results. Having an extra day to relax and prepare for the next test, as well as doing any last minute studying you may need, greatly benefits students compared to coming back from one major test only to prepare for the next. 

   This also creates a benefit to having an exam on a Monday or Tuesday, as you have the weekend as extra time to relax and prepare for the test. This is reflected in AP pass rates for classes like chemistry going up with a Monday afternoon test slot in 2022 compared to the pass rates with 2021’s Friday morning slot; However, the increase in pass rates was small and could have resulted from a number of factors.

   While it would seem smart to pair up highly enrolled APs with less popular APs to relieve crowding, the college board has not. The schedule places lots of popular AP history and math classes in the first week while the second week contains foreign languages and highly advanced math and sciences that, at least here at Newsome, are less populated.

   Though the exam schedule may not be ideal, The Newsome Wolf Tracks team is sure that proper studying and motivation will help Newsome students to pass their AP exams.