AP Test + Final = Overkill
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The beginning of May is a stressful time for students because it marks the beginning of AP exams. It is the culmination of all the material learned over the past two semesters. A lot of hard work and late nights goes into these exams to reach the score of a precious “5.” After the tests are over, there is a three week gap between AP exams and final exams.
It seems unfair to students that they are expected to study the same content for two different exams, especially if there is a solution at hand. AP teachers should offer the class’s final exam either right before or right after the AP exam to ensure optimal student performance on both tests.
Some classes at LT have headed in this direction by offering a practice AP exam before the test, and if a student scores a 4 or 5 on it, they are exempt from the final exam. This is a fantastic idea because the goal for AP classes is to pass the AP exam so that should be the main focus. A loophole shouldn’t be thrown to students and make them study the exact same content they prepared for nearly one month prior to the final.
It is reasonable to be worried about what students would do if the final exam was moved to early May, which would cause a cushion three weeks after with no exam to prepare for; however, these weeks can still be utilized. Additional enrichment units or projects can be done to keep students busy and learning. It is not necessary to keep the final exam looming over students’ heads. The AP exam and final exams should be near each other because they are both culmination exams. While material can still be covered after these two tests, it is not logical to make students relearn all the concepts they studied just weeks ago. Even if the rigor of the class died down after the AP exam, the class was much higher paced earlier in the year so slowing the pace down and not having the final exam would not be unreasonable.
Another option that may be less popular but still not unreasonable is not having a class final exam for AP sections. The goal for the AP class is to pass the AP exam, not to pass the teacher’s final exam.
It is time to bring reform to this issue. AP students go through stress throughout the whole year to keep up with class content and exams. It is only fair that at the end of the year, they only need to study strenuously once.