It’s that time of the year – seniors have left the Staples High School halls after finishing the stressful testing that fourth quarter brings. What was the cause of it? AP tests. AP testing has taken a toll on the social lives of students, as they have traded their Friday night hangouts for textbooks and study sessions. However, with almost all seniors accepted into their colleges, is the AP final really worth taking?
The key difference between AP exams and AP finals is the amount of impact they serve. AP exams, being mandatory in receiving college credit, will make a large impact on whether or not a student must retake that course in college. However, AP finals are no different than any other Staples final; the test counts for 10% of their final grade. With the tests being spaced roughly two weeks apart, many students complain that it is ‘overwhelming’ and ‘unnecessary’.
Seniors often argue that, while most of them have already been accepted to their college, the test serves no purpose in their future learning. Daniel Call ’16 explains how, “No, seniors should not have to take AP finals. They should only be required if a student doesn’t have a certain grade in the class,” Call ’16 said.
This idea would give students who have worked hard throughout the year the opportunity to opt out of taking the final, but would also give students who may be struggling the chance to take the test and improve their grade.
Connor Wybranowski, a 2014 graduate and current sophomore at Colgate University, also suggested the idea of an optional final. “I think the AP final puts a stressful and unnecessary burden on graduating students,” Wybranowski said. “In the grand scheme of things, it won’t impact their education; it’s hard to believe that a final examination, especially one taken by a student already accepted into college, would add any value to their education. Should it disappear completely? I’m not sure. Should it be optional at the very least? Perhaps.”
Although there is no information on whether or not this issue has been discussed by the staff, students have not hesitated to share their perspectives. With the curriculum continuing to develop, change is a possibility for the upcoming school years.