AP tests, also known as Advanced Placement tests, take place in first two weeks of May. The AP program allows high school students to take college level courses; if students score highly enough on the AP exam, they receive college credit.
The test weeks in May might be considered the most stressful weeks of the year for the high schoolers who take AP courses. Students have to prepare their whole school year for these exams. Furthermore, many teachers begin to treat their students more like college students, demanding more effort and work from their classes.
Under these difficult circumstances, a majority of the teenagers are pressured by their parents, teachers, and themselves to produce satisfying outcomes. Sometimes, despite their efforts, the results are disappointing. The national test can increase self-confidence, but also decrease one’s courage and hope.
According to the article, “Stress driving pupils to suicide, says union,” by Anthea Lipsett, students “release the pressure [of education] by crying…[and] self-harm.” Furthermore, according to BBC news, 29% of the pupils died because of stress that comes from exams. Also, the Office for National Statistics shows that “suicide had risen to their highest level since at least 2007.” Unfortunately, AP tests are one of the factors contributing to dangerous stress levels. Because they see no other way to escape educational stress, students relieve their pressure through self-harm and, in rare cases, suicide.
Nicky Brinkley, a junior in Albert Einstein Academy, stated that “[AP tests] are not an accurate representation and measure of one’s intelligence,” but instead, according to him, they are only increasing the suffering of the teenagers. He also spoke out that “the preparation of AP test is time consuming and requires a lot of discipline, promoting more stress.”
The results of the AP tests are not effectual toward getting into a better college, according to Shaan Patel, a director of SAT programs, in her article, “ICYMI:AP Scores Don’t Matter in College Admission.” She further states that “most colleges do not require AP exam scores” in their applications.
So, after all, we should be asking ourselves: should the AP test really be required? Is it worth the stress?