Final exams increase student fatigue, add unnecessary stress to end school year

Molly Haynes, Writer

Advanced Placement tests are arguably some of the most common stressors for high school students. After spending months and months taking a rigorous college-level course, you take one final test in May to see how well you retained and understood the information you have learned since August.

However, taking AP classes usually prepares you well for the tests. All of the standards for these classes are designed to teach you how the AP test works, and the teachers are required to give you tests and prompts written in an AP format. For an entire school year, you are learning and preparing for one test, which is why I believe that it is wrong to give a final exam to students who are already taking the AP test.

The entire point of these Advanced Placement classes is to prepare students for college-level classes and standards. This means the curriculum is set to mirror the higher level challenges within the classroom that are expected in colleges. Students will have a larger workload and will be in a classroom with a much faster learning pace.

Teachers are told to teach from these standards and set curriculum so that students are able to pass the AP test with the intentions of testing out of college classes or receiving college credit. With all of the pressure that comes with studying and preparing for the AP exam, why would teachers add more stress by having their students study for a test that doesn’t follow the curriculum that they have been learning for the past 10 months?

As a student who has taken a multitude of AP classes and the tests that followed, I can tell you just how difficult and stressful it is to study two tests in one day during finals week. In non-AP classes, teachers will create their own test that goes over material that has been taught in class, writing their test in their own words and own style, just as they have been doing throughout the school year.

Students become accustomed to this style of testing and study for the final accordingly. However, in an AP class, students have adapted to a singular way of testing while taking that class. It would be unfair for teachers to change the testing style the students are familiar with for the final test of the school year. It would not only create another task for students to complete for a single class, but would also distract the student from what is important, passing the AP exam.

Studying for one AP test is stressful. Studying for multiple AP tests can seem impossible. Studying for several AP exams and then finals for those sames classes seems unnecessary. The students progress and understanding of the class should be shown through past classwork and exams, so there is no need to have them take a final after the AP exam.

Through hours and hours of studying for the AP exam, which is often required by the teacher, it is clear that the students are capable of handling a college class and the work that comes with it.