Against our will

Taking AP tests is now forced upon teenagers


Grace Nickas

Advanced Placement testing is coming up and students are overly stressed about tests that do not have that much meaning. AP testing is harmful for students mental state and should not be required by the school.

Forcing people to sit down for hours on end, not being allowed to speak, eat and perform mentally straining tasks on little sleep seems like a form of torture. This is the reality for high school students in the month of May.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams begin in early May and students are forced to take them for a diploma or college credit or for no other reason than it is required by their school. Some schools make the AP exam optional as they do not see it fair to make students do it.

Here, students receive no option about taking the exam. Students are just told to pay their fines and are crammed on a bus to go take a standardized test they had no say about.

“Standardized tests are useful when you have to look at millions of students,” Alex Close, English teacher, said. “However, the effect they have on students is detrimental. To take a year long class and make it a single moment is harmful to the learning of students.”

In 2016,  2,611,172 students took AP tests across the country according to the College Board. These exams consist of multiple choice questions, multiple essays, and insane amounts of stress. Students regularly stay up way too late and spend hours cramming for a test that doesn’t actually affect their grade. They say it is to get college credit, but many schools have so many restrictions about AP test scores that it doesn’t even make it seem that important.

By staying up far too late, students actually harm their performance on the test as they are not well rested and in a good state of mind to take a three hour exam. For a test that doesn’t actually matter that much, it seems like an awful way to spend two weeks.

West Linn forces students to do this to themselves as they do not give them the option to opt out of the exam. Most people dread the first two weeks of May as they know how horrible they are and how stressful and exhausting they are.

“I’ve been spending like 90 percent of my time in the last month stressing out about AP tests,” Olivia Olmsted, junior, said. “They should not be required by the school because my life would be significantly easier if I did not have to deal with them.”