By Jessica Lipman
Before the month of May, high schoolers begin to prepare themselves for their Advanced Placement exams. Whether you are testing in AP Government, Calculus, or Biology, most students deal with an immense amount of stress. Although these exams could possibly give you college credit and prove your academic abilities, are these exams even worth it? Do they even prove how wise a student is?
Mostly throughout the Junior and Senior years of high school, students are given the opportunity and challenge and take an AP class. These classes are ultimately more challenging than regular and honors classes due to their college pacing and rigor. With more homework, exams, and papers, AP students are better preparing themselves for what they can expect in college. Sara Michalski, a Glenelg Senior, explained, “It is very important for high schoolers, especially Seniors to have an experience of what college papers and exams will possibly be like, but students who are in regular classes, or even honors classes, have to prepare themselves more than those who are in AP classes, since they do not have the proper hands on experience.” Although this may make them look unprepared or not willing to take on the challenge of these AP classes, do AP classes really prove how much smarter you are?
In my opinion, AP classes do not prove that one student is smarter than someone else who is in an on-grade level or honors class. Sam Cho, a Glenelg Senior agreeing with this view on APs and said, “Yes, AP classes do prepare you for what to expect in your years of college after high school, but AP exams also do not prove how much more intelligent you are.” People use their brains in different ways, whether it is in arts, sciences, and literature. Other students may focus their knowledge in history, math, and foreign languages.
Before the AP exams begin, students aim to score a four or a five in order to receive college credit for an AP class they have taken. These exams prove your knowledge in a certain subject, but they do not prove your intelligence or abilities. Senior Olivia Kavadias said, “The AP exams provided by College Board are focused on students who are good test takers.” A student who exceeds and does well on tests will most likely score higher than someone who does poorly on tests. Glenelg Senior, Jade Washington explained her view on tests by College Board and explains that, “If people are bad test takers, then they’re not going to do well on a test. If someone gets a bad score then it can keep them from getting into a good college.” This same idea relates to SATs and ACTs as well.
Although these tests are used to see how smart someone is in a specific subject, it is important for college admissions to also pay attention to someone’s course grades and GPA throughout high school. One test should not prove how successful one’s future will be. The bigger picture must be looked at and unfortunately that is not provided by the College Board’s exams.