Students differ on perspectives toward AP exams


Photo from the Odyssey Online

By Sasha Narang ’18

Although May brings warm temperatures and spring fever, it’s also the dreaded month of exams for students who take advanced placement (AP) classes at Staples. While some students are buried in review books at the library until closing hours, others have decided to sit back and relax.

AP exams don’t count against the grades of high school students. However, the score received will determine whether or not the student gets college credit.

Scoring a five, a four, and in some cases a three, means, depending on the policies of certain universities, the student will be not be required to take as many courses in college. For some, this could result in graduating early.

Nicole Arellano ’18 admits that, “I don’t care too much about the score I get since a lot of colleges don’t really take credit for it anymore as well as the fact that it doesn’t affect my transcript.”

In fact, according to a study done by the College Board, “nearly 50% of high school students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses do not pass the exams.” Although other reasons factor into these results, many speculate the high percentage of failure is contributed by those who don’t feel the exam is important.

Every school has different policies regarding AP credits, with some accepting them and others denying them. Due to this, Arellano believes the stress for AP exams is unnecessary. Kristina Wassermann ’17 agrees with Arellano. She believes it is important to refrain from stressing. “I don’t feel as if a test score defines me,” she said.  

However, others feel differently because,regardless of the impact on  one’s transcript, AP exams are still tests.

“It is very important to receive a good score. I care about my score because I want the validation that I truly understood the course I completed,” Kayla Bilotti ’18 said.

Every college course is constructed around the exam, and Bilotti feels as if not studying for it is like giving up. She wonders why people would take the class if they are not going to try for what the entire curriculum builds up to.

Sophie Carozza ’18 identified with both sides. “It’s not super important to me to submit to colleges,” she said, but explained she would still put in effort to get a good score “because it reflects on the school and my teachers.”

Agreeing with Carozza, Larkin Corr ’18 said, “I’m not too worried about it but if I could get a good grade and get college credit that would be great.”

Whether you like it or not, signing up for an AP class results in an exam at the end of the year. While many believe they are not worth the stress, others believe it is important to work for the test that the entire curriculum leads up to.